The winners of the first ever Vodafone App Star Challenge, which included entries from six African and Middle Eastern countries, have been announced.
First prize went to Gerald Kibugi from Kenya. His app, Tough Jungle, is an action adventure game that introduces users to Kenya’s culture, history and the country in an interactive way.
Prins Mhlanga, Vodacom’s Managing Executive of Digital Media said: “There are no losers here today. The developers who competed in the final round comprised of first and second prize winners from their respective countries.
“So they’ve all walked away with prizes and even more importantly, all the apps will be launched in the App Stores and be made accessible to millions of customers from across the world.”
The challenge had been held in each country previously, but 2012 was the first time it was a combined challenge for all the participating countries in Africa and the Middle East. These were Egypt, Kenya, Lesotho, Qatar, Tanzania and South Africa.
Another Kenyan, Gilbert Rono, won the second prize for his Eureka app. It is an educational app that solves mathematics problems.
Rudolph Joubert, from South Africa, won third prize for his Ster-Kinekor app which helps movie fans to book movies and choose seats from their mobile device.
Pratapa Bernard, Vice President & Head of Vodafone Solutions – Emerging Markets, said: “The App Star Challenge is one of the vehicles we are using to accelerate development of locally relevant apps in emerging markets.
“The event has created the momentum for developers in Africa and the Middle East to capture the significant opportunity that exists for local apps and services. In the long run this will lead to entrepreneurship that can translate to job opportunities in these markets. “
The announcement and unveiling of the winners took place at Vodacom World in Midrand, Johannesburg.