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June 18, 2018

Ten Kenyan girls' teams qualify for Global Technovation semi-finals

Former Kisumu ICT Director Onyango Michael takes selfies with Kisumu Girls High School students who represented the institution in the Global Technovation challenge in San Francisco, August 2017. /FAITH MATETE
Former Kisumu ICT Director Onyango Michael takes selfies with Kisumu Girls High School students who represented the institution in the Global Technovation challenge in San Francisco, August 2017. /FAITH MATETE

Ten Kenyan girls' team have been shortlisted for the 2018 Global Technovation Challenge semi-finals.

The ten teams, comprising of more than 400 girls, are drawn from different secondary schools countrywide.

The Kenyan teams that made it to the semi-finals are Queen Focus from Tumaini Girls Mombasa with their Soba app that is designed to link drug addicts to rehab centres.

High Gram from Qubaa High School, Mombasa impressed judges with "M.O.B", an education app that aims to reduce illiteracy levels in society.

Teams Pentatechs and G-SAS from Kaveye Girls, Kisumu presented "Kuza Talent", an app that links organsations with talented youths and "E-housing" - an app for finding houses to rent respectively.

Skylarks from Ngiya Girls, Siaya demonstrated their sexual education app "Kuwa Safe".

NaitechChix and Technovergent from M-PESA Foundation Academy presented Abicare, a safety and care App for people with albinism, and Smartfarmer, a commercial digital platform for small-scale farmers.

Smartgirls from Njoro Precious Secondary School, Nakuru made a hit with "I-Mentor", while Movers and Shakers from Mary Hill Girls, Nairobi qualified with "Soko Fresh", being an e-commerce store for groceries.

The teams were mentored by Safaricom’s Women in Technology Initiative, which seeks to increase women participation in Kenya's technology sector.

"Safaricom continues to partner with other organisations with a goal of increasing the participation and representation of Kenyan women in the global technology sector," Thibaud Rerolle, Safaricom director in charge of technology, said.

"The Technovation Challenge has been important in grooming future women engineers and also showcasing Kenya as a world innovation leader, hence our support of the initiative."

The girls were mentored by 80 female university students and have pushed Kenya to position 4 in global submissions behind Spain's 11 teams, Canada with 13, and the US with 19.

The shortlisted teams will proceed to the global finals where the winning team will walk away with Sh1.5million in funding for further App development.

The top two teams from Africa will be awarded Sh1,011,600 ($10,000) and Sh505,800 (5,000) in scholarships.

Two Kenyan teams have previously emerged among the top submissions globally.

Precious Blood Girls emerged 2nd in 2016 with a bus booking app while in 2017 Kisumu Girls made it to the finals with an app that seeks to combat genital mutilation.

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