Today, 1 February 2012, is the commencement date for the southern Africa region Apps4Africa Climate Challenge. The challenge will run for 2 months to end of the 30th of March and invites African innovators to develop innovative, web-based and mobile technology solutions to local climate change challenges. According to the Apps4Africa website the challenge centers around the strategic themes that were debated and decided upon by world leaders at the 17th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP17) conference in South Africa last year. The challenge is sponsored by the US government.
The challenge was divided into 3 regions; West/Central Africa, Eastern Africa, and Southern Africa. The challenge has already been held and 6 winners announced for the West/Central Africa and Eastern Africa regions. The Sothern Africa region will have 3 winners selected to make up a total of 9 winners for the whole challenge.
The first prize for each region is US $15,000 cash, the second $7,000 and the third $3,000. The Apps4Africa website also suggests there will be follow up on the winners to assist them with business plan development, advice or investment.
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To enter the challenge contestants need to select a category they are interested in from the following categories: Agriculture (Distribution), Early Warning and/or Disaster Preparedness, Resource Management, Forestry/Deforestation, Transportation/Traffic/Emissions, Food Security, Livestock, Health and Sanitation. The actual app you develop can be a basic phone mobile app, a smartphone mobile app, a web application or desktop based application. Some datasets to use for the apps have been suggested and a list is available here.
For the full contest guidelines and rules, please check the challenge entry page here.
Some bran storming sessions where organized for the other regions to help contestants with their. We haven’t located any brainstorming event for Zimbabwe planned on the site, but nothing stops you from organizing one yourself with Apps4Africa’s assistance ofcourse.