Samsung, in partnership with @iLabAfrica, today unveiled eight new locally developed mobile applications (apps) during the 2nd edition of the Samsung Apps Show N’ Tell.
The event brings together local app developers and provides a platform for them to showcase their innovations as part of a research and development programme run by Strathmore University’s @iLabAfrica, a research and incubation facility that supports entrepreneurship programs in apps and software development.
The apps unveiled are just some of those that have been in development, with more expected to be released in the coming months. Those launched include:
- App Wakili – designed to ease access to legal information in Kenya, this app allows users to search lawyers registered with the Law Society of Kenya, their contacts, and areas of expertise including corporate law, dispute resolution, regional and international law, among others
- National Assembly and County Assembly App – allows the Kenya National Assembly and County Assembly to access the standing orders and order paper on tablets and mobile phones, ensuring continuity of in-house business and cutting costs related to printing order papers. The app also allows legislators to vote on a subject/debate
- Laikipia Wildlife Forum App – this was developed to compliment environment conservation efforts within Laikipia. The app provides information on sites and attractions within the area, eases navigation to the different sites and maps out donor funded projects that both local and international tourists may be interested in supporting
- KCA University App – targeted at students of the university, the app delivers content to students, ranging from information on extra-curricular activities such as clubs and sports to access to the school’s library system. The app also allows for course registration and enrollment of new students
- Kenya Wildlife Service Guide App – enables tourists locate national parks, conservancies, reserves and amenities within the parks
- Halal Kenya App – in recognition of the importance of Halal certification to the Muslim community, this app provides a listing of Halal-certified establishments and their locations, and allows users to review them. The app also enables users to report non-Halal practices being carried out at establishments purporting to be Halal to the Kenya Halal Bureau
- Uganda Legal Information Institute App – targeted at law students, lawyers, judges and magistrates, this app eases access to legal information in Uganda. Information available includes: judiciary calendar, Ugandan constitution (1995), cases and rulings, and gazette notices
- Pharmacy & Poisons Board (PPB) Admin App – this app enables PPB inspectors register and validate pharmacies and their employees in real time and make the information available to the public. It also provides information on registered pharmacies, a key component of ensuring that the safety of Kenyans visiting pharmacies and using the drugs and other chemical substances sold at these pharmacies is not compromised
Each app is designed to provide relevant information to users, relying on information databases built by local teams and fashioned to present data and information in a way that is palatable for app users.
Speaking during the event Manoj Changarampatt, Samsung Electronics East Africa Director of Mobile and IT, said the apps were proof that the partnership between Samsung and @iLabAfrica was bearing fruit, with local app developers now having both the resources and guidance required to pursue their passion for technology.
“We are very pleased to see our efforts coming to fruition, proof that we have both the ideas and skill to develop innovative apps that speak to the needs of the local and regional tech consumers,” said Mr. Changarampatt. “With the consumption of mobile apps growing daily we have identified the opportunities for Kenyan app developers to showcase to the corporate world, government and individual consumers what they are capable of, and take pride in our role of bringing different stakeholders together to support homegrown talent.”
To build the apps developers are encouraged to undertake in-depth research to establish whether their ideas are viable, and are then linked to vital sources of information to help them develop applications informed by real needs to ensure that there is a market for them. Once they have the information the students work under the guidance of experienced developers and faculty at @iLabAfrica, where they benefit from funding, skills sharing and in-roads into the market place.
“Many of the students we work with are naturally gifted in app development, being themselves consumers of mobile applications and therefore understanding what fellow consumers need and how they want it presented to them for use,” said Dr. Joseph Sevilla – Director, @iLabAfrica. “Our goal is to create a crop of app developers who have the creativity to spur innovation in app development, and who can either be employed by tech giants such as Samsung or become entrepreneurs in their own right.”
With mobile phone usage growing and an estimated 67% of mobile phones sold in Kenya classified as smart phones, the market for local apps continues to grow steadily and is now being touted as a key driver of Kenya’s ambition of becoming an African ICT hub by 2030.
Samsung has been partnering with @iLabAfrica for the past three years and has in this time contributed towards the development and launch of over 80 mobile applications, majority of which are already in use and are available for download exclusively on Samsung devices via Samsung GALAXY Apps.