MTN Hackathon winners reach out to communities  

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During the past weekend, over 100 App developers camped at the MTN Nyonyi Gardens offices in a 3 day Hackathon challenge that saw “JustGo” together with 4 other apps emerge winners of the MTN App challenge.

MTN Uganda in partnership with Outbox a tech and incubation hub launched the 2nd edition of the MTN App Challenge earlier in April, an event that gathered local innovators in one place with the aim of creating innovative mobile apps to address some of societies, sometimes basic and urgent needs.

The hackathon hosted – 20 teams selected out of a registered 99 entries. The winners of the challenge (by category);

  1. M-Health Category

Team Nightingale; An app that gives access to information about approved drugs and counterfeit drugs. This application seeks to reduce on the number of fake drugs that are being sold to the public.

  1. M-Media & Entertainment Category

Team MunoWatch; developed an App that aims to lead the movie industry in Uganda into the digital era by enabling users to stream/watch and download locally produced (with vernacular voice overs of Ugandan video jockeys) Ugandan movies.

  1. M-Education Category

Team SomaAfrica; using this mobile and web based application, students, can apply into any school from wherever they are and are able to track progress of the entire application process by the school of choice.

  1. M-Finance Category

Team JustGo; this mobile application intends to solve the problem of queues for tickets at bus packs. The team behind this app want to help both the bus companies and travelers on long distances, book their bus tickets through both a mobile app and USSD code.

  1. M-Agriculture Category

Team HAS; have developed MUHOGO (local bantu name for cassava); a real-time CMD diagnosis application where farmers take pictures of what they suspect to be diseased cassava leaves and get real-time feedback after diagnosis. This solution is expected to curb disease in this plant, at an early stage and reduce the risk of loss.

The Chief Executive Officer MTN Uganda, Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte, challenged the youth to focus primarily on applications that will revolutionize society. Some of the best performing brands on stock exchanges around the world, Wim said; first focused on the difference their products make in people’s ways of living, and the commercials followed automatically thereafter. “This is how brands have employed successful business models i.e. offering the public free services that they would otherwise be reluctant to pay for and then make money through advertising and other sources like research and information processing.”

He further added that “It’s our hope that over and above the employment opportunities this initiative creates, applications developed will help the country find solutions to improved service delivery in sectors like health, education, agriculture and entrepreneurship in general.”

Awards and prizes for the winning teams include:

  1. i) Overall Winner:
  • Certificate of Recognition for each team member
  1. ii) Best M-Health App, Best M-Education, Best M-Media Entertainment

and Best M-Finance, Best M-Agriculture:

Each of these Awards will receive;

  • USD$ 1,000
  • Certificate of Recognition for each team member
  • Commercialization support from MTN
  • 1GB internet to all team members for 3 months
  • A Smartphone for each team member
  1. ii) Audience Favourite
  • Certificate of Recognition for each team member
  • 1GB internet to all team members for 3 months
  • Commercialization support from MTN
  • A smartphone for each team member

The judges for the 2017 MTN App Challenge included;

  • Mr. Renita Nabisubi

Digital Services Specialist, FSD, Uganda

  • Ms. Rowena Turinawe,

Portfolio Manager, National Information Technology Authority Uganda

  • Mr. Olupot Charles

Director, ICT Centre, Makerere University Business School.

  • Mr. Richard Ndahiro

Consultant, Digital Finance Plus, United Nations Capital Development Fund

  • Ms. Primera Muthoni

Products & Services Specialist, MTN Uganda