Makerere University Students Win 2012 Microsoft East and Southern Africa Imagine Cup


Image: By BiztechAfrica
Makerere University Students Win 2012 Microsoft East and Southern Africa Imagine Cup

The winning team of the 2012 Microsoft East and Southern Africa Imagine Cup, a student competition which centers on the use of imagination, creativity and technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest problems, has been named in Nairobi.

Team WinSenga from Makere University was crowned the regional champs for their application which focuses on how to detect ectopic pregnancies in women as well as monitor baby movements and position in the womb during pregnancy. The team was also voted the best by facebook and twitter users who were following the competition online.

In total, 14 teams from the region, representing Kenya and Uganda, competed during a challenging day of presentations on May 3rd, which brought together students from universities across the East and Southern Africa.

This year’s competition focused on software design and the winners will go on to compete in the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals, which will take place in Sydney, Australia in July 2012.

“We are very excited to win today. As a team we have a clear goal; it is not about the UN Millenium goals anymore, its our goal: ‘Reduced Maternal Mortality by 2015. Its Posible! Parter with us today’,” said an elated Aaron Tushabe after collecting the team’s award.  “We are ready for the global stage and to show the world that Africa has great talent,” said the team.

Afrosilicon from JKUAT were the runners up and bagged the Best Mobile Application award for their application that allows a user in distress or in an accident to call for help from other users using the same application.

Team whiskers also from JKUAT were number 3 with their software design focused on an embedded system that aids in navigation for the blind.

Inspired by real problems facing the East African region, each one in the 14 teams was honoured for their work to address some of toughest challenges in Kenya and Uganda.

Speaking after the awards, Dele Akinsade of Director, Developer Platforms – West, East & Central Africa and Indian Ocean Islands, said he was impressed with the level of talent in the region. “I am very impressed by the solutions provided by the winning team. They are very simple but out of the box which is why they won the competition,” he said.

“As judges we were also impressed by the fact that the students were already factoring in the economic aspect of their solutions which means they can sustain them,” he added.

Now in its tenth year, the Imagine Cup has grown to become the world’s premier student technology competition. Since 2003, over 1.4 million students have participated in the Imagine Cup with 358,000 students representing 183 countries and regions registering for the Imagine Cup 2011 competition. With a competition theme inspired by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to “Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems,” the Imagine Cup spans one year, beginning with local, regional and online contests, the Worldwide Finals take place in Sydney, Austrailia in July 2012.

As an example of the type of real-world solutions the Imagine Cupjudges are looking for, in 2011, the winning team at the Worldwide Finals from Ireland developed a project designed to improve road safety by tracking an individual’s journey and giving the driver (and other stakeholders) a report of driving behaviour.

The report shows any dangerous or erratic driving on a particular trip - information which can be shared with insurance companies, parents or law enforcement agencies. Using a mix of embedded technology, mobile devices along with cloud technology; the solution has the ability to change driving habits to reduce road deaths around the world.

Team WinSenga will join thebrightest young minds to compete on the world stage in July at the worldwide Finals in Sydney, Australia. The 2012 competitors will gain real life experience, make new friends, and harness the power of technology to take on the world’s toughest problems.

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