Afrisilicon team is the winner of the regional “Apps for Africa 2012” competition, sponsored by Ericsson in partnership with former joint venture Sony Ericsson (now Sony) and Google.
The group clinched the top honors for an app combining social elements, mobile money, and an event scheduler.
Dubbed ‘Funkies’, the app allows users to stay up to date with what’s happening, where it’s happening and why it’s happening.
Technically speaking, ‘Funkies’ is an app that notifies the user of upcoming events while allowing him/her to reserve a ticket for the said event via mobile money partners, and even share details of the event via social networks like Facebook.
“We are thrilled to have won. This gives us exposure to the world and proves that Africa too is taking a share in taking technology to the next level,” says John Nduli, from the AfroSilicone team.
“With such innovative and wonderful solutions coming from the continent, we have confirmed that there is much talent and thereby potential for the growth of society, life and business. The fact that almost 50 per cent of global submissions came from sub-Saharan Africa aligns with our vision of a Networked Society. We have been engaging with various industry stakeholders to drive this development, where people, knowledge, devices, and information are networked,” says Lars Lindén, Head of Ericsson Region Sub-Saharan Africa.
This is the 3rd year for the Ericsson Application Awards global app competition, but the first year for a regional variant.
The competition focuses on the Android platform for application developers in sub-Saharan Africa, considering the popularity Android mobile apps has gained over the past couple of years.
In the United Kingdom Android has taken over as the number one smartphone operating system in terms of market share.
The competition titled ‘Apps for Africa’ invited the development of innovative ideas and mobile applications in support of resolving challenges which individuals and communities on the continent are faced with in their daily lives.
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Sony Ericsson unveiled the regional competition in a move aimed at driving sales of its smartphones by customising the applications to meet African needs.
The drive by mobile handsets manufactures to localise the applications stems from the growing usage of handsets in electronic commerce such as insurance and bills payments and the enthusiasm by technologically-savvy Kenyans to develop solutions that can help solve day-to-day problems.
The ‘Apps for Africa’ competition was open to students and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in Kenya, Burundi, DRC, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania and Uganda.