The first  contest was held in 2012 as a small competition to inspire innovation centered in Africa. Today, the worldwide participation in these awards has thrust Appsafrica to the forefront of innovation.

As entries from 21 countries have spread across the globe in three different continents, only the most effective apps continue on to become finalists in the awards, which are to be held this year in Cape Town Nov. 16.

The awards celebrate technology and entrepreneurship in Africa. Applications were accepted from July 20 to Sept. 7, and no one except the most innovative developers produced apps valuable enough to proceed onward. Below are just a few of the front-runners of this year’s Appsafrica Innovation Awards in each category:

  • Women In Tech – Most notably, Emefa Kpegba has invented the OMobileFunding app, which is a mobile and web service that attempts to improve the lives of Togolese people through microfinance participation.
  • Social Impact – Charlie Wandjii is the founder of 1task1job; its effect on society is an ingenious way of providing stable jobs in an unstable continent. By posting a project that needs completing on the mobile/web service, a job is given to a freelancer who is regularly utilized by the app.
  • Best Educational Innovation – Bookly is an app aiming to increase literacy rates in Africa. This innovation solution is a mobile web service that allows anyone to share a story of his or her choosing so long as it’s appropriate. After being published, those who use the app may then read a “bookly” anywhere, serving as reading practice.
  • Best Health Innovation – The Medical Concierge Group has developed an app that suggests a management plan allowing easier access and affordability to quality health care using an archive of data. This group is a Ugandan-based organization that began in 2012.
  • Best African App – mPaper is an easy-to-use innovation that allows quick access to news sources and magazines to those who use the app.
  • Best Mobile Innovation – M-vender is an entrepreneurial app that lets people sell airtime, electricity and offers other financial services to its users.
  • Best Non-Data Mobile Innovation – Safermom is an app that keeps in touch with new and expecting mothers, sending SMS messages that give helpful information on low-cost mobile phones.
  • Best Fintech Innovation – Mergims is an app that allows financial aid to be sent to individuals in Rwanda, which is the birthplace of the app itself. This is important because it allows migrants workers a way to send funds to their loved ones at home.
  • Best Disruptive Innovation – Picup is a mobile app that picks up whatever you need and brings it to you. Its application for exchanging resources between rural communities could help to solidify a stable means of quick transportation if development continues.
  • Best Entertainment Innovation – myMusic is a Nigerian-based app that lets its users stream music for free, connecting rural regions with urban culture.

As mentioned above, these are just a few of the finalists revealed for the 2015 Appsafrica Innovation Awards. A full list is available on the website.

Emilio Rivera

Sources: Appsafrica, Picup, MyMusic, Mergims, Changemakers, Mvendr, Mpaper, TMCG, Bookly, 1Task1Job, OMobileFunding
Photo: Aps Africa