Safaricom through the Women in Technology initiative has partnered with Technovation, an NGO that promotes women in technology and innovation to launch the 2016 edition of the Technovation challenge. The challenge is a 12-week app development and mentorship programme aimed at cultivating interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) studies, as well as igniting young girls’ interest in ICT careers. The Women in Technology initiative is a brain child of Safaricom and seeks to boost the number of women working in technical positions.
This year’s program will see girls from 11 high schools work in teams of four to five to identify a challenge affecting a specific group of people. They will then be asked to develop a mobile-phone based application that offers a sustainable solution. Finalists will win tickets to present their ideas at a global event to be held in Silicon Valley, California where the winner stands a chance to win $10,000 for further development and marketing of the app. Last year’s winners, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Secondary School from Mombasa, made it to the semi-finals in the global competition held in Silicon Valley. Their mobile application – Gold in Garbage – teaches users how to recycle garbage, make money from recycling and links users to bodies interested in recycling.