FINALISTS

Kenyan students picked for Microsoft tech competition

The competition encourages students to build something that matters to them, make a difference in their communities

In Summary
  • The teams presented solutions touching on health, lifestyle education and others that directly speak to socio-economic issues both locally and globally.
  •  The global finals will be held on March 30.
Microsoft Kenya MD Kendi Ntwiga Nderitu.
Microsoft Kenya MD Kendi Ntwiga Nderitu.
Image: COURTESY

Three teams of Kenyan students are among finalists for this year’s Microsoft’s annual global student technology competition dubbed 'Imagine Cup'.

The competition slated for March 24 and 25 encourages students to build something that matters to them, make a difference in their communities and innovate for impact.

The teams presented solutions touching on health, lifestyle education and others that directly speak to socio-economic issues both locally and globally.

Team Cafrilearn created a project called Makini that consists of a mobile application that supports devices and allows for the facilitation of digital learning at an affordable cost.

Another Kenyan team, Intellivolt monitors over-voltage, under-voltage and power outages. The monitors alert from Azure applications in the form of SMS and emails are sent to relevant authorities in real-time.

Lastly, team Reweba (Remote Well Baby) created a solution that serves as an early warning system - digitally monitoring growth parameters of babies and sending them to doctors remotely for timely intervention.

It combines a variety of technologies to provide innovative functionalities for infant screening.

The winning team will take home the Imagine Cup trophy along with $75,000 and a mentoring session with Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella.

This year the competition also includes category prizes totalling $60,000, plus Microsoft Learn Challenge monthly giveaways.

“This year, we wanted to empower students to reimagine solutions and remove the physical and geographical borders – creating a global stage,’’ Kendi Nderitu, Country manager, Microsoft Kenya said.

Kendi said they are thrilled the Kenya teams have created solutions that are competing on a world scale.

Further up the continent, team Ubo from Tunisia has come up with an intelligent game console that offers educational activities to children with autism spectrum disorders to help them maintain their treatment from home.

Last year marked the 18th annual Imagine Cup which saw six teams selected to move forward to the World.

The Knights from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology created an automated robot using artificial intelligence to identify and remove weeds from rows of crops.

Their solution uses cameras as sensors to gather input from the environment and eliminate farmers' need to use environmentally harmful pesticides in their weeding.

As part of winning the regional finals, the team won $8000. The global finals will be held on March 30.