African software developers making their mark

Perceptions of Africa as a continent of poverty and despair are being challenged by the day. A World Bank global software development competition has received more entries from Africa than any other continent.

The World Bank’s ‘Apps for Development’ competition, a contest that required software developers to create applications using World Bank development data, received the greatest response from the African continent.

From a total of 107 global submissions, one third of the apps came from Africa, more than Europe and North America.

From the region, Uganda submitted the most apps, followed by Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Niger and Rwanda. Africa’s submissions range from Facebook applications to apps on an iPhone, and include open payment platforms as well as utilising Google Data and geovisualisation.

“The fact that African countries submitted the largest number of apps is a testament to the often untapped resource of burgeoning software developers in Africa,” said Emeka Okafor, Maker Faire Africa curator and the director for TED Global 2007. “The talent is there; such talent must be recognised.”

To review all apps from Africa, visit: