Students reap big at Vodacom SA developer program


University students across Africa are at the forefront of technology development in the continent as they continue their dominance in hackathons and app challenges. On Monday, six South African students were awarded prizes by Vodacom for unique apps ideas as part of their final year projects. The students were participating in a national student symposium which is part of Vodacom’s Developer Programme.

Vodacom’s programme comes a few weeks after Safaricom, in partnership with Vodafone, announced the winners of the Appstar challenge which saw the participation of many students. Gilbert Rono, a JKUAT student, was runner-up in the Kenya edition that will see finalists compete against other winners from other countries in Africa and Middle East:


See: JKUAT student wins at Safaricom Appstart challenge


The South Africa student symposium brought together academics and students from seven local universities which included, Durban University of Technology, Central University of Technology, University of Venda, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Vaal Technology University, North West University and Stellenbosch University.


“We work closely with the academic institutions to prepare student developers for participation in the mobile app industry so they can develop innovative apps that can transform society. With the types of app ideas submitted in this competition, there’s no doubt that these students have a potential to reshape our future,” says Prins Mhlanga, Managing Executive of Digital Media at Vodacom.


A total of 13 University students participated in this competition and each student submitted an app idea which forms part of their academic projects. Vodacom together with the Universities will explore the possibility of turning some of the ideas into apps which can be sold in the Vodacom App Store.


In the undergraduate category first prize (R1500 + device) went to Stefan Bergh from North-West University for designing a puzzle 2D game app named Polygraph. Second prize was awarded to Martin Stolk from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University for designing Mallcrawl app which automatically logs the user into their Facebook account to search nearby malls using Google Maps.


The third prize went to Darky Matsane from Vaal University of Technology for coming up with Pressed In Time app which provides customers with convenience for all their laundry and dry cleaning needs, using an automated and paperless solution to book in laundry.