Ambani Africa App named MTN Business App of the Year

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Sep 17, 2021

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The tenth Annual MTN Business App of the Year Awards ceremony held yesterday with a diversity of entries from across the continent, has bust the myth that Africa is short of ICT talent.

It was a seamless combination of virtual and live eventing which culminated in the Ambani Africa App taking the MTN Business App of the Year award, and an unprecedented prize money of R1 million.

The Ambani Africa app was also placed first in the Best Gaming Solution, Best Educational and Best South African Solution.

Congratulating Ambani Africa, Wanda Matandela, Chief Business Enterprise Officer of MTN Business, said: “The combination of their innovative approach and the prize money should put them on the fast track to growth in their mission to solve the literacy gap faced by our country and encourage parents and kids to embrace their indigenous languages. The app is a free gaming solution for foundation-phase learners to learn African languages in a fun way.

Matandela said over a1000 entries had been received this year.

"More importantly is that the new breed of developers that have emerged over the years are now as likely to be young entrepreneurs launching grocery delivery services ,as actuaries challenging the dominance of traditional insurance giants."

"During the last decade, the MTN Business App of the Year Awards has more than helped to destroy the myth that Africans are not technical innovators. The competition has also assisted with growing a new industry that has created job opportunities in a country where the unemployment rate is 34.4%” said Matandela.

"We have also, for the first time, introduced the Best African Solution award on an app developed outside the country's borders.

"As the number of entries has soared over the years, so has the number of categories. This year, app developers competed in 14 categories and were judged against their peers for their contribution to making life easier for consumers, to health, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), agriculture, education and finance amongst others."

Recognising that talent needs to be nurtured and mentored to reach its full potential, digital innovators and entrepreneurs are now able to enrol with the MTN Business App Academy- established as a direct result of the increasing interest in the competition.

Participants can upgrade their ICT skills at this virtual academy, learn more about software and mobile app development from experts, and earn a SETA accredited NQF Level 4 qualification over six weeks.

In addition, to mark the tenth year, MTN Business in partnership with MTN Pulse has launched the App of the Year Campus Cup Challenge with prize money of R 100 000. Designed to stimulate and motivate youth between 18 and 24 to build their coding and development skills, the Cup will now be a regular category in the Business App of the Year Awards in the future.

"The academy and Campus Cup emphasise MTNs intention that the competition, rather than being a short-lived annual event, should be part of an integrated effort to promote the upskilling of young South Africans."

"As we celebrate the ongoing success of the competition and the awareness it has fostered in the business and ICT sectors, we are also examining the possibility of the academy becoming a fully-fledged development hub."

"Achieving this objective would allow MTN Business to develop regional, academic and enterprise-driven partnerships that would broaden the possibilities that began with the MTN Business App of the Year Awards and have now become an accepted part of SAs technical landscape," says Matandela.

Winners in each of the categories were:

Best Enterprise Solution: iiDENTIFii app

iiDENTIFii (identify) is a world leading remote biometric digital authentication and automated on-boarding technology platform. It fulfils the needs of customer-focused organisations that are required to authenticate and on-board customers.

Most Innovative Solution: Hellopay SoftPOS

SoftPOS is a contactless payment acceptance app that enables merchants to accept electronic payments easily by turning an NFC enabled Android phone into a card acceptance device. Registration is done online.

Best Health Solution: Guardian Health Platform

Guardian Health Platform is a tele-health platform that provides services ranging from virtual appointments, appointment bookings, digital records, to remote monitoring for patients to track their vitals from home.

Best Gaming Solution and Best Educational Solution : Ambani Africa

The Ambani Africa app is a free gaming app for foundation-phase learners to learn African languages in a fun way. The app features 6 languages with various themes and games for practicing African languages. The app also links to an augmented reality app which works with a set of learning books to bring this learning to life.

Best Agricultural Solution: Murimi

An app that gives farmers access to automated crop diagnostics pertaining to the crop’s health, pest infestation and nutrient needs. It uses machine learning algorithms embedded within the application, allowing the user friendliness of uploading a picture of the crops in order to get the report generated within the app. The app then allows the user to buy recommended pesticides and other inputs like fertilizers.

Best Financial Solution: Shyft

Shyft is the app that enables ordinary people to become Global Citizens. This intuitive app simplifies the experience of buying and selling FX, buying and selling international shares, sending money offshore as well as paying for goods and services in foreign currency while travelling or online.

Best Hackathon Solution: Sisa

South Africa carries a huge burden of mental illnesses with the most prevalent being anxiety disorders, substance abuse disorders, mood disorders and depression. People with mental health conditions often face neglect as well as stigma and discrimination. The creator of the app, Claudia, was inspired to create an app as a passion project after a mental health crisis during her studies.

Best ‘South African’ App: Ambani Africa

The Ambani Africa app is a free gaming app for foundation-phase learners to learn African languages in a fun way. The app features 6 languages with various themes and games for practicing African languages. The app also links to our augmented reality app, which works with a set of learning books to bring this learning to life.

Best Campus Cup Solution: UniWise

UniWise is an app that summarizes different university prospectuses for students. Students or prospective students can simply enter their marks and start searching for any course they would like to apply for at any supported institutions.

Best African Solution: Kazi

Kazi, is a Kenyan task-app to handle all those annoying things you hate to do but have to, without any hassle. Need someone to cook, clean dishes or laundry? Find fast help for home improvement and repairs, events, painting, plumbing, laundry, furniture assembly, handyman chores & other residential services near me.

Best Consumer Solution: Takealot app

South Africa's leading online store. Fast, reliable delivery to your door.

Best Women in STEM: Rekindle Learning app

Rekindle Learning empowers people to adapt to the changing world of work, new products or services.

Huawei Category 15: Roadsave

RoadSave's multi-award-winning technology keeps users safe and secure with one-touch access to 24/7 emergency support, and gives users access to exclusive deals, advice, financing, quotes, discounted products, services and more.

People’s Choice Award: Afrihost

The power of ClientZone in your pocket! The Afrihost App gives customers access to ClientZone's powerful features from the convenience of their phone. Customers can manage products, top up data, make payments, check the network status and more, from anywhere

IOL Tech

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