Facebook has unveiled the winners of its Internet.org Challenge, a contest which seeks to reward African developers with apps that improve education and economic health.
Applications for the contest opened back in May 2016 in two categories – learning/education and empowerment.
After four months of hard work, the organizers have finally come around to make their pick. They are described below.
The Economic Empowerment category was won by South African startup, Hyperion Development, scooping the sum of US$150,000 in the process.
Hyperion built an online course platform for computer science education supported by the largest online community of software developers in Africa.
In the Education category, Ghana’s Esoko, which makes it easier for businesses, governments, NGOs and others to connect with farmers, came out tops, winning US$150,000.
Through its web and mobile apps, Esoko enables two-way data flows that allow smallholder farmers to access vital agricultural information and markets, and businesses to gain better visibility into their supply chains.
mPedigree Goldkeys from Ghana, an anti-counterfeiting, tracking and tracing solution, and Nigeria’s SaferMom, which provides vital info via sms, voice services and its mobile app to pregnant and new mothers to help make informed health decisions, won the Impact Awards in this category. They both got US$50,000.
The judges for the challenge are Ike Eze, Head, PocketMoni; Ime Archibong, Director of Product Partnerships, Facebook; Rob LeBlanc, Chief Investment Officer, The Amethu Project; and Terryanne Chebet, Founder, Keyara Organics.
The launch of the challenge in Africa follows the success of the challenge in India where developers making the Internet more relevant for women, students, farmers and migrant workers were recognized and rewarded.