Tuesday, July 06, 2010

"Apps 4 Africa" spurs technological innovation in East Africa

On July 1st in Nairobi, Kenya, Under Secretary of State Judith McHale and US Ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger announced the "Apps 4 Africa" competition to help provide technological solutions for problems facing East Africans. The competition accepts community challenges (such as governmental transparency and education) submitted by individuals that can be solved with technology. The competition is open to people in the East Africa region, which includes Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda. East African tech and software programmers will work to provide a solution for the winning submissions.

The goal of the competition is to align the needs of East Africans with the increasing supply of tech graduates from African universities. The competition is trying to determine where technology can best make an impact on the livelihood of needy people, because often the needs of East Africans are different from the populations that Silicon Valley innovators produce for. The competition is accepting submissions for challenges from July 1st until August 31st. The best submissions will receive either cash or material prizes. Tech-savvy people not from East Africa can help out by joining the Mentors program. Mentors post their expertise on the wiki section of www.apps4africa.org to help local innovators develop solutions for the winning challenges from the competition.

-Matthew Thwaites

SOURCES: Apps 4 Africa Homepage, ' “Apps 4 Africa” Seeks to Improve Lives Through Technology'-Press Zoom