Huawei awards Android Application Challenge winners Peter Nalika
Masai Abel Jevayi from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), with his KaroPay App emerged the winner of the Huawei Android Application Challenge. This is the first inter–university competition organized by Huawei Technologies in collaboration with Safaricom Limited and three Kenyan universities - Moi University, University of Nairobi and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
The challenge whose theme was “Enriching Life through Communication” received applications in education, lifestyle, entertainment, health, and agriculture. KaroPay was the winning app, which enables students and parents pay fees at the convenient of their mobile phones. This can be done on either Java or Android platforms through MPESA, Airtel Money, Yu Cash among others.
The Android Application Challenge is an initiative whose objective is to prepare future technology leaders by transferring industry technical knowledge to universities, which hub young innovative minds. The competition attracted over 80 applications, and the top 30 were shortlisted for further vetting after which 5 winners were awarded.
Li Dafeng, President of Huawei East and South Africa region says the awards are an important milestone in the country’s ICT industry efforts to create linkages with learning institutions. The company partners with local universities in pursuit to increase knowledge transfer to bridge the digital divide. “Kenya is seen as an innovation capital of application development in the Sub Saharan Africa, through such initiatives we hope to tap and promote localized content in universities and spur growth in global markets”, says Li.
Huawei has done much on internet and data in Kenya compared to other Western countries. “The Challenge has helped to tap into the environment and provide feedback into the ICT workforce with young innovative minds”, says Bob Collymore, CEO Safaricom. Safaricom has therefore an important role to play in supporting creativity and technological innovations that make a difference in the lives of Kenyans.
Professor Paul Wambua, the dean, Moi University school of Engineering says that the university social economic development cannot flow in the country without the telecommunication environment. It is in search challenges that students learn to prepare good ideas into the viable products. “They are able to industrialize they own ideas”, echoes Professor Wambua.
The Kenyan government through the Kenya ICT Board continues to foster such innovative competitions through products like Tandaa Kenya among others. They have appointed a task force whose major work is to have university curriculum reformed from lecturing basic theory lectures and provide students with a chance to deal more practical concepts.
Through programs like Linkage of Industry with Academia (LIWA) the Kenya government merges with Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) to provide room for university students gain practical experience under ICT thematic areas.
Other winners of the Android Application Challenge include:
• iFuel – Acronym for intelligent fueling, a mobile app that acts as a fuel station informer and locator, compares pump prices too. It uses Google maps and its available on Android, SMS and USSD. Developed by Kevin M. Mwendwa from Moi University.
• Smart Milk Collection Clerk – this app informs and manages data on collection for dairy companies and the farmers. It avails product movement information via SMS alerts. The app was developed by Waweru D. Gatuhu and Nkonge Cleophe from Moi University.
• Dr. Sider – its an interactive mobile patient information, recording and feedback system. The app will help drug users in reporting side effects of specific drugs using their mobile phones. Paul Njoroge and Moses Ndungu from Nairobi University are the developers behind Dr. Sider.
• Manyatta – gives a chance of property owners to upload their property in a central database and provides a virtual meeting place for property sellers and buyers. Shihembetsa Edna Mugoshi from JKUAT University developed it.