For the third time running, the U.S Department of State will sponsor this year’s Apps4Africa challenge in a bid to foster economic growth in Africa through innovation.
The competition is a pan-African challenge that encourages the development of mobile, Web and desktop applications that counter the issues facing the continent.
“In coordination with Appfrica International, the U.S. Department of State, through the Bureau of African Affairs, will bring together civil society, academia, and the private sector to support African technology innovators in creating apps that promote job creation,” a statement from the U.S Department of state read.
The challenge seeks to promote the use of technology as a means of youth empowerment, supporting the development of civil society and private-sector networks and highlighting African solutions to local employment challenges.
In 2011, the competition concentrated on creating apps that will address the issues of policies. This was dubbed, Apps4Africa: Civic Challenge. Last year, the competition pegged its importance on climate change under Apps4Africa: Climate Challenge.
From the competition last year, three East African mobile apps were selected as the winners, including Tanzania’s Grainy Bunch, an app that allows farmers to operate a supply chain system, Mkulima Bora from Kenya, giving farmers information on planting seasons, and Agro Universe from Uganda, a product that connects buyers and sellers of farm produce.
The challenge was started in 2009 as an annual programme to support African social entrepreneurs to combat societal problems using technology. The programme has so far offered funding to twelve applicants in nine African countries.
This year’s challenge will begin run from October 24 to October 26 at the inaugural DEMO Africa technology and investor forum in Nairobi, Kenya.