Lycée de Kigali scoops top prize in MTN apps contest

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The contestants showcase their apps at the awards ceremony on Friday.

A group of 15 students from Lycée de Kigali, a city-based secondary school, have scooped this year’s top prize in MTN’s mobile app (application) competition. 

The group developed four educational games for children aged between two and 12 years.

They are ‘Be smart’, an app that trains children to think faster or sharpen their brains and revise subjects like maths and general studies; ‘Ihema - shelter of knowledge’ is an app that teaches children Kinyarwanda. Others are ‘Fora’ which teaches children Rwanda’s culture and geography and ‘Seka’ which develops children’s mental abilities.

The group won a laptop and four tablet computers, as well as three months of training and mentorship in Kacyiru-based technology space kLab and internship placement at MTN.

The first runners up Ikuzwe Cristian, a software developer, created an application called the ‘Academic bridge’ which can manage students’ reports, results, school fees, and send text messages to parents containing the information. They won a tablet and work with MTN to refine the app and market it.

The other winning application, a traffic penalties tracking system, by Higiro Karenzi and Muhoza Benjamin, can be used to collect and store all traffic penalties information automatically. Drivers using the programme immediately receive a notification with details of traffic fines and pay using mobile money. They won a tablet and free hosting of application by MTN.

The other winning apps are ‘Malnutrition’, which offers the public a guide on how to stay healthy; ‘E-Orora’, an android application that will help farmers share agriculture and breeding information; and ‘Healme’, which enables health care providers to access a patient’s history instantly.

Others are ‘MTN Rwanda frontline’, designed to ease communication between MTN and customers through platforms like social media; ‘Lineinfo’, which enables people to get the latest news on one platform, and M-cow which will enable farmers to scale up milk production by optimising animal nutrition. Each of these developers won a tablet and one month Internet bundle from MTN.

The nine were part of the hundreds of youth who participated in the just-concluded MTN Mobile App competition organised by MTN Rwanda.

Teta Mpyisi, the firm’s corporate communications manager, said the competition aimed at rewarding initiatives by individuals or groups of students who conceive and deliver the best mobile applications in the spheres of education, health, agriculture, social networking and local government administration and also to contribute to local content development.

The contest also aimed at nurturing innovation and local talent to develop home-grown ICT solutions. Rwanda aims to be an ICT hub by 2017.

The nine winners received their prizes at an event to mark the end of this year’s MTN data festival on Friday in Kigali.

Speaking at the event, Didier Nkurikiyimfura, the director general in charge of Information Communication Technology (ICT) at the Ministry of Youth and ICT, urged the winners to work harder to ensure that their ideas are successfully implemented.

“Dream big and enable this country to achieve its ICT goals in the next few years,” he advised.

“We were looking for apps that benefit Rwandans by easing access to local content that could help people lead better lives,” Robert Rwakabogo, the MTN marketing operations senior manager, told The New Times.