Two developers from Kenya, Norman Muga from Strathmore University and Mburu Njunge from Kenyatta University are the winners of the top prize for iLabAfrica (University of Waterloo) Agribusiness Mobile Tech Challenge.
The duo came up with the ConviFarm app, a mobile application that is set to provide sustainable solutions to challenges facing agriculture by giving suggestions on better farming practices and ways to improve food security. Farmers living in remote areas can use the ConviFarm app to get the latest information on veterinary and crop protection services.
As part of their award, the two developers have also earned themselves a one-week stay at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. While in Canada, the duo will join other world-class developers from around the globe in a training and incubation session. In addition to the trip to the University of Waterloo, the duo will also get a full six months scholarship to Strathmore University’s Entrepreneurship Development Program.
“Agriculture is the mainstay of a least 80 percent of the Kenyan population. We chose this sector because it has a direct impact on the bottom of the pyramid masses,” reiterated iLabAfrica Director, Dr. Joseph Sevilla.
The iLabAfrica mobile tech challenge is open to developers from both public and private universities in Kenya as well as members of the public. This challenge employs the virtual incubation technology that was developed by the University of Waterloo’s Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Center. The challenge seeks to reach out to and incubate startup developers developing mobile-based products for the agribusiness sector.
iLabAfrica has in charge of running the program albeit on a pilot phase through its iBizAfrica incubation center.
The Principal Secretary to Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communication, Dr. Victor Kyalo, who was present at the event for awarding the two developers prices. Said, “This center continues to interest developers to come up with world class innovations and solutions that can impact the bottom of the pyramid in Africa.”