Five girls with innovative ideas have been selected as the finalists for the first ever Miss Geek Africa, a competition designed to inspire African girls to be part of solving the continent’s challenges using technology and encourage them to choose a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
At the ongoing Transform Africa Summit, eight girls pitched their projects to a high level panel of judges and in front of hundreds of the delegates who graced this year’s summit, including ICT, and business leaders, after which the jury chose five with prospective projects.
Just before pitching, the finalists underwent a week-long intensive development programme to equip them with presentation, public speaking and critical thinking skills to ensure they are prepared for finals.
Rwanda topped the list with four out of the five girls coming from Rwanda. The second round saw the finalists battling it out on Thursday to see whose project convinces the judges to be crowned Miss Geek Africa, which takes place this Friday at the sidelines of the summit.
Those who were selected are Chrystal Omany from Green Hills Academy in Kigali, Leah Akimana from University of Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology, Daniella Uwase from Riviera High School, Delphine Micomyiza from Groupe Scholaire Notre Dame De Lourdes, and Ruth Njeri Waiganjo from University of Nairobi in Kenya.
MedApp is an application developed by 18-year old Daniella Uwase. It seeks to cut the cost of medication through enabling users to access a cocktail of medication and prescriptions without having to move from one pharmacy to another, saving lives and money wasted on journeys.
“MedApp is more like your Uber or Hellofood but much better because it could be a potential life saver for you and your loved ones. It is offering a possible platform to acquire medication faster and easily,” she told the judges.
Leah Akimana developed a digital mobile application called ‘Bus System Simulator’ aimed at improving means of public transportation in the country, in particular Kigali where more than 2 million people use buses in their daily lives. It is a system that uses geo-location technology and will be able to identify how many seats in the bus, and how long it will take to travel from one place to another by predicting the velocity of the car.
Girl Safety is a project developed by Chrystal Omany aimed at bringing sustainable solutions, especially in case of emergency through information access system.
Ruth Njeri Waiganjo, from University of Nairobi in Kenya, is trying to bring about an innovative solution to respond to transport problems like frequent accidents through ‘Safe Drive’. Her technology solution collects data through a mobile app and sensors, analyses it and the output is the profile of the driver. The system is able to know the behaviour of drivers.
Delphine Micyomyiza reckons that by fixing sensor-enabled water metres to the taps could permanently eliminate water theft. This is a digital solution that she developed to save 33 per cent of all water related expenses in Rwanda lost to water theft. It is called Water Track.
Judges questioned all the women on the feasibility of their projects, applicability of thier business idea, and scalability, among others, which partly forms the criteria that will be considered while choosing the winner.