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Rwanda govt, Motorola in mobile deal for youth

February 17, 2014 • East Africa, Mobile and Telecoms, Top Stories

Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana. (Image source: ICT & Innovation Summit)

Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana. (Image source: ICT & Innovation Summit)

Recognising the catalytic natures of mobile technologies in fostering Human Development, UNDP and Motorola have entered into a partnership to address some of these challenges and further stimulate the diffusion of mobile initiatives on a larger scale.

In Rwanda, there are many social innovators who are already pioneering mobile solutions for human development. Local social innovators are taking advantage of the lower entry barriers for app development.

Solution in the areas of Human Development –Education, Governance, Health, Agriculture and Gender.  The Challenge is expected to help entrepreneurs grow businesses – efficiently and effectively. Providing the winners with seed funding for their successful proposals, we help them to scale and grow successful, sustainable businesses and in turn create jobs for young people and stimulate the local economy.

Cash prizes range from $1,000 – $6,000. In addition to the cash prize, the first winner will receive business training and mentoring by successful entrepreneurs throughout the initial phase of their start-up.

The challenge is for young people between 18 and 35 years of age. All applications should be made via the online application. Deadline for proposals is the 25th of February, 2014.

While launching the challenges, the Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana noted that “We are going to have a challenge to really test your abilities to be able to transform the skills that you have in terms of mobile programming but also our understanding of the development and how we can merge the two, and be able to solve the real life challenges.

He added that we all agreed that mobile applications hold a very great promise not only for our social economic development but also for job creation for individual developers.

YouthConnekt was initiated by the Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT) in 2012 as a platform to connect young Rwandans and increase their participation in the country’s socio-economic transformation. The initiative has since spun off a number of well-established programs such the YouthConnekt Dialogue and YouthConnekt Awards.

YouthConnekt Hangout brings together various partners including UNDP, ADMA, Tigo Rwanda, Zilencio Creativo, BSC Ltd and HeHe Ltd to create a platform for youth, government, development partners, private sector and civil society to connect youth to opportunities for their personal and socio-economic development.

Serge Kapto, ICT for Development Advisor at UNDP Headquarters in New York highlights the contribution of ICT to human development; he noted that “UNDP has been working on this since early 90′s to look for potential of ICT to contribute to meeting the needs of people living in poverty… We see ICT as both as an enabler for human development and a means for local capacity…”

The challenge has the unique aim of encouraging youth participation in innovation and apps development through entrepreneurship promotion by coming up with Mobiles

The Hangout is an online debate happening live after two weeks, through the initiative young people across the country and abroad share their views, and are able to ask questions to the officials in order to find solutions against challenges that the country face in line with development goals.

YouthConnekt Hangout won the first prize at the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa’s innovation fair in the beginning of December last year in South Africa. The platform use Google hangout technology in combination with other social media channels and SMS to connect young people to role models, resources, skills, and entrepreneurship and employment opportunities.

The next YouthConnekt Hangout will happen on Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 from 4:00PM. It will be an occasion of the competition to generate mobile application technologies to be used by the community.

Staff Writer

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