Kenya’s financial product Spark Money has beaten a field of 130 competitors to walk away with the first prize at the 2022 edition of the annual Huawei Developers Competition (HDC). Built by wealth management startup Dvara, the digital savings and investment solution is designed to improve financial wellness for both individuals and organizations. They were followed closely by Team NAC from Tanzania in second place while South African teams Astel Systems, Innovo Networks and Malcam Solutions collectively placed third.
All six finalists received cash prizes and Huawei devices. Kenyan winners Spark Money got Kshs. 1.2 million (USD 10 000), as well as a Huawei MatePad for each team member. Spark Money’s Mfadhili Gitau described the competition as a life changing opportunity they grabbed with both hands.
“Through initiatives and competitions like this one, African developers have the opportunity and support to create and innovate the right solutions for problems faced on the African continent. This could even help our continent become a technology hub serving the rest of the world,” he said.
According to Huawei, today’s age of accelerated digital migration where smartphones are proliferating and there is widespread adoption of business software, the youthful population is driving end-user demand for online services and solutions. Speaking at Huawei’s Johannesburg campus, Roc Bai, the Vice President of Huawei Cloud Southern Africa said the Huawei Developers Competition encourages software developers to give full play to their imagination and innovative spirit, by using ICT technologies to solve practical problems and create unlimited value.
“It encourages them to use their imagination to apply their creativity on challenges in key sectors including education, agriculture, and public utilities,” he noted.
The Huawei Developer Competition comes at a time when the software developer community in Kenya is growing with annual supply for the specialists estimated to have risen by 2,000 in 2021. With more than 50,000 software developers, Kenya’s community is one of the fastest growing and is expected to expand by 15 percent over the next two years.
A key flagship area of Kenya’s ten-year digital masterplan for 2022 to 2032 is Digital Enterprises, Innovation and Enterprises, which aims at establishing 2 software manufacturing industries and two electronic manufacturing plants with 10,000 software engineers and will produce over 1.2 million electronic devices.