Announcing "Apps 4 Africa"

Posted by Katie Dowd
July 1, 2010
Apps 4 Africa Image

About the Author: Katie Dowd serves as New Media Director at the U.S. Department of State.

Today in Nairobi, Kenya, Under Secretary of State Judith McHale and Ambassador Michael Ranneberger announced the launch of a new competition to spur technological innovation in East Africa.

Apps 4 Africa is a regional competition with the goal of promoting local technology entrepreneurs as they build tools to serve the needs of local NGOs and the local community. This unprecedented partnership meshes civil society with developers and designers to create technical solutions to local challenges. The competition will ask civil society and citizens throughout the region to submit local community challenges on issues like transparency and better governance, health, education and more where technology can be a part of the solution. The burgeoning ranks of innovative techies in the region will then use this list of community challenges as the basis of their work, thus creating "an app for that."

The competition is already unfolding at www.apps4africa.org, where you can get a feel for some of the issues that people are already seeking help addressing. We are actively calling all developers from the region to get involved and get to work!

The competition is open to developers from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. However, citizens around the world can participate by voting on ideas and, if they are technology savvy, serving as online mentors for local programmers. Submissions can be sent through a variety of ways, from going to the website, to Twitter and tweeting to @App4Africa, to Facebook through joining the Facebook group Apps4Africa. In Kenya, participants can send in their idea through SMS to 3002 and including the word "app" anywhere in their message.

Starting now and running till August 31, 2010, you can follow online as civil society meets developers and collaborate through this online open source platform. Submissions will then be reviewed by a panel of judges, a range of technological and civil society leaders from the East Africa region and beyond. The judges will determine the best applications and award prizes of money and gadgets. The prize money for each individual can help winners further develop their idea.

Apps 4 Africa is an innovative competition sponsored by Ihub, AppAfrica, SODNET and the U.S. State Department to support civil society by giving them more tools to help scale their critical work and to also harness the best of the regional creative and innovative spirit. The competition is off and running and we invite you to participate!

Comments

Comments

Zharkov
|
United States
July 1, 2010

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

In a free society (as opposed to a civil society) the private sector competes to develop software to provide a service to the consumer.

Linux, for example, is a free operating system available to any African nation for downloading. No government money was necessary to develop Linux, which is one reason why it was successful and in common use everywhere.

In a free society, the consuming public are the judges and they provide rewards of money and recognition to the developers of software.

The idea that our State Department is promoting a parallel universe or a state-created society in which a committee of state appointees determine who wins or loses in software competition is anti-American.

The state's function is to secure life, liberty, and property, for its citizens and not to replace the free market in other nations.

It's no wonder that the third world can't develop itself when statism is distracting them. A free society with a free market is the solution for progress.

JS.SABINAA
|
India
July 3, 2010

J.S.S. in India writes:

ASSALAMU ALAIKKUM,,......
TO: THE CHAIRMAN, KANTER CHARITY ORG.

INDIA HAS BEEN A GOOD RELATIONSHIP EVER BETWEEN 2 COUNTRIES
SO WE DISTRIBUTE THE CULTURE AND NEEDS IN ALL SERVICES WITH YOU. WE HAVE SEEN YOUR WEB SITE. WE APPRECIATE YOUR GREAT SERVICES. WE PRAY GOD FOR YOUR LONG SERVICES.
UHE TRUST IS AN NGO/NPO TRUST. SO WE DO THE PROJECTS WITH YOUR CO ORDINATION IN THE NAME OF “DONOR” KINDLY SANCTION GRANTS TO PART PAYMENT IN LONG TERM PERIOD.

SUB:REQUIRE CHARITY FUNDS FOR POOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN WELFARE SERVICES-AS BELOW:
SENIOR CITIZEN HOME, MUSLIM GIRLS HR.SCHOOL,MUSLIM COMMUNITY COLLEGES, HEALTH SERVICES AMBULANCE WITH MEDICAL EQUIPMENTS AND INCOME GENERATING COURSES- PROJECTS:
UH EDUCATIONAL TRUST HAS BEEN LAUNCHED AND DOING WELFARE SERVICES SINCE 2 YEARS. OUR TRUST NEEDS FUNDS FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN WELFARE SERVICES- REG.
AIM AND OBJECTS: OUR MISSION AND VISION:
FOOD, HEALTH EDUCATION,EMPLOYMENT AND EARNING FOR EVERY ONE.
THIS IS OUR CONCEPT AND CONFIDENT.ALSO WE HOPE TO BE TOUCH THE ROOF WITH YOUR HELP.

@ FOOD: MUST FOR EVERYONE FOR LIVELIHOOD. MORE THAN 40CRS OF PEOPLES NEED DAILY FOOD IN WORLD.
@HEALTH: MUST NEED FOR EVERYONE.HEALTHY CHILDREN NEED FOR HEALTHY NATION.
@EDUCATION: MUST NEED FOR EVERY CHILD. IF PROVIDE EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN, (BOYS/GIRLS)THE FAMILY WILL SHINE. ALSO THE NATION WILL BE SHINE IN FUTURE.

USWATHUN HASANA EDUCATIONAL TRUST: ACTIVITIES:
* CONDUCTING FREE TUTION CLASSES FOR 25 POOR CHILDREN IN EVERYDAY IN OUR TRUST TOP ROOF. (FOOD, UNIFORM, SCHOOL MATERIALS PROVIDE TO THEM).
* CONDUCTING FREE YOGA CLASSES FOR CHILDREN AND WOMEN IN EVERYDAY.
* FOOD DISTRIBUTION FOR SENIOR HOME PEOPLES IN A WEEK A DAY ONLY.
* COOKING/COUNSELLING FOR OUR AREA WOMEN IN EVERY DAY.
* CONDUCTING ALL UNITED NATION'S PROGRAMME DAYS. (WHO/, CHILDREN DAY/WOMEN DAY/HUMAN RIGHTS DAYAND ALL OTHER DAYS)
* DOING ENVIORNMENTAL AWARNESS TO SCHOOL CHILDREN AND PUBLIC.
(DISTRIBUTE THE PLANTS TO SCHOOL/HOSPITAL/MOSQUE/AND EVERY HOME)
USWATHUN HASANA EDUCATIONAL TRUST: FUTURE PROJECTS:
* VOCATIONAL TRAINING COURSES FREE FOR WOMEN.
(EXTN OF INSTITUTION AND EDUCATIONAL EQUIPMENTS REQUIRE COMPUTER EUROS.243/EACH./TYPWRITER EUROS: 125/EACH/SEWING MACHINE EUROS:81/EACH.)
* HEALTH SERVICES AMBULANCE WITH MEDICAL CHECKUP INSTRUMENTS.EROS.29412/-
(SCHOOL CHILDREN HEALTH CARE EYE CAMP, TENDEL CAMP AND GENERAL CHECKUP)
*FOOD DISTRIBUTION AT THE TIME OF RAMADAN (IFTAR) ALSO DAILY FOOD FOR ORPHAN CHILDREN HOME/ AND SENIOR CITIZEN HOME. EUROS: 22/-PER DAY.
*A HOME FOR WOMEN, A HOME FOR AGED PEOPLES. A HOME FOR ORPHNAGE CHILDREN.
*MICRO FINANCE PROJECT NEED HUGE FUNDS FOR POOR PEOPLE’S BUSINESS.
*A N MUSLIM WOMEN’S COLLEGE- PROJECT ESTIMATED EUROS.728,013/(TO BE START SOON)
*A N ITI SCHOOL FOR WOMEN -PROJECT
*AN POLYTECHNICAL FOR WOMEN PROJECT
*AN NURSING COLLEGE FOR WOMEN PROJECT
*AN TEACHER TRAINING COLLEGE FOR WOMEN PROJECT
YOU ARE WARM WELCOMES TO INDIA AND VISIT OUR TRUST ON YOUR VACATION.

www.uhetrust.blogspot.com

PS:. WE WELCOMES EDUCATIONAL BASED 2ND COMPUTERS, LIBRARY BOOKS AND USEFUL EDUCATIONAL EQUIPMENTS, MEDICAL EQUIPMENTS WITH AMBULANCE ARE REQUIRE FOR WELFARE SERVICES..

Jordan P.
|
Germany
July 13, 2010

Jordan P. in Germany writes:

@Zharkov

I think this statement "The idea that our State Department is promoting a parallel universe or a state-created society in which a committee of state appointees determine who wins or loses in software competition is anti-American." reflects a profound lack of understanding and some almost insulting assumptions about what the State Department is doing.

Encouraging a budding populating of African coders and software developers to come up with applications that are relevant, useful, and popular and rewarding them with perhaps a little money and some much needed publicity is exactly the kind of thing that will jump start a tech based economy.

This contest isn't trying to replace a free market economy. It's trying to create one. It's easy to sit back from the comfort of the US and be an armchair quarterback, but if you lived in Uganda or Kenya and had a chance to be recognized by industry leaders, governments, and private citizens as an innovator you would jump at the chance.

shema
|
Burundi
August 13, 2010

Shema in Burundi writes:

Why is Burundi not allowed to participate? We have good programmers and application devellopers, I, myself, work for a company that has been develloping softwares for now 20 years. It was a good opportunity to show you what we are able to do.

Latest Stories

April 17, 2014

The Way Forward in Ukraine

Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, on April 16-17 to participate in bilateral meetings and a multilateral… more

Pages