Friday, October 08, 2010

African Entrepreneurs Develop Apps to Increase Quality of Life

The U.S. Department of State recently concluded a contest that challenged African entrepreneurs to develop apps that would serve their community. African developers used their talents and creativity to solve both everyday problems and the unique challenges that African communities face. This coincides with Millennium Development Goal #8: Developing a global partnership for development. These problems were tackled head-on by African developers who were intimately familiar with the problems and struggles of their community, but were supported by the U.S. State Department as well as private contributors such as iHub, Appfrica Labs, and SODNET.

These inventors have shown that people can make a difference simply by looking at common, everyday problems and asking themselves, "What can we do to fix this?" The elimination of poverty does not necessarily come a giant leap at a time, but through incremental steps.

So what was the winner? An application designed to monitor the fertility of cows. For farmers who do not always have the funds to give their cows the proper nutrition, they can use this application to determine the best days to provide nutrition for both the mother and the calf. This tool will help with breeding, feeding, and will increase the health of the newborn.

Other tools developed include software that can report government corruption in real-time, budgeting tools for expecting mothers, and a program that can use text messaging to provide death and funeral announcements to friends and family (Newspapers are too costly).

-Corey Cox

SOURCE: U.S. Department of State