Su Kahumbu and the team behind Apps4Africa 2010 Winner iCow announced a new partnership with Kenya’s largest mobile telecom provider, Safaricom. The partnership will help iCow distribute its app to the 19 million people Safaricom’s network reaches everyday in Kenya. As part of the deal iCow is also being supported by a locally renown advertising firm and business consultants.
Su and iCow were winners of the inaugural Apps4Africa competition in 2010, the Civic Challenge, and have set the high standard of success that many other winners like Farmerline (2011 Winners) and SliceBiz (2012 Winners) have followed. iCow recently won the Vision 2030 ICT Innovation Award, was selected as a finalist in the Innovation Prize for Africa, and was named Best African Mobile App by Forbes Magazine. Founder, Su recently also gave this TEDTalk about her work:
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore had this to say of the partnership, “Safaricom supports innovation across all sectors…and agriculture is one of the most important sectors in Kenya. This innovation will definitely move agriculture forward and Safaricom is happy to be involved in the development of this sector.”
In 2012, the Apps4Africa: Business Challenge asked young tech developers to submit their business ideas aimed at solving local problems through a series of brainstorming sessions held in six countries across Africa. The brainstorming events, which engaged local stakeholders, partners, and local US Embassies, focused mainly on engaging and encouraging the next young tech CEOs and teams of change makers that could innovate, create, and transform their technology businesses to provide more employment opportunities and strengthen the economy of their region.
We’re excited to announce that of the near 300 submitted applications, from nearly 1000 people, three winners have been elected for funding:
Team - Titus Mawano
Country - Uganda
Award - $10,000
Website - http://ffene.com
Ffene is a low cost business management platform that enables small and medium businesses to leverage technology to reduce overhead costs incurred due to administrative tasks, freeing up resources that can be redirected to growth initiatives. Currently, Ffene can be used for accounting, customer relationship management, product management and generation of reports.
Team - William Edem Senyo, Heather Cochran
Country - Ghana
Award - $10,000
Website - http://www.facebook.com/SliceBiz
SliceBiz, is a disruptive crowdsourcing web and mobile investment platform providing alternative funding for startups. Our mission is to unlock a whole new funding market for startups to access finance by creating the framework that will make it easy and appealing for middle class Africans to invest small amounts of their disposable income into high-growth startups with proven potential to give high return on investment. The solution SliceBiz is offering is to leverage web/mobile (& offline) platforms to create a connection between startups looking for funding and business-savvy young professionals/middle class looking to invest.
Team - Francis Onwumere, Opeyemi Obembe, Ernest Ojeh
Country - Nigeria
Award - $10,000
Website - http://prowork.me
Prowork is a mobile first enterprise class project management and collaboration solution for businesses. It’s like Basecamp or Atlassian’s confluence but mobile and easier to use, more powerful, with real time collaboration everywhere, anywhere. Prowork is accessible via mobile, the web, SMS and a robust API to allow developers to extend the functionality.
Appfrica and the U.S. Department of State, with the support of the World Bank, would like to extend our congratulations to the 30 final innovations that have been selected from the Apps4Africa 2012 Competition!
Our expert judges are now voting on the innovations that should be invested in this year. BIG thanks to The U.S. Department of State, The World Bank (Africa), Nic Haralambous, Liz Ngonzi, Loren Treisman, Makhtar Diop, and Wayne Sutton for your participation in the judging process!
TYAN - OpenApp (Zambia)
The Business Planner (Zimbabwe)
Ama Sampo (Zambia)
Spell Africa (Nigeria)
Alsvas (Central African Republic)
Prep-hub (South Africa)
Youth Village (South Africa)
Click Tradex (Ghana)
Opportunity Pour Tous (Cote d’Ivoire)
What Happens Next?
Out of these finalists, 3 innovations will be selected and funded with $10,000USD each. Appfrica will continue to engage these innovators, providing mentorship, additional exposure and additional funding opportunities.
Look out for our (3) selections to be funded in the coming weeks!
The Apps4Africa 2012 team: (L to R) Marieme Jamme, Thomas Genton, Barbara Birungi, Jon Gosier, Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson
Sitting at the first Africa CEO Forum this week, in the heart of Geneva, I asked myself if this was the right time to open the debate on Africa’s private sector future. Was Geneva the right place? Critics will rightly argue that this sort of event should have been held in Africa.
Over two intensive days, top African chief executive officers shared with attendees from all over the Africa, Europe and Asia, some latest trends and best practices, discussed the future of the continent’s private sector, and received awards and accolades.
Speakers such as the outspoken Sudanese-born billionaire Mo Ibrahim tried to boost the narratives of Africa’s position compared to China and India but with little solutions to offer. When I asked him why the event was not held in Accra or Johannesburg, Ibrahim replied by stating that the reasons were more infrastructural and logistical than anything else.
We’re frequently asked to share the contact details and other information about the Apps4Africa winners and their various projects. We’ve been offering these details to various interested parties on request but obviously, as demand increases for this information, it gets harder to meet all requests. Today we’re releasing a public listing of all the winners of funding from our competitions to date! Keep checking back as we improve this page by adding details about each project, what the winners are doing now, and what they accomplished post-A4A!
In this archive you’ll find participant email addresses, team participants, names, and descriptions of their various projects.
The Apps4Africa Hub is a community for those who participated in a previous Apps4Africa contest, those who have won an A4A contest, or those who wish to participate in future contests. The Hub is also a place where anyone who has an interest can interact with the Apps4Africa participants. Are you looking to interact with local luminaries who tackle Africa’s hardest problems using technology, then join the community!
Start a conversation, share a big idea, or collaborate with software developers from all over the African continent!
Article on the ambitions of 2010 Apps4Africa winner iCow.
New and fast-growing mobile social networks could challenge Facebook’s growth on the continent.
When young maize crops began failing in parts of Kenya earlier this month, the bad news—as well as information about where farmers could get seeds for other crops—spread on many Internet sites, including Facebook, which has 38 million users in Africa.
But it was a mobile platform called iCow—which allows 11,000 farmers and other members to receive livestock-management and other agricultural information—that helped cover the crucial “last mile” to older farmers. When a message from iCow passed along a tip already posted on Facebook about disease-free seeds available from the Kenya Agri Research Institution, that institution was, within two hours, besieged with hundreds of calls.
“Facebook has got the younger farmers on it, and iCow has the older farmers on it. We can bridge that gap to the older farmers who don’t have access to Facebook and don’t use the Internet,” said Su Kahumbu, the founder of iCow.
The episode is a reminder of the limits of Facebook, and of the role that small, mobile platforms and mobile-focused social networks can play, especially in the mobile-centric and culturally and ethnically nuanced African market.
The winners and staff of Apps4Africa were recently interviewed by Uniiq FM in Accra, Ghana.
This panel discussion was recorded at the Future Tense event: Feeding the World While the Earth Cooks, which was held in Washington, DC on April 12th, 2012
Lynn Roche - @apps4africa, Planning and Coordination Officer, Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Office Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Moderator: Charles Kenny - @charlesjkenny, Bernard L. Schwartz Fellow, New America Foundation, Author “Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding — And How We Can Improve the World Even More”
When today’s toddlers are parents themselves, they will face an agricultural crisis. The world population will reach 9 billion. A growing global middle class will demand more food. And climate change will leave farmers holding seeds that won’t sprout. By 2050, will our global appetite outgrow our agricultural capacity? We held an event to find out how everyone—growers, technologists, governments, business leaders, and carbon-conscious consumers—will be part of the solution.
Shots from our trip to GBC FM’s (the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation) Radio Ghana where each of the winners of our competition were interviewed.
On the air!
Pictured (from left to right): Assane Seck (Eco-fund Forum), Alloysius Attah (Farmerline), Victor Ogo Ekweume (Hospital Manager)
To and from
Sanya Duncan (Agro Universe)