Kenya’s Youth Showcases Innovative Solutions at Finals of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup

The Kenya Finals of the Imagine Cup 2013 saw more than a hundred university students participate in the innovation and technology competition, co-sponsored by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Microsoft, on April 15 in Nairobi.


Imagine Cup, is an annual competition that gives eligible students a chance to use their imagination and develop technology application programs, which solve the world toughest problems.


The finalists will represent Kenya in July 2013 at the worldwide finals in St Petersburg, Russia.


Gabriel Negatu, Regional Director at the AfDB said “Participants have an opportunity to bend the arch of history… the devices and platforms they use windows or opportunities to improve the future of Africa”.


Some of the ideas showcased at the Imagine Cup included innovative games aimed at raising malaria awareness in Africa, as well as gender awareness and health and fitness applications.


The PI Crafts team from Kenyatta University won first prize for an application that connects private donors to children’s homes and other charitable organizations.


The application, called Portege, allows individuals to search for people’s homes and view their donation requests and even virtually “adopts” a child. Donations can then be given ranging from money to food to volunteer time.


“While many local developers have focused on developing consumer applications, it is important that they also look into the opportunities that exist in Business2consumer apps,” Microsoft Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Mr. Louis Otieno said.


The event was part of AfDB’s new Human Capital Development Strategy which places the strengthening of Science, technology and innovation in Africa at the heart of its work.


The AfDB has partnered with Microsoft to support Information Communication Technology (ICT) solutions that improve productivity on the continent; foster better teaching, training and learning processes; and create more effective links between Africa and the rest of the world.