Archives For apps4africa

On October 24th, 2012 Hillary Clinton announced the 3rd Apps4Africa competition at DEMO Africa in Nairobi, Kenya. Her pre-recorded video address to the audience was one of the many highlights of the DEMO Africa which brought investors and 40 of Africa’s finest startups together for rapid-fire 6-minute pitch sessions.

The Apps4Africa Team! From L to R: Thomas Genton (Senior Advisor, Bureau of African Affairs at U.S. Department of State), Jonathan Gosier (Founder, Appfrica), Bahiyah Robinson (Executive Director, Appfrica), Barbara Birungi (Director, HiveColab), Emmanuel Addai (Apps4Africa 2011 Winner), Marieme Jamme (CEO, SpotOne Global), Eric Mutta (Apps4Africa 2011 Winner), Thomas Debass (Director, Lions@frica)

The announcement also marks a big change in the Apps4Africa model. This year the competition is targeting startups and businesses through competitive funding, offering a non-diluting path to venture capital, mentorship and other forms of support. Our goal is to catalyze the growth of Africa’s early-stage startups to address the issue of youth unemployment across the continent. Africa needs to create at least 120 million jobs by 2012 to maintain it’s current trends of a growing middle class. Those jobs are not going to come from government mandates or multi-national corporations, they are going to come from successful startups and entrepreneurs. With Apps4Africa 2012, Appfrica and our partners at the State Department, Lions@frica, and the World Bank are demonstrating our commitment to addressing this problem now and in the future!

We’re greatly appreciative for the remarks of Mrs. Hillary Clinton and the continued support of our friends at the State Department!

Jonathan Gosier, founder of Appfrica speaks about examples of good mobile technology initiatives in Africa at Fill the Gap 9 in NEMO, Amsterdam. Moving ‘beyond the mobile hype’ requires asking different questions about what we do and what we’re trying to accomplish. Moving forward we should consider not just the effects of technology projects but its affects across society.

References Ushahidi, Apps4Africa, Appfrica, Question Box, African top-level domains and nurturing future African talent.

The slides are below…

Appfrica is the organizer and facilitator of the second annual Apps4Africa competition which rewards African technologists for developing creative solutions to some of the continent’s most challenging issues. 2011 was the second year we’ve done Apps4Africa, the first year culminated with this congratulatory message from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton:

Last year the theme of the competition was Climate Challenge, which means all the entrants should have focused on solving climate change and adaptation issues that affect their local communities. Over the course of 7 months our teams are going to over 15 countries to support the competition, answering questions and hosting workshops. Since we’re now two thirds through the competition, I wanted to share descriptions of the 6 winners from the East Africa and West/Central regional competitions.

The East Africa winners were announced on January 14th, 2012 at Villages In Action in Kikuube, Uganda. The West/Central Africa winners were announced on December 8th, 2011 in Durban, South Africa at the COP-17 Climate Change Conference.

East Africa Winners

1st prize of $15,000 – The Grainy Bunch by Eric Mutta (Tanzania)
The Grainy Bunch is a national grain supply chain management system that monitors the purchase, storage, distribution, and consumption of grain across the entire nation. It was developed with the understanding that selling “the effects of efficiency” to actors in the grain supply chain is much easier than selling “the effects of climate change”.

Grain is nicknamed the “white oil” which lubricates the engine of Tanzanian growth. Even short-term disturbances in its supply chain adversely affects hundreds of thousands of people. To ensure both food security and economic security for all Tanzanians, a system is required to both monitor and facilitate the supply chain of grain, from the soil to our plates.

2nd prize of $7,000 – Mkulima Bora – Stepheno Maleche, Gerry Nandwa, Joseph Onginjo and Oliver Otieno (Kenya)
Mkulima Bora enables farmers to input the type crop they wish to plant into an app, then it cross-checks meteorological data to determine if the crop is suitable given the timing and location. Mkulima improves farmer yields, saves them time, and money

3rd Prize of $3,000 – Agro Universe – Oliama Brian, Daniel Mumbere, Nabuto Josephine, Bossa Alex, Sanya Duncan, Olwenyi Victor, Kato Charles, Masaba Kizito, Kalema Moses, Namuyiga Winfrey (Uganda)
Agro Universe allows farmers with agriculture products or livestock to alert the app’s community so that they can buy and sell goods from each other. It works on both mobile and the web. The aim of Agro Universe is to create a regional marketplace where products can be sold that may have no demand in the user’s immediate area but that might in areas farther out.

West/Central Africa Winners

1st prize $15,000 – HospitalManager by Victor Ogo Ekwueme (Nigeria)
HospitalManager is a web-based application that helps hospitals and health organizations prepare for disasters such as floods and storms. More frequent heat spells, rains, and floods are leading to heath emergencies, both due to the event itself, and later to water related disease. HospitalManager will help hospitals in Nigeria, and potentially throughout Africa, identify patterns in patient visits following rains and floods, so that staff can better prepare for these situations and save more lives. Hospitals can anticipate incoming disease and emergency patterns using real time climate forecasts. On longer time scales it will allow policy makers to plan locations of new hospitals.

2nd prize $7,000 – Eco-fund Forum by Assane Seck, Guillaume Blandin and Markus Faschina (Senegal)
Eco-fund Forum is a web-based community organizer and geo-localized data exchange tool to help individuals and communities working on sustainable resource management throughout Africa to share their own experiences on best practices. Thus they will better understand and respond to the climate change challenges impacting each specific local context. For example, coastal communities in Senegal that suffer from erosion can learn from neighbors that are successfully and durably overcoming the same problem by regenerating and preserving a littoral forest. Furthermore, the Forum will give those communities a voice which should alert political decision makers to address climate change challenges in time.

3rd prize $3,000 – Farmerline by Alloysius Attah and Emmanuel Owusu Addai (Ghana)
Farmerline is a mobile and web-based system that furnishes farmers and investors with relevant agricultural information to improve productivity and increase income. Lack of information about weather patterns and about which crops grow best in a changing climate hurts rural farmers’ yields. Cell phone use is growing rapidly throughout Ghana, including in rural areas. This mobile tool can help farmers in Ghana to get information about agricultural best practices down to the farm level, including choosing crops best suited for their specific location, and how to prepare for changes in the weather (including dry spells, changes in seasonal onset, and extreme events).

East Africa Honorable Mentions

CoHeW – Geno Juma, Nicholas Mugah
The CoHeW program is designed as an aid to the community health worker (CHWs). The program will have a two pronged approach; it gives stop gap solutions to the respondent and serves as an information gathering tool for the CHWs. The ministry of health and other health administration planners need a source of information on likely occurrences of diseases and projected disease outbreak periods.

AgriRight (Plant it Right) – Nyambura Muhia, Wamahiga Grace, Njeri Winnie, Harun Mwangi
AgriRight is a mobile app that helps farmers plant crops that are right for a particular area.Many farmers, plant crops which are not sustainable for a particular area, which leads to a waste of resources (time, money, energy). They often incur huge losses, reaping very little or no crops at all.

West/Central Africa Honorable Mentions

iProtect
An application that allows residents report issues like bush burning and deforestation in real time via SMS. It’s a citizen reporting and preparedness project that allows the public to alert the greater community of emergency events.

Mobile Agri Business
Mobile Agribusiness is an agriculture application for farmers to have information, skills and to connect them to available market in real-time in DRCongo. The project aims to create a mobile market place for farmers in Congo.


What’s next for Apps4Africa? Well it’s too soon to say but the Climate Challenge will begin in the Southern Africa region in a few short weeks. Bookmark this post and come back in early April to find out who the Southern Africa regional winners will be! If you’d like to get involved with Apps4Africa or the winners, please email us at info@apps4africa.com. Many of the entrants are choosing to open source their code which you can find here on GitHub.

Tech4Africa Is This Month!

Jon Gosier —  October 4, 2011 — 1 Comment

I’m really excited to be one of the keynote speakers at Tech4Africa this year in South Africa. I’ll be there discussing Apps4Africa among other things. If you’re interested in going but are intimidated by the price of admission, here are a few different options for tickets…


Tech4Africa runs from 27-28 October 2011 at The Forum in Bryanston, Johannesburg. The event is targeted at business professionals and technologists from businesses of all sizes, from entrepreneurs and start-up owners through to professionals working at large organisations.

Samsung is inviting all mobile app developers to take part in this month’s Tech4Africa conference in Johannesburg and has made available 50 discounted tickets, representing a R4000 saving each, to facilitate their participation. Samsung is the Tech4Africa Ignite partner and has extended this offer in a bid to attract and help grow the local developer community, a key part of Samsung’s mobile business strategy.

Ignite is an initiative that will allow African startups to pitch their products to a panel of angel investors, mentors and business leaders during the two-day Tech4Africa conference taking place at The Forum in Bryanston, Johannesburg from 27 – 28 October. Samsung will also be running Samsung HQ Developer Support Sessions. These specialist app development workshops, hosted by leading international Samsung developers, will highlight global trends and best practice.

“Samsung aims to promote co-operation, innovation and the exchange of new ideas in technology across Africa so that our innovative products and technologies continue to respond to the real needs and conditions on the continent. It is with this premise in mind, that we are so excited about offering the discounted entry to developers who will undoubtedly benefit from participating in this year’s conference,” said Brett Loubser, B2C Apps Development Lead at Samsung.

“We’re using our partnership with Tech4Africa Ignite to inspire new directions and provide the technologies and gadgets that Africa requires. It’s about listening to the market, building partnerships and really committing to Africa and its people by providing them with relevant content and apps – for a smarter life.”

These objectives are closely aligned with those of Tech4Africa, and specifically its Ignite programme, which aims to highlight innovative new ideas and allow African startups to use Tech4Africa as a platform to gain valuable exposure, and even early stage investment.

Gareth Knight, founder and MD of Tech4Africa, said Samsung’s subsidization of the tickets was a show of its commitment to both Africa and app developers, who do not have the same levels of market access available to their counterparts in the US and Europe. “Our vision has always been to create a local platform to which international experts and leaders are invited to share their knowledge and insight,” he said. “The partnership with Samsung is evidence of how that vision is being realised and how we can make a real impact in Africa. We hope to attract and uncover exciting talent through this unique opportunity.”
Developers who are interested in taking up this offer can find further details here.

The discounted tickets are available to qualifying developers for R1 500 excluding VAT. Applications for the discounted tickets are open until 21 October.

Tickets for Not for Profit (NFP) organisations are available at up to 25% discount off current ticket prices. For a quotation, please send your organisations details (including registration number) as well as number of tickets you would like to purchase to nfp@tech4africa.com

Student tickets are available at 10% off our Early Bird rates, provided that students can provide valid student identification. To apply, email a scan of your student card to students@tech4africa.com