A year-long global competition to encourage innovative solutions by the youth, with a million dollars prize promise, kicks off at Addis Abeba University. Dubbed the Hult Prize, this year's edition is hosted in partnership with the Kazana Group, which has over 18 companies under its umbrella. Bethlehem Tesfaye, portfolio manager of Kazana Group, emphasised the role of the private sector in supporting youth entrepreneurship to build innovative businesses and create much-needed job opportunities. Started in 2010, the Hult Prize competition is a worldwide movement that is student-centred and engages businesses that address social problems, bringing together some of the "brightest and most innovative" students. The movement has deployed more than 50 million dollars in capital in nearly a decade, with over 2,500 staff and volunteers worldwide. The OnCampus Program and the Open Application are the first phases of the Hult Prize competition. In the OnCampus program, student volunteers organise training programs and university community events focused on the year's conceptual challenge. They are following up with a selection of 3,000 teams from 20,000 global applicants to participate in the summit held in 12 cities of the host's choice. The successive narrowing down of applicants will end with one winner awarded a million dollars in Paris, France. Last year's on-campus winners were fourth-year students who created an app to facilitate on-campus food delivery. While the global winners are called Eco-Banana from St. Paul University in Limru, Kenya; they made biodegradable sanitary pads from banana fibres. The online application is open to interested individuals or groups.
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