MTN launches data fest, apps development contest

Local apps (applications) developers have a chance to showcase their skills and market their innovations, thanks to a mobile app contest unveiled by MTN Rwanda on Tuesday.
Teachers use tablets to surf the Internet at a recent workshop. Internet penetration is still low in Rwanda.  (John Mbanda)
Teachers use tablets to surf the Internet at a recent workshop. Internet penetration is still low in Rwanda. (John Mbanda)

Local apps (applications) developers have a chance to showcase their skills and market their innovations, thanks to a mobile app contest unveiled by MTN Rwanda on Tuesday.

MTN Mobile App competition aims at rewarding initiatives by individuals or groups of university students who conceive and deliver the best mobile applications in the spheres of education, health, agriculture, social networking and local government administration, according to Robert Rwakabogo, the MTN marketing operations senior manager.

He added that the contest will also nurture innovation and local talent to develop home-grown ICT solutions.

“We are looking for apps that benefit Rwandans by enabling them access local content to enhance and help them live better lives,” he said.

Rwakabogo was speaking during the launch of MTN Data Fest at the telecom firm’s headquarters in Nyarutarama Kigali on Tuesday.

He said the mobile app contest will add momentum to existing efforts to support home-grown solutions through initiatives that positively impact society in a sustainable manner.

“The contest will be conducted in two phases; during the first stage contestants will submit concept proposals, which we will review; and the second stage will involve an app delivery and review by a panel of industry experts. The winners will be announced at the end of the MTN Data Fest,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rwakabogo said the two-month data festival seeks to enhance data penetration across the country, which currently is at 20 per cent.

He added that the festival will also focus on how small-and-medium businesses (SMEs) can use Internet to grow their enterprises.

“Our strategic objective is to drive data penetration in the different regions of the country by offering exceptional value when using the Internet... We will also educate customers on the role of the Internet, especially in business,” Rwakabogo said.

Customers will also be trained on how to use data centre services, including broadband, cloud computing and LTE, hot-spot premium, directory services and Internet bundles.

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