A new mobile application designed to help dairy farmers manage their cattle has won the first Apps4Africa competition.

Charles Kithika took home US$5,000 and an Apple iPad for his first place application, dubbed iCow, a voice-based program that assists cow farmers’ breeding and feeding of their livestock.

Other winners included Kleptocracy Fighters Inc., an app that lets users track and report data on government corruption, and Mamakiba, a calculator designed to help low-income women budget for maternal health needs, both of which earned cash and smart phones for their designers.

Winners, including honorable mentions, were named last Wednesday.

Joshua Goldstein, an American who served as a co-coordinator for Apps4Africa, said the project was a labour of love “from a close-knit group of organizations that were led by technology geeks with a civic bent in East Africa.”

Goldstein said Apps4Africa “went quite well” not only in terms of the apps submitted for the contest, but also how it was received by the public.

“People in the community and the tech community in the region really seemed to get it,” he said.

Apps4Africa was started in July, and the inaugural competition drew entries from Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. Goldstein said the hope is to keep the project going, perhaps with annual awards.

The contest, funded by the United States Department of State and run by organizations within the region, was “platform agnostic,” Goldstein said, drawing candidate programs designed to run on mobile smartphones and others on the web.


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