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Kenya storms Vodafone app challenge

Developers from Kenya took top honours in the inaugural Vodafone App Star Challenge, announced this week. The international challenge included top winners from six countries across the Middle East and Africa, bringing out the best from the developers in each country.

The winner of the first prize is Gerald Kibugi from Kenya who designed the Tough Jungle app, an action adventure game that introduces Kenya’s culture, history and the destination in an engaging and interactive manner. Gilbert Rono also from Kenya won the second prize for designing the Eureka app, which is an educational app that solves mathematics problems such as Calculus and Algebra.

Participating countries included Egypt, Kenya, Lesotho, Qatar, Tanzania and South Africa who competed in the finals held in South Africa.While the App Star challenge has been held independently in some of these countries in the past, this is the first international challenge that brings them all together.

The third prize went to Rudolph Joubert from South Africa who designed the Ster-Kinekor app which helps movie fans to book movies and choose seats from their mobile device. The winners won $25 000, $15 000 and $10 000 for the first, second and third prize respectively.

‚”There are no losers here today. The developers who competed in the final round comprised of first and second prize winners from their respective countries. So they’ve all walked away with prizes: and even more importantly, all the apps will be launched in the App Stores and be made accessible to millions of customers from across the world,‚” says Prins Mhlanga, Vodacom’s Managing Executive of Digital Media.

Over three thousand contestants from 6 countries registered for the competition and over 500 apps were submitted. The categories included Utility (news, search etc) and Personal Productivity, Games, Education, Health, Finance and Agriculture apps.

Pratapa Bernard, Vice President & Head of Vodafone solutions – Emerging Markets commented: ‚”The App Star Challenge is one of the vehicles we are using to accelerate development of locally relevant apps in emerging markets. The event has created the momentum for developers in Africa and the Middle East to capture the significant opportunity that exists for local apps and services. In the long run this will lead toentrepreneurship that can translate to job opportunities in these markets. “

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