Cool App-titude: Apps4Africa
The Apps4Africa competition hosted by the U.S. State Department challenged innovators in Africa to find 21st century solutions to everyday issues, and a panel of judges recently selected the winning apps. Apps4Africa launched in July 2010 and brought together local entrepreneurs from Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. More than 20 entries were submitted addressing issues ranging from government corruption to farming practices. The competition builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's Civil Society 2.0 initiative that encourages the use of digital technology to connect communities and solve shared problems. First place went to an app called iCow developed by Charles Kithika in Kenya. It's a voice-based mobile program that helps farmers track the estrus stages of their cows. It lets farmers better manage breeding periods and monitor cow nutrition. Kithika received $5,000 and an Apple iPad. The Kleptocracy Fighters Inc. app received second place and allows citizens to record and report real-time information on government corruption and reports will be forwarded to legal and media partners. Third place went to the Mamakiba app, which helps low-income women save and prepare for their maternal health needs, such as clinical delivery. It can help teach the value of budget planning and provide lifesaving care. Apps4Africa is the first in a series of regional competitions. You can follow the buzz on Twitter @Apps4Africa.