Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Safaricom Director of Corporate Affairs Nzioka Waita says the app store will give local developers the much needed exposure/FILE


Safaricom’s App store goes live next month

Safaricom Director of Corporate Affairs Nzioka Waita says the app store will give local developers the much needed exposure/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 6 – Local developers will soon be able to market their applications on Safaricom’s App store set to go live next month.

Safaricom Director of Corporate Affairs Nzioka Waita says the app store will give local developers the much needed exposure that they often lose out on when placed against international developers on app stores like the Ovi store.

“Majority of our customers use feature phones that don’t really have access to these app stores, so we’ll give them a Safaricom-centric app store and help them meet their marketing costs because every day we have over five million people going on to our web portal,” he said.

In a bid to give local developers even more recognition Safaricom and UK-based mobile operator Vodafone have launched a multi-country app challenge, dubbed AppStar.

Waita says the competition, which will take place in Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Tanzania, Egypt, Ghana and Qatar will help deepen local talent.

“The competition is designed at a two-tier level. The first is a local competition, giving developers until November 2 to develop and publish their apps. Then there’ll be a two-week evaluation period by a judge panel of industry leaders, academia and consumer test groups,” he said.

The top Kenyan developer will take home Sh1 million and go on to compete in South Africa with finalists from the other six countries for the grand prize.

Safaricom will spend over Sh2 million on the award scheme, while the competition will run from September 6 to November 21, featuring entries in six categories including Games/Entertainment, Health, Education, Agriculture, Financial Inclusion and Productivity.

Information Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo, who was present at the challenge launch, says the government took longer in supporting the nascent developer community due to lack of resources and incubation facilities to nurture upcoming talent.

“We are behind because we need a lot infrastructural things like the development of Konza City, where we could have incubation centres. Now you have operators showing support which gives local developers hope,” he said.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Safaricom announced a Sh20 million grant to iLabAfrica at Strathmore University in its first tranche of support to set up and run iLabAfrica, which plans to have an incubation facility as part of its activities.

“Next month we’ll be launching iLabAfrica which will be the most high-tech equipped laboratory probably on the continent. We’ll give a chance for technology to be developed and we’ll also get young developers to understand how to monetise and commercialise their talents,” Waita said.

iLabAfrica is research centre under the faculty of Information Technology at Strathmore University, established in January last year to spearhead research, innovation and entrepreneurship in ICT for development.

Click to comment

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...