Safaricom, Vodafone excite apps developers with competition
APP DEVELOPMENTBy BiztechAfrica - 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
Safaricom launches 2nd Appwiz challengeSafaricom has launched the 2nd edition of the Appwiz Challenge, a developer competition designed to help identify and develop successful early stage mobile technology companies. Read More
Ampion Venture Bus to stop in Accra, GhanaThe Ampion Venture Bus, an initiative to boost entrepreneurship in Africa will make a stop in Ghana’s capital Accra during the month of September. Read More
Samsung, Celltick partner on West Africa UISamsung Electronics West Africa is launching Celltick’s ‘Start’ based technology across its complete range of android phones via the Samsung Apps Store. Read More
Mobile media revenues to pass $90bn in 2018IHS forecasts that total revenues from mobile media and advertising will pass $90 billion in 2018, up from $53 billion in 2014. Read More
App integration commonplace within five yearsA new report by Juniper Research on the telematics sector has found that the number of in-vehicle apps in use is expected to reach 269 million by 2018. Read More
Mobile games revenues near $29bn by 2016A new report from Juniper Research has revealed that by 2016 total revenues from mobile games will reach $28.9 billion – a growth of over 38% on the 2014 figure of $20.9 billion. Read More
YouthConnekt launches Mobile Apps for Human Development Challenge in RwandaRwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT and the UNDP, in close collaboration with Motorola Solutions, will power a Mobile App Challenge that will be implemented by YouthConnekt. Read More
MEA2014 urges more apps for basic phonesMobile East Africa 2014 has ended with a call for East Africa’s mobile app developers to create more solutions suited to basic and feature phones. Read More
Samsung WOW app connects millions to Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter GamesSamsung’s WOW (Wireless Olympic Works) is now available; offering a personalised experience, athlete cheering feature and tutorials on all 15 sporting events for Sochi 2014. Read More
Ghana’s MobileContent introduces Greeting Cards AppOne of Ghana’s leading mobile value added service (VAS) providers, MobileContent, has released a new electronic greeting cards application. Read More
FEATURED STORYWidening ICT skills gap: Cause for concern
Nigeria's FDI gains could be eroded by the widening gap in indigenous skilled ICT manpower, writes Kokumo Goodie.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.