Internet.org the Facebook infinitive that has been promoting free internet through the Free Basics campaign isn’t just focused on achieving its goals through zero-rated web services. It’s also trying to steer efforts that involve the use of technology to solve some challenges in emerging markets.
The Internet.Org Innovation Challenge Africa is a competition meant to identify and recognise organisations or individuals from around the world that are working on internet based solutions that help promote economic empowerment and education in Africa.
According to Internet.org the focus on Africa was determined by the rapid growth shown by some of the stars in fast emerging economies on the continent with internet.org keen on equipping these communities with tools for economic growth and education.
Any entrants that can develop working websites, apps or online solutions (no prototypes allowed) that help in economic advancement of communities or lean on technology for the delivery and inspiration of education will be considered for the top prize of $150,000.
This main prize is also accompanied by over $60,000 in tools and service support from Facebook’s FBStart program which helps early stage startups. There are also two impact prizes of $50,000 for each of the two pillars.
The window for application has been open since the 1st of December 201 and there is still quite a bit of time to turn in a solution as the deadline will be on the 1st of May 2016.
Like every other area where Internet.org has a keen interest Zimbabwean techies are being encouraged to participate, though the focus of Free Basics in Zimbabwe or in any other of its markets does not translate to any form of advantage. All applicants will be treated the same and judged on aspects such as innovation, impact and scalability.
You can find out more about the challenge by following this link and signing up in the appropriate sections.