Huawei and Safaricom Awards Winners in the Inter-University Android App Challenge

App Developer SHIHEMBETSA EDNA MUGOSHI from JKUAT University showing her app to Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore

Huawei and Safaricom have today awarded prizes to the top 5 winning android applications entered in the first inter-universities Huawei Android Applications Challenge (HAAC) under the Telecom Seed for the Future programme. The programme is a partnership signed in June 2011 is between Safaricom and Huawei on one hand and Moi, JKUAT and University of Nairobi on the other hand.

The 5 winning applications were;

  1. KaroPay– This is an app that will enable students and parents pay fees at the convenient of mobile phones. This they can do from their Android or Java-enabled phones, and using the following payment methods – MPESA, Bank account, Airtel Money, Yu Cash, among others. The developer is MASAI ABEL JEVAYI from JKUAT University.  The award includes a training gift voucher for mobile entrepreneurship workshop , Huawei S7 Slim, laptop with Kshs 50,000
  2. Ifuel Mobile Application-Ifuel acronym for Intelligent or smart fueling is a mobile application solution to act as a fuel station informer and locator, pump prices comparator. Features in  the application include fuel station location Google maps, report falsified information, auto refresh data and cheap deal in all fuels. It is available in Android application, SMS and USSD. The developer is Kelvin M. Mwendwa from Moi university. The award includes a training gift voucher for mobile entrepreneurship workshop , Huawei S7 Slim, laptop with Kshs 30,000
  3. Smart Milk Collection Clerk– this application seeks to inform and manage data on collection for dairy companies and to the farmer. It is available in Android application and gives sms updates. The developers are WAWERU D.  GATUHU and NKONGE CLEOPHA from Moi University. The award includes a training gift voucher for mobile entrepreneurship workshop , Huawei S7 Slim with Kshs 20,000
  4. Dr. Sider – this is an interactive Mobile Patient information, recording  and feedback system . This is a life changing tool that will help drug users in reporting the side effects of specific drugs using mobile phones. The app has  many features of the locations, multimedia feedback of side effects. It is available in Android application and gives sms updates. The developer are Paul Njoroge Kimani  and Moses Mwangi  Ndungu from Nairobi University. The award includes a training gift voucher for mobile entrepreneurship workshop , Huawei X5 with Kshs 15,000
  5. Manyatta-this mobile application gives a chance to property owners to upload their property and also to those who are searching to view property. This game changing tool provides a virtual meeting point for real estate dealers and prospective buyers. The developer is SHIHEMBETSA EDNA MUGOSHI from JKUAT University. The award includes a training gift voucher for mobile entrepreneurship workshop , Huawei X5 with Kshs 10,000

At the ceremony, Li Dafeng, President of   Huawei East and South Africa Region said,

“Today’s Huawei Android Applications Challenge awards are an important milestone in the country’s ICT industry efforts to create linkages with learning institutions,  and our partnership with local universities in  pursuit to increase knowledge transfer to bridge the digital divide, which is a key pillar to Huawei’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy.

We hope that through such initiatives, we can continue tapping and promoting  local talents especially in the universities to increase localized content,  and spur growth and development towards the achievement of vision 2030.”

Since June 2011, around 87 students have received training at Huawei’s East Africa training center along Mombasa Road. Another 32 have undergone in-job training at the facility while 5 have already been employed in the industry.

Most of the key university representatives were of the opinion that no country can develop by letting others solve its problems. Kenya needs to start enabling locals to innovate by teaching and delivering the right skills for the market. Most of the academics also were of the opinion that universities need not produce graduands who seek jobs after college but we need more of those who will look for work to do after that.

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore was very honest in his analysis where he said that most of the western companies which have been in the Kenyan market for ages have not managed to bring in the expertise, investments and capacity which Huawei has done in a very short time.

He Added:

“Being the leading integrated communications firm in the country, Safaricom has an important role to play in supporting creativity and technological innovations that make a difference in the lives of Kenyans.

We will continue to identify opportunities for collaboration with other ICT solution providers and institutions of higher learning to support the development of relevant Kenyan applications content. This will in turn improve the uptake of data services in this market.”

Huawei brought into Kenya the most affordable smartphones and tablets which have enabled more Kenyans to be digitally connected unlike before where most of the handsets were either dumb fones  or some very highly priced and overrated feature phones. Most of those who were exploiting instead of honestly bringing innovation into the African markets are exiting in a huff. 90% of data access in kenya is through the Safaricom network.

Officiating the launch, on behalf of the Minister for Information and Communication Hon. Samuel L. Poghisio, Ambassador Bruce Madete said, “I would like to commend Huawei and Safaricom for this initiative to address the challenge for local content.  Over 25% of Kenyans now have access to the internet, majority of whom access the internet through their mobile phone. It is now time to develop services and products to reach these millions of Kenyans through new media.” The Ministry of Information and Communication through the ICT Board have come up with the Tandaa Digital Content grant to support products and services developed for the Internet and mobile phone.

The challenge whose theme was ‘Enriching Life Through Communications’  attracted applications in Education, Lifestyle, Entertainment, Health, Farming, among others.

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Written by Robert

Robert Alai is a respected Kenyan blogger, technical evangelist, and social justice activist. Robert is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle or Facebook page. he is the founder of KahawaTungu.


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