Kenyans win Google app awards
By Carole Kimutai, Nairobi, Kenya
Two Kenyans are among the winners of Google’s Android Developer Challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa, a competition to encourage the development of exciting, high quality applications that are relevant to mobile users in Africa and around the world.
The apps, Olalashe and Shoppers’ Delight, won awards for the best application in the social/communication and productivity categories respectively.
Each winner will be awarded USD25 000 to help them build and grow their business, and will receive additional mentoring from Google employees to help them make their app even better.
The three winning applications were chosen from hundreds of developers in Sub-Saharan Africa who submitted innovative and interesting applications across three broad categories: apps related to entertainment, media and games; apps related to social networking and communication; and apps related to productivity, tools, and local and geo services.
The winners were chosen from a shortlist of 29 finalists who were then provided with new phones, mentoring from Googlers and also given six weeks to improve their applications.
Under the social/communication category, Kenya’s David Lemayian of Capefield Ltd has developed Olalashe (which means brother in Maasai). It is a geo-alert application that can help one communicate when in trouble through a widget that can send your location and a pre-set message to your ‘In Case of Emergency’ contacts with the push of a button.
The second winner, Shoppers’ Delight, has developed a shopping application that allows shoppers to compare product prices across different area supermarkets. The app also helps shoppers discover bargains and relevant sales, and access maps and health information.