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iHub By Jessica Colaço / October 6, 2010

Secretary Clinton Congratulates Winners of First Apps4Africa Competition


Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today congratulated the winners of the first Apps4Africa competition, which brought together local technology entrepreneurs to build tools that serve the needs of local NGOs and their communities.

“Your work to develop 21st century solutions to Africa’s challenges is a powerful example of what individuals can do to shape a dynamic, successful future,” the Secretary said in a video message.

Launched in July 2010, in Nairobi, Kenya by Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy Judith McHale, Apps4Africa generated more than 20 entries from Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. Civil society groups and citizens challenged program developers to find innovative technological solutions to everyday problems on issues ranging from transparency and governance to health and education. The competition builds on Secretary Clinton’s Civil Society 2.0 initiative and helps civil society use digital technology to connect to their communities and develop innovative solutions to shared problems. Key private sector partners include iHub, Appfrica Labs and SODNET.

Live stream here:

A panel of judges chose winning projects based on their potential to have a measurable impact and their creativity and ingenuity. A full list of winners and prizes follows:

  • First Place: iCow, a voice-based mobile application that helps farmers track the oestrus stages of their cows. This application can enable farmers everywhere to better manage breeding periods as well as monitor cow nutrition leading up to the calving day. This will help farmers get the most of their cows and their farms.

From Kenya, Charles Kithika is the first place winner receiving $5,000 and an Apple iPad.

Winners of the Apps4Africa competition - iCow

  • Second Place: Kleptocracy Fighters Inc. allows citizens to record and report real time information on government corruption. Reports can include: audio, video, text, and are meant to be both positive and negative. Reports will be forwarded to legal and media partners to help publish cases of corruption. This application has potential to help build trust, accountability and transparency around the world.

The second place winners received $3,000 USD and a Nokia N900.

  • Third Place Winner: Mamakiba is a patient-facing SMS savings calculator and prepayment tracking tool specifically designed to help low-income women save and prepay for their maternal health needs such as ante-natal care and clinical delivery. Many women struggle financially, and this application can help teach the value of budget planning and provide lifesaving care for women and their families.

Jane Del Sur, Geoffrey Muthondu , John Wesonga jointly developed “Mamakiba”, our third place winner receives and shares $2,000 and a Sprint HTC Desire.

Honorable Mentions each received $200 and are as follows:

  • Fogs Funeral Announcements, developed by Alex Gitonga, is an application for generating death and funeral announcements via text message. Radio and newspaper are costly in the region. Fog will allow users to cheaply and easily draft, edit and send these types of messages to ensure they reach friends, family, former schoolmates and colleagues – an important Kenyan custom.
  • Kenya Constituency Development Fund : Community Tracking and Mapping was developed by Jamila Amin and Mikel Maron. This application allows Kenyans to easily view both official and on-the-ground details of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) projects that are ongoing in Kibera, a neighborhood of Nairobi and the world’s second largest slum. This application will review and map submitted reports on the real status of aid and development projects on the ground, in contrast to official government reports, as well as allocated amounts, contractor details, photographs, and geographic locations. This evidence-based monitoring, combined with the communication power of maps and the web, serves as a powerful advocacy tool for improved accountability of development funds in Kenya.
  • Ujuzi was developed by Ahmed Mohamed Maawy as a mobile resource locator application aimed at helping low income populations living in poor areas worldwide to locate useful resources like organizations, services, assets and personnel in their region. This free service has huge potential because it takes readily available information and creatively provides it in a useful, easy to access way.

Apps4Africa is the first in a series of regional competitions that the State Department will help convene, host and connect in Africa.

Blog post courtesy of Katie Dowd from the State Department

Author : Jessica Colaço

Jessica Colaço is currently the Director of Partnerships at iHub. She was the Founding Manager between 2010 and 2011 at iHub and Research Director between 2011 and 2013 at iHub Research. She is passionate about Innovation, Research, Mobile and Robotics Technology, Mentorship and Entrepreneurship in Kenya as she uses her position at iHub to court local, regional and international stakeholders to adopt Kenyan-made and African-made solutions. As an upcoming angel investor, she courts local and international investors to invest in great tech ideas and companies at idea and concept stage. She is also a Mobile and Robotics Tech Evangelist, Co-Founder of WMIAfrica and AkiraChix, ISOC-Kenya Chapter, Treasurer, ACM-W Nairobi Chapter Chair, TED Global Fellow 2009 and upcoming Guitarist. She was named one of the top 40 women under 40 years in Kenya's business scene by Business Daily on 2009, 2011 and 2012. Her endeavour is to put Kenya and Africa on the map for technology achievements and spur innovation within the country and continent! She blogs at:

  • chipotle at 13:01:34PM Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    For more info on Kleptocracy fighters, to sign up for continuing info, or to participate visit

    To see an app mockup take a look at

  • Nick Hargreaves at 13:38:34PM Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    iCow deserved first place. Its a very bold invention, cutting edge yet practical even for rural-area based users.

  • Amos Gichamba at 13:41:55PM Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Congratulations to all the winners! Kudos Charles and the others…Keep it up!

  • John Karanja at 13:59:55PM Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Congrats to all Winners and Madam Secretary for this effort.

  • Alex Nyika at 14:40:59PM Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Congratulations to all winners. You make us all proud.

  • Webmaster-X at 15:37:24PM Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Inspiring. Congrats to the winners! Win all you can before I get there :-)

  • Angela Oduor at 16:05:07PM Wednesday, October 6, 2010


  • David at 16:26:51PM Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Kudos to the winners.Its this kind of innovations that we need.

  • Charles Kithika at 19:10:24PM Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Thanks guys :-)

  • Okiria Emmanuel at 05:07:34AM Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Big up for all the participants ! more so the winners. But you should watch out for me .

  • Afrinnovator at 06:03:13AM Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Awesome. The iCow app is pretty innovative and practical given the rural context and agricultural livelihood of many in Africa.

  • Frank at 07:46:36AM Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Congrats to all the winners. Mimz and Co, bigup! Keep the ideas flowing.

  • kalekachali at 13:55:25PM Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Thanks guys and congrats to the rest of the winners.

  • OA News: October 11, 2010 » Online Africa: Tracking ICT Progress at 09:16:03AM Monday, October 11, 2010

    [...] The winner? iCow. Very nice that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent congratulations: Secretary Clinton Congratulates Winners of First Apps4Africa Competition {iHub} Tweet This!Share this on FacebookDigg this!Share this on RedditShare this on del.icio.usEmail [...]

  • kennedy gachihi at 09:46:11AM Monday, October 11, 2010

    bigup to all the winners!!

  • Meet the Lady behind the iCow idea! *iHub_ at 09:12:42AM Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    [...] Farmer Information Service and Helpline being developed by Green Dreams Ltd. iCow also recently won first place at the inaugural Apps4Africa [...]


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