App competition targets African developer talent

Mobile_developer_compWinning apps could find their way onto millions of Zimbabwean mobile phones. (Image source: Bas van de Wiel)Software as a service company ForgetMeNot Africa has announced plans to tap into the talent of budding Zimbabwean app developers by launching a nationwide competition

Following the success of a similar competition in Kenya, ForgetMeNot has teamed up with developer community Jumpstart, weblog TechZim and mobile operator Econet, to launch the eTXT Apps Challenge.

Set to debut this week at a JumpStart community event at the Harare Club, the competition will target app developers across Zimbabwe who have unique ideas for SMS-based mobile applications, with winning ideas potentially made available to more than three quarters of Zimbabwe’s 7.7 million mobile subscribers.

ForgetMeNot Africa chief operating officer Jeremy George said, “We are giving developers the chance to bring their ideas for unique apps or games that are useful, fun and highly relevant to Zimbabwean mobile users.”

“Our recent Apps Challenge in Kenya was a huge success with some truly unique and innovative ideas submitted.

“Zimbabwe also has a wealth of developer talent and we want to give them the same opportunity to earn revenue from their ideas,” he added.

Using ForgetMeNot Africa’s Optimiser Platform, which supports internet-free Facebook, email and online chat via Econet’s eTXT service, entrants can develop apps that reach users of all handsets via two-way SMS.

Winning entrants will win up to three iPads and US$2,000 seed capital to develop their ideas and will potentially have their apps launched to Econet’s six million mobile subscribers.

Recently, ForgetMeNot Africa, Safaricom and the Nairobi developer community iHub teamed up to launch a similar competition in Kenya.

The winner of the Kipokezi Apps Challenge could have their ideas launched to millions of mobile phone users across Kenya, as well as seed capital to develop their ideas, an Apple iPad and the possibility of having their app launched to Safaricom’s 15 million subscribers across the country.

“Kenya has a huge pool of talented developers and entrepreneurs who we believe will relish the opportunity to deploy their innovations across the huge Safaricom network,” remarked George.

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