Kenya launches competition to encourage innovation in its youth

This CNN Hero upcycles old computers to open new worlds for young Kenyans.

Kenyatta and Google are teaming up to do good:

Kenya today announced plans to create new technology skills for its youth with the launch of an online competition to award young people in Kenya with $20,000 each for creating a mobile app that makes life easier and saves Kenyan lives.

“We want to do more to promote innovation and creativity in young people, which in turn will drive economic and social transformation and make Kenya the best place to live,” said Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations.

The app, the World’s No.1 Mobile App Award Competition (WMANC), encourages youth to solve basic problems in everyday life — from keeping food and medicine safe to getting hold of a pay phone to getting a doctor.

The app that will be created to win the competition, will be named after the founder of the mobile phone.

“Kenya’s app ideas must inspire, motivate, and create jobs for the young people they serve,” said Dr. Peter Ndere, director of the Kenyan Communications Authority in a statement.

“The idea of making the youth more creative and innovative is therefore embedded in the competition. It is a message to the young people of Kenya,” said Ndere.

The competition is being designed to encourage young Kenyans to explore new frontiers in their lives and to take advantage of the knowledge and skills they already have.

“Our goal is not so much to find the best ideas but to encourage the creativity in every Kenyan,” said Annan.

More than 2,000 Kenyan youths from all walks of life across the country have applied to be part of the competition and are being encouraged to design or code a mobile app that makes life easier and saves Kenyan lives.

The competition is aimed at both individuals and businesses with funding from Google, Kenya’s largest search engine, with the goal of creating 1,000 different mobile apps in Kenya

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