NAIROBI – The regional “Apps for Africa 2012” competition, sponsored by Ericsson in partnership with former j***t venture Sony Ericsson (now Sony) and Google, has given top honours to an app combining social elements, mobile money, and an event scheduler.

The winning idea from AfroSilicone, ‘Funkies’, allows users to stay up to date with what’s happening, where it’s happening and why it’s happening. Technically speaking, ‘Funkies’ is an app that notifies the user of upcoming events while allowing him/her to reserve a ticket for the said event via mobile money partners, and even share details of the event via social networks like Facebook.

Mr John Nduli, from the AfroSilicone team, says: “This gives us exposure to the world and proves that Africa too is taking a share in taking technology to the next level.”

Lars Lindén, Head of Ericsson Region Sub-Saharan Africa, says: “With such innovative and wonderful solutions coming from the continent, we have confirmed that there is much talent and thereby potential for the growth of society, life and business. The fact that almost 50 per cent of global submissions came from sub-Saharan Africa aligns with our vision of a Networked Society. We have been engaging with various industry stakeholders to drive this development, where people, knowledge, devices, and information are networked.”

This is the third year for the Ericsson Application Awards global app competition, but the first year for a regional variant. The competition focuses on the Android platform for application developers in sub-Saharan Africa, considering the popularity Android mobile apps has gained over the past couple of years.

In the United Kingdom Android has taken over as the number 1 smartphone operating system in terms of market share. The competition titled ‘Apps for Africa’ invited the development of innovative ideas and mobile applications in support of resolving challenges which individuals and communities on the continent are faced with in their daily lives.


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