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
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
Mozambican developer groups to step up activities in 2015Google Developer Groups in Mozambique say they have pegged 2015 as the year to step up activities to boost app development in the country. Read More
iLabAfrica to take Android training to studentsKenyan high school and university students with a passion for programming will now have a chance to excel in developing Android mobile apps. Read More
Magazine Reel wins second Safaricom Appwiz ChallengeA team of Egerton University graduates, who came up with a mobile-based web application that allows youth to access the latest campus news though their mobile phones, have emerged the winners of this year’s Safaricom Appwiz Challenge. Read More
Developing businesses in emerging markets – Ampion Venture bus heads to TunisiaFrom December 14 to December 19 the final AMPION Venture Bus 2014 will embark on a unique journey to create innovative ICT startups when traveling Tunisia. Read More
Kampala duo develops trendy social media appKamapala’s Vibe Labs has developed an app that simplifies the task of keeping up with important news from friends. Read More
Airtel boosts entrepreneurship with Catapult-a-StartupAirtel Nigeria has launched an entrepreneurial initiative tagged ‘Catapult-a-Startup,’ a platform which aims to inspire innovation and assist start up mobile app developers towards actualising their business goals and dreams. Read More
Modisar Farm management system launchedThe Botswana project that won the Orange Africa Social Venture Prize for Innovation was launched at a packed event at the Botswana Innovation Hub. Read More
2014 Orange Africa Prize goes to BotswanaThe 2014 Orange Africa Social Venture Prize has this year been awarded to a Botswana-based ICT professional whose winning project, Modisar, has been vying for recognition for a couple of years. Read More
Windows game developer launches competition for new talentAward-winning Nigerian mobile games company, Gamsole, has launched a new competition offering US$4,000 in prizes and career opportunities for five talented illustrators. Read More
FEATURED STORYUCC launches 2015 ACIA awards
Uganda has launched the fifth Annual Communications and Innovation Awards, which celebrate and foster ICT innovation and achievement.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya’s digital TV battle hots up
Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.