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2014 expected to be breakthrough year for Kenyan tech industry

01 January 2014, 10:20

Nairobi - As the year 2013, which proved to be a successful one in terms of technological innovations, draws to an end, the local market awaits the coming one  with high hopes.

The ending year built on the success of the M-Pesa, hailed as the continent's first mobile-phone based money transfer and micro-financing service.

M-pesa (M for mobile and pesa for money) took the African finance market by storm and has been adapted by many countries where it has been renamed.

The breakthrough offering is improving people's lives in the continent.

"The innovation has seen big mobile and telecommunications companies such as Safaricom and Vodacom embrace and implement.

"Apart from the m-pesa, we have seen upcoming innovators across Kenya winning international innovation awards of excellence ahead of developed African nations, and that alone must be lauded, Enica Githinji, a technology expert said.

Ahead of the coming year, Kenya is maintaining its reputation as a leading technology innovator.

Last week, Bernard Mukangu won the top prize in the mobile applications development challenge jointly organized by Safaricom and Vodafone.

Mukangu developed Automs.gs; an SMS scheduler application that allows the automatic sending of personalized text messages on pre-scheduled dates.

For his effort, Mukangu won the grand prize of $12,000 ahead of stiff challenge from seven other finalists drawn from Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and India.

The technology competition was entitled Appstar Challenge, a mobile apps competition designed to provide developers in emerging markets with a platform on through which to market their applications to a larger audience while at the same time affording them the opportunity to interact with developers from other countries.

An excited Mukangu said: “The idea to come up with Automs.gs was born when I forgot to send my girlfriend a message to wish her a happy birthday and as a result she was very cross with me. From that day I purposed to develop an application that would ensure that I would never forget important events in the lives of those I care about both at a personal and professional level."

Last year, Kenya’s Gerald Kibugi and Gilbert Ron scooped the top positions in the inaugural Appstar competition with the third slot being taken by South African developer, Rudolph.

- CAJ News




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