By Iminza Keboge
Published December 11, 2015
Developers of apps, websites and online services that enhance learning and economic empowerment in Africa have till May 1, 2016 to apply for Facebook’s US$US150000-prize.
The award, dubbed Internet.org Innovation Challenge, consider contestants in two categories:
a). Learning/education (apps, websites or online services that make use of technology to inspire and deliver learning), and
b). Economic empowerment (apps, websites or online services that help to advance the economic strength and ability of communities).
Facebook, while inviting developers across Africa to enter the challenge, says the aim of the competition whose details are online at info.internet.org/en/story/innovation-challenge is to recognise “developers and entrepreneurs who are using the internet to improve the standard of education and economic health in their communities.”
Facebook says it will present US$150000 to the app, website or service judged to be the best in two mentioned categories. “Each Innovation Challenge Award winner will also receive a package of tools and services worth up to US$60000 from Facebook’s FbStart program (https://fbstart.com). Two apps, websites or services in each category will receive an Impact Award prize in the amount of US$50,000.”
The winners will be announced in August/September 2016.
The unveiling of the challenge in Africa, Facebook says, follows the success of a similar initiative in India where it recognised people who make “the internet more relevant for women, students, farmers and migrant workers.”
“The Internet.org Innovation Challenge in Africa supports our vision of a connected world by recognising those who are working on solutions that aim to improve education and economic health of communities in Africa,” says Ime Archibong, director of strategic partnerships at Facebook. “We’re looking forward to seeing how African developers are providing real value for their communities. By connecting people and empowering them with access to services and information, we can help them achieve extraordinary things and help them to enhance their lives.”