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World Bank honours Uganda’s innovation

Apps For Development a World Bank Contest

Apps For Development a World Bank Contest

Sunday April 24, 2011

UGANDA received an honorable mention amongst contestants from six continents in the just concluded World Bank’s first-ever “Apps for Development” competition won by an Australian.

In the contest, participants were asked to create digital applications (apps) that allow users to visualise development indicators using powerful charts and maps, a web-based tool to measure the impact of global events on progress toward the Millennium Development Goals and also take on some of the world’s most pressing development problems using technology.

But in the region, Uganda had the most entries in the September 2010 World Bank’s challenge to software developers from across the globe.

The Ugandan entry dubbed MDG Maps (Uganda) also focused on technology solutions to monitor and move the globe towards the millennium development goals.

A total of $55,000 was handed out to winners.

The high number of entries from Uganda is also testimony to the country’s array of technology training institutions which churns out close to 1,000 students annually.

Using the Bank’s freely available data, participants were also tasked to develop an interactive app that lets users make their own comparisons of countries’ performance, were announced today as the top winners.

“The response was overwhelming, with 107 entries from 36 countries across six continents, and nearly a third from Africa,” said the World Bank.

In a statement, World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick said, “One of the reasons we threw open the doors to our data was that we recognised we do not have a monopoly on innovation.

These apps clearly demonstrate how the software development community can harness technology to analyse and tackle some of the world’s long-standing problems,

“It is fantastic to see the creative approaches each of the finalists took, and it is also great to see that the submissions came from six continents.”

By David Mugabe: The New Vision Newspaper

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