Boosting Mobile Technologies for Human Development
The Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT), Motorola Solutions and UNDP organized the competition to help young people establish the usage of mobile technologies to enhance human development in various sectors including Governance, Education, Health, Agriculture and Gender.
15 young innovators in the Information Technology sector (IT), who are passionate about finding solutions to pressing development issues, have been selected. They were tasked to generate a mobile application that is dynamic and applicable among the Rwandan population using mobile technologies.
Via the YouthConnekt Hangout, 15 projects were nominated where the young investors presented the unique Mobile Apps that they developed and were required to present the problem description, the suggested solution and precise how mobile technology will resolve the problem.
The projects are expected to help young entrepreneurs grow their businesses professionally and effectively by facilitating such innovations to scale and grow into successful and sustainable businesses.
Moses Asiimwe, with a project in the health sector termed HealME Rwanda Mobile Limited, says that the mobile application is designed to display information for medical purposes.
He says “Rwandans will be using HealME Rwanda Mobile Limited when in need of health care attention. It will be containing images and other information regarding the patient that the doctors might need.”
According to Asiimwe, the application will save money and time and will limit death rates in the Rwandan society. He confirms that the app will turn up to be fun and dynamic for the medical attendants since its structure is like that of Facebook.
Christian Rugamba, who is among the developers of an education app termed Burarahurwa says that the app is mobile and web based and intends to provide primary and secondary educational material in the English language.
He says “The application allows students to access quality data after classes and during holiday time for extra practice. It similarly provides education tips to teachers and parents on how best to occupy their children to maintain smartness”.
Rugamba explains that primary and secondary students will access similar content and help to improve quality education to both urban and rural students.
MYICT has confidence in the local growth of mobile technologies including health text messaging projects, remote monitoring, portable sensors and school data subscribing which has changed the way services are delivered globally.
While launching the challenge, the Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana noted that “We are going to have a challenge to really test your abilities to be able to transform the skills that you have in terms of mobile programming but also our understanding of the development and how we can merge the two, and be able to solve the real life challenges.
He added that we all agreed that mobile applications hold a very great promise not only for our social economic development but also for job creation for individual developers.
During the recent Youthconnekt Hangout session, the projects presented the technical solution and a draft business plan on how the mobile applications will be approached in the Rwanda community. The Ministry believes that the projects will enable more job creation among the youth in order to attain their socioeconomic progress in the local economy.
“Start local and grow global.” says Nicolas Pottier, a software developer and the President of Nyaruka who had an interactive session with the 15 young innovators. “You should start to discern where your problems and challenges lay and come up with home grown solutions that will be applied in Rwanda, in East Africa and beyond”.
On 18th, March this year, 5 best projects will be selected by distinguished panel and a final hangout session will be organized to share knowledge on monetization and user interface.
The initiative arranged cash prizes that range from USD 1,000 to USD 6,000 where the first champion will receive business training and mentoring by successful entrepreneurs throughout the initial phase of their start-up.
The teams will present their experiences during a final Hangout and will also be awarded with business training and funding to start their own businesses.
Via the YouthConnekt Hangout program, the Mobile App challenge competition is ready to empower youth to seize and preserve their contribution in the development of technological innovations in the country.
On the behalf of the Ministry of Youth and ICT in partnership with UNDP and the Motorola Solutions Foundation, all Rwandans are invited to vote for the best application they deem more practical and relevant to the Rwandan community. The paramount project will receive the public’s choice award on the 18th march and the voting period will run until 17th, March.
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