The winners of this year’s Safaricom Appwiz Challenge will be announced tomorrow (December 11), at an award ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya.
The competition saw 300 participants included in this year’s challenge, with the mobile app developer entrepreneurs mentored for two months on how to launch and build successful app development companies.
“This being the second year that we are hosting the Safaricom Appwiz Challenge we have registered an increase in the number applicants as well as the quality of the apps that we have received,” Bob Collymore, chief executive officer (CEO) of Safaricom told Disrupt Africa.
“It gives us a lot of encouragement in our journey to transform lives through the creation of a sustainable and vibrant apps economy,” he said.
Collymore will be joined at the ceremony by guests Adan Mohammed, cabinet secretary for industrialisation and enterprise development; Victor Kyalo, CEO of the ICT Authority; Bitange Ndemo, former permanent secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communications; and Joe Ogutu, director of strategy and innovation at Safaricom.
The award ceremony will take place from 6pm at the Sankara hotel in Nairobi.
Safaricom has recently been ramping up its engagement with startups in Kenya, with a particular focus on mobile developers.
In November, the telco announced a partnership with local startup Dynamic Data Systems for the launch of M-Pesa payments tracking app M-Ledger; with Safaricom saying it intended to partner with a string of further startups over the coming months.
M-Ledger was one of the 14 apps born from last year’s inaugural Appwiz Challenge.
Last week, Safaricom announced the launch of a US$1 million investment fund, aimed at supporting mobile ICT startups in Kenya.
Collymore told Disrupt Africa he believes the most useful tech innovations are coming from startups in Kenya, which is why Safaricom is increasing its efforts to engage with and support emerging entrepreneurs.