June 22, 2010 – Kenyan University students have for the first time risen to the occasion to represent Kenya at the World stage of the Microsoft’s premier competition, Imagine Cup which will be held in Warsaw, Poland early next month.
For the first time a Kenyan student scooped the top spot and prize in the regional competition which brought together students from Universities across East Africa.
Ogolla Arnold from Strathmore University, Kenya came tops while a Ugandan quartet from Makerere University came second, also securing a chance to represent the region in the World Finals.
Speaking during the regional competition at a Nairobi hotel, Emmanuel Birech, Development and Platform Manager, Microsoft, East and Southern Africa acknowledged that the interest exhibited by Kenyan students was exemplary with a marked rise in enrollment for the duel.
“We have exceptional talent among the student fraternity at our universities but they do not inject the requisite amount of time and effort to develop effective projects that can compete with their counterparts from around the globe, “said Birech.
While Ogolla’s project dubbed body walls is based on different parts of the digestive system,the Makerere team comprising Arinaitwe Sophia, Lutwama Geofrey, Lutaaya Sulaiman and Mwanje Musa presented a project dubbed saving tomorrow in which it illustrates how to improve maternal health and cub maternal death.
The contestants attributed their success to the assistance they received from their mentors and cited invaluable support they received from their lecturers who refined their ideas.
Speaking during the same occasion, Eunice Kariuki, ICT Board Deputy CEO and Marketing Director noted the immense potential exhibited by the students saying they would excel if they followed through their excellent ideas.
“Talent is abound in our universities as is evident when you visit multinationals companies where you are certain to spot numerous young person’s many of whom were products of such competitions like Imagine Cup,” said Ms Kariuki.
She said the ICT board had set aside some sh.300 million to promote development of local content and software applications and encouraged students to develop software solutions that can be marketed to help solve many challenges in life.
Now in its eighth year, Imagine Cup empowers students to unlock their creative genius and build solutions that tackle real world issues facing society today.
The students are expected to showcase technology solutions to help solve problems as outlined in the Millennium Development Goals including projects aimed at helping end hunger and poverty.
Microsoft targets students from Universities and other tertiary institutions to showcase their creative potential by submitting entries in the various categories including Software Design, Embedded Development, Game Development, IT Challenge, Robotics and Algorithm, Mash Up, Photography, Short Film and Design.
In Last year’s competition 444 students representing 70 countries competed at the worldwide finals in Cairo Egypt.
The winners were picked out of a pool of over 300,000 contestants from over 100 countries around the World.