Airtel has given startup developers in Africa another golden opportunity to come up with an innovative product that will have a direct impact on consumers. This has come in the form of an app challenge that will consciously search for the “next big app developers” in Africa and ultimately absorb them into the Airtel group. This initiative came on the heels of a partnership between Bharti Airtel, Singaporean Telecommunications Company, Singtel and Samsung.
The challenge will feature developers from Asia and Africa who will come up with mind-blowing apps that will directly address consumer needs. The winning apps will then be launched simultaneously on both continents. Christian de Faria who is the Chief Executive officer of Airtel Africa, said that the goal of this challenge was youth empowerment, helping them realize their potential in the world of Information and Communication technology while ensuring that smartphone users continue to have the best of experiences.
The challenge which will span over a period of five months will task participants with developing apps that are specifically centered around the consumer while leveraging on network services. Operational support will be provided by the management of Airtel while the two-day mentorship aspect of the challenge which would be held for regional winners would be a collaborative effort between Singtel and Samsung. The program is expected to wrap up in November, 2015 after which winners would be absorbed into Airtel group, commencing work in 2016.
Airtel has overtime proven itself to be a major supporter of startups in Africa. The group’s previous competition saw seven startups emerge as winners of the Airtel Catapult-a-Startup competition where several several entrepreneurs were asked to pitch their business ideas. Once again, they have taken another giant stride with the Airtel app challenge. This would be truly seen as a welcome development to app developers across Africa and would further shine the spotlight on technological innovations by young enterprising youths across the continent.