Safaricom, Vodafone excite apps developers with competition
APP DEVELOPMENT| Sept. 7, 2012, 10:45 a.m.
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
Leading integrated communications service provider Safaricom Limited and the global telecoms giant Vodafone Group PLC have launched a mobile apps challenge targeting developers in Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Tanzania, Egypt, Ghana and Qatar
Dubbed AppStar, the competition runs from September 6, 2012 to November 21, 2012 and will see the top Kenyan developers take home Kshs 1 Million.
”We recognise that the next phase of real innovation in the mobility space will come from local app developers. We therefore see the Appstar challenge as the logical next step in deepening local talent giving them a chance to compete against the best in Africa but also reap from their innovation,” said Safaricom’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Nzioka Waita.
The competition will feature entries in six categories: Games/Entertainment, Health, Education, Agriculture, Financial Inclusion and Productivity. All applications developed during the challenge must run on Android, BlackBerry, Symbian or Java operating systems.
Safaricom will spend over Kshs 2 million on this award scheme and also give the overall winners and runners up the opportunity to compete with finalists from the other six countries for the grand prize from Vodafone in Johannesburg in December.
Applications from the competition will be hosted on the Safaricom and Vodafone app stores for use by customers within these networks. This will increase exposure of a developers’ application across the multiple networks which make up the Vodafone Group.
The Deputy General Manager - Applications Store and Developer Program within the Vodafone Group, Karthik Srinivasan, said huge app development talent exists in the emerging markets and “only such developers can provide applications suitable for their respective markets.”
“This competition is an effort to showcase the depth of that talent and give those developers a chance to benchmark themselves against regional peers,” said Srinivasan.
With annual revenues in excess of Kshs 100 billion, Safaricom is Kenya’s widest 3G network with a growing fibre optic cable footprint and its most expansive WIMAX presence.
The firm pioneered commercial mobile money transfer globally through M-PESA, the most successful such service anywhere in the world. Launched in March 2007 as a money transfer service, it now has over 15 million customers and over 37,000 agent outlets countrywide.
MORE APP DEVELOPMENT NEWS
5 usability requirements for mobile appsDeveloping mobile enterprise apps requires a new mind-set as they are very different from enterprise apps made for desktops, delegates said at a Magic Software round table. Read More
Enterprise mobile apps need to be as simple, functional and beautiful as consumer appsCompanies that want to drive the best results from mobilising their business processes need to give their employees access to apps that are as simple, attractive, integrated and rich as the consumer mobile apps they use every day. Read More
Complustech develops app for church managementComplustech Nigeria has unveiled an application, Church+ v2, for churches, fellowships and ministries to overcome administrative and management dilemmas. Read More
Charity uses OutSystems to rapidly build an appMercy Ships has utilised OutSystems’ Platform to create a custom online application that has led to a 20 percent increase in volunteer registrations for the charity in just two months. Read More
MTN unveils app to enhance voter educationAs the general elections in Nigeria draws nearer, MTN has unveiled a mobile app designed to enhance voter education and deepen the democratic process in the country. Read More
App for disabled children reaches Ericsson Innovation Award semi-finalsTeam Handi’Educ from Senegal has emerged a semi-finalist in the Ericsson Innovation Awards representing sub-Saharan Africa. The innovative team, comprising three engineering students, developed an educative web/mobile application to support handicapped children in a learning environment. Read More
Buzztrick overall winner of MTN App Challenge Version 2.0The developer of the Buzztrick app, Nana Ekow Taylor, has been adjudged the overall winner of the MTN Ghana App Challenge Version 2.0. Read More
Fun loving Ugandans enjoy new appEntertainment loving Ugandans are snapping up the new TiKiTi app, which alerts them to trending night spots in their area, and allows them to use their phones to buy tickets for their preferred night clubs. Read More
Ugandan innovators use smartphones to detect malariaA team of young Ugandan innovators has developed a tool that can diagnose malaria using a smartphone. Read More
New GoMetro Mini gives easy access to public transport info in 11 SA languagesSouth African transport app GoMetro has expanded to include a new mobile app for older phones, the brainchild of an intern working at GoMetro. Read More
FEATURED STORYe-commerce space untapped, says phonekings head
E-commerce is the future, says the head of a new online electronics mall launched in Nigeria. Tayo Olusanya spoke to Kokumo Goodie in Lagos.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHVillagers get solar training at Barefoot College
The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India.