Growth of Apps development in Rwanda as mobile companies go creative
With the creative fingers and minds of app gurus in the country, Rwanda is moving towards a Information Technology hub in the region as more mobile phone enable applications continue to be developed by the young generation.
With the internet being accessible, cheaper and powerful (4G) internet introduced to Rwanda, there has been a growth in applications development, but communication companies in Rwanda have taken up this as a competition platform.
Some of the app developed over the years include- educative games, culture, service sector monitoring, and e-ticketing among many others, but this has been with the support of IT companies under the Hack Out Loud (HOL) platform which gathers tech innovators, business leaders, educators, students, young professionals, and other shapers of Africaâ€™s future.
At Events like the annual Grand Products Launch and Innovators Graduation various students have been able to showcase new mobile apps that deliver groundbreaking tech solutions for the African market, especially in Rwanda.
In efforts to support Rwandaâ€™s Local Mobile Application development industry, Airtel Rwanda has sponsored a total of 10 Mobile Application developers with free Airtel Internet experience for three months in addition to smart tips on how to monetize their Mobile Applications.
Other companies like Tigo Rwanda have also taken up the same challenge with innovations such as the Digital Change-makers Competition- which is now in its fourth year.
The fourth edition of the annual Digital Change-makers Competition 2015 has so far 488 registered applications have been received as well as 256 qualifying for the 2nd round.
The competition supports Digital Changemakers with Tech ideas and initiatives that improve communities and the lives of children.
Initiated by Tigo Rwanda and run in partnership with non-profit organization, Reach for Change project will search for two digital social entrepreneurs who have solutions to some of the pressing issues facing Rwandan children and communities today.
The two winners will each win a prize of Rwf 14 Million as well as expert guidance and support to implement their ideas.
â€œThis yearâ€™s edition has received a strong growth in entries and we see this as a sign that social entrepreneurship is booming in Rwanda.â€ said Chantal Umutoni, Deputy CEO, Tigo Rwanda during the selection process.
Tigo Digital Changemakers is a partnership between mobile network operator, Tigo Rwanda and international non-governmental organisation, Reach for Change.
Rwandaâ€™s Minister of Youth ICT, Philbert Nsengimana has said that the current growth of local talent in the mobile application developersâ€™ world is a big step in the right direction towards realising Rwandaâ€™s dream of becoming a regional ICT hub.
Since the service sector is a priority to the Government of Rwanda and the One-UN Rwanda, this has resulted to seeking for more solutions to improve the sector through IT solutions but at the same time making the apps development a lucrative opportunity.
This has seen the launch of the competition for software and a software product development that can be utilized through mobile phones and be used by citizens for continuous feedback on the level of public service delivery by the authorities.
The contest focuses on the public sector and app developers will have to come up with a product that enables government to have easy searchable information regarding service, citizens to make enquiries on different public services and subsequently report corruption and poor service delivery
Now in its third stage of implementation, proposed preliminary prototypes for the mobile solution were presented at the next Google Hangout at the beginning of June 2015, and the selected teams have started working with technical teams at Think Hub in Kigali, and or other experts of their choice in Rwanda.
Eligible competitors are aged from 18 years above and must be of Rwandan nationality and permanent resident of Rwanda, however female innovators/developers are encouraged to apply. The ultimate winning teams are awarded with the 1st Prize of USD 5,000, 2nd Prize of USD 2,000 and 3rd Prize of USD 1,500.
Government says that Public service delivery is therefore considered as one of the priorities in two pillars that will deliver Accountable Governance objective for EDPRS II and the 2012 baseline on the citizen satisfaction regarding the service delivery at the local level was 70.4%.