Mobile application developement blow up in JKUAT

For most Africans, a mobile phone is their only computing device. Africa has a population of  approximately 1 billion, 30 million computers and 264 million mobile phones. The continent has experineced the greatest mobile phone growth in the world. Mobile web is also on the rise and recent statistics show that 45% internet users in Kenya access the Internet via mobile phone.

Realising  this, JKUAT Endeavour Program – a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences and skills in Kenyan Universities, organized and conducted a mobile application development course, JKUAT/MIT Africa Information Technology Initiative Extension (JKUAT/MIT AITI-x) 2009. The course is a collaborative effort of the JKUAT Endeavour, Department of Computing – JKUAT, MIT AITI and Google Inc.

The course was held at the University from 15th September 2009 and ended on 7th November 2009. Participants were taught java programming, developing SMS, J2ME, and Google Android applications.

The course ended with a mobile application development competition where participants demonstrated how they could use the knowledge they had acquired in an enterprising way. Judging of the students projects was done on 7th November 2009, JKUAT/MIT AITI-x Open Day. The team of judges was drawn from Google Inc – Kenya Office, African Pixel, Dotsavvy Africa Ltd., Verviant Consulting and JKUAT.

The first position was a tie of the College Finder and Mobichuo SMS applications. The applications were to help high school leavers to find college/university courses they would qualify for using SMS. College finder was developed by Ngugi N. Benjamin, Buyu Walter, Sang Bernard, Nabie S. Daniel and Antony Nzomo. Mobichuo was developed by Senteu Ole Nchoe, Joy Kendi and Fred Kithizi.

Members of Mobichuo & College Finder with Denis & Justin, Google Inc. - Kenya

The third postion was taken by the Sibasi Droid, an Android application that enables users to find places and friends that are located near their current position. Once the user logs in to the application, it picks their current location using GPS. The application then lists places (ATMs, restuarants) and friends that are currently located near the user which can be mapped onto google maps in the map view option. The application was developed by Amos Wachanga and David Mburu.

All the winners were awarded prizes by Google and prize money by the JKUAT Endeavour Team. All the participants received Google noteboooks and Google pens.

In addition, there were talks from guests on the following topics:

• Innovation by Wilfred Mworia (African Pixel & Afrinnovator)
• Entrepreneurship by Moses Kemibaro (Dotsavvy Africa)
• Production by Liko Agosta (Verviant Consulting)
• Localization & Mobile by Denis Gikunda (Google Kenya)

The JKUAT Endeavour team would like to express their gratitude to the Institute of Computer Science Science and Information Technolgy (ICSIT), the ICT Department, and the Research Consultancy and Training section for their support.

View photos on flickr

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