What’s up with your apps?
The Namibian Business Innovation Centre (NBIC) and Northgate Technologies officially launched the first-ever Mobile Innovation Challenge at the Innovation Village earlier this week. Total prize money amounts to N$100,000. The Mobile Innovation Challenge is an incentive for local mobile application developers to come up with mobile applications that are able to solve local challenges. In order to take part developers need to either form a team of three or develop as a single individual. The Business Innovation Centre said participants must be a Namibian citizen or resident. The innovative idea needs to reach the NBIC by latest next week Friday, 11 October. The 1st prize is N$50,000, 2nd N$30,000 and 3rd N$20,000. Dorothea Westhofen-Kunz, NBIC General Manager quoted a recent report from the World Bank that states “there are 650 million mobile users in Africa, surpassing the number in the United States or Europe. In some African countries more people have access to a mobile phone than to clean water, a bank account or electricity”. This sort of data shows the potential market that a mobile developer has access to. A good example of a country that is in the forefront of mobile developments is Kenya, where mobile payments have become a part of the daily lives of individuals since formal banks are unable to reach the rural masses. Northgate Technologies Managing Director, Josephat Mwatotele expressed his dream of seeing more developers looking beyond Namibia’s small population but rather to see the world as their market. He also informed the developers that “The applications should be in a position to solve local challenges with a global appeal as that will allow the developers to capitilise on the huge market out there”. He said Northgate Technologies will further assist the developers in polishing their application.