Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today congratulated the winners of the first Apps4Africa competition, which brought together local technology entrepreneurs to build tools that serve the needs of local NGOs and their communities.
“Your work to develop 21st century solutions to Africa’s challenges is a powerful example of what individuals can do to shape a dynamic, successful future,” the Secretary said in a video message.
Launched in July 2010, in Nairobi, Kenya by Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy Judith McHale, Apps4Africa generated more than 20 entries from Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. Civil society groups and citizens challenged program developers to find innovative technological solutions to everyday problems on issues ranging from transparency and governance to health and education. The competition builds on Secretary Clinton’s Civil Society 2.0 initiative and helps civil society use digital technology to connect to their communities and develop innovative solutions to shared problems. Key private sector partners include iHub, Appfrica Labs and SODNET.
Live stream here:
A panel of judges chose winning projects based on their potential to have a measurable impact and their creativity and ingenuity. A full list of winners and prizes follows:
- First Place: iCow, a voice-based mobile application that helps farmers track the oestrus stages of their cows. This application can enable farmers everywhere to better manage breeding periods as well as monitor cow nutrition leading up to the calving day. This will help farmers get the most of their cows and their farms.
- Second Place: Kleptocracy Fighters Inc. allows citizens to record and report real time information on government corruption. Reports can include: audio, video, text, and are meant to be both positive and negative. Reports will be forwarded to legal and media partners to help publish cases of corruption. This application has potential to help build trust, accountability and transparency around the world.
- Third Place Winner: Mamakiba is a patient-facing SMS savings calculator and prepayment tracking tool specifically designed to help low-income women save and prepay for their maternal health needs such as ante-natal care and clinical delivery. Many women struggle financially, and this application can help teach the value of budget planning and provide lifesaving care for women and their families.
Honorable Mentions each received $200 and are as follows:
- Fogs Funeral Announcements, developed by Alex Gitonga, is an application for generating death and funeral announcements via text message. Radio and newspaper are costly in the region. Fog will allow users to cheaply and easily draft, edit and send these types of messages to ensure they reach friends, family, former schoolmates and colleagues – an important Kenyan custom.
- Kenya Constituency Development Fund : Community Tracking and Mapping was developed by Jamila Amin and Mikel Maron. This application allows Kenyans to easily view both official and on-the-ground details of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) projects that are ongoing in Kibera, a neighborhood of Nairobi and the world’s second largest slum. This application will review and map submitted reports on the real status of aid and development projects on the ground, in contrast to official government reports, as well as allocated amounts, contractor details, photographs, and geographic locations. This evidence-based monitoring, combined with the communication power of maps and the web, serves as a powerful advocacy tool for improved accountability of development funds in Kenya.
- Ujuzi was developed by Ahmed Mohamed Maawy as a mobile resource locator application aimed at helping low income populations living in poor areas worldwide to locate useful resources like organizations, services, assets and personnel in their region. This free service has huge potential because it takes readily available information and creatively provides it in a useful, easy to access way.
Blog post courtesy of Katie Dowd from the State Department