The Mtn Uganda Application Programming Interface(API) challenge was launched in 2018 with aim of opening up the Mobile Money application to third parties in order to enable innovation and increase digital financial services.
203 Ugandan Entrepreneurs submitted applications focusing on building solutions for digital payments. Mtn Uganda picked 22 finalists from the pool of applicants and today 9 emerged winners sharing shs66 millions.
Mtn Acting CEO, Gordian Kyomukama said by opening up its API to third-party developers, the giant telecom is also opening up to benefits of revenue generation and innovation. This is especially because of the growing adoption of mobile devices and mobile money usage among consumers today.
The 9 winners were drawn from 3 categories of transport, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), and Hotel, Restaurant,Café Owners(HORECA). 9 Entrepreneurs developed applications for hotels, restaurants and café, 8 developed in the fast moving consumer goods and 5 in the transport sector.
The award ceremony was held at Mtn Head Offices in Nyonyi Gardens Kampala with young people smiling to the bank with their cheques. In each category the winner took home shs 10 millions, 1st Runners-up shs 7 millions and 2nd Runners-up shs 5 millions.
Mtn CEO, Kyomukama said Mtn Uganda is committed to supporting innovations by enabling developers leverage their infrastructure.
“Our platforms such as MTN API Application Challenge are a statement of our commitment to innovation with ICT space in Uganda”.
He said several applications have been developed by the great minds that have been awarded. Such applications are becoming increasingly necessary as more people are beginning to appreciate the use of such life changing innovations.
Kyomukama said Mtn will strive to ease life as much as possible for everyone and gave example of the cheapest smart feature phone.
“Looking to the future, ICT for development and innovations will go beyond computers, mobile phones and the internet. Innovations will be more about linking people and connecting them to various services to ease their day today lives in very practical yet simple ways”.
Susan Kayemba , Senior Manager of Digital Services said its been three months since this journey started. We are happy to tap into the spirit of entrepreneurship.The journey is just beginning.
“The Journey still continues. Key to note is that your own journey is still starting, don’t give up at this point after receiving the prize money. This is nothing if you ask Bill Gates or Zuckerberg”.
In the hotel/restaurant/café category the winners are “App About” who developed an app that enables owners to make pre-sales for events.
In the transportation category , “Easy Matatu” the team developed an App that enables carpooling using matatus.
Lastly in the fast moving commodities , “Minute 5” team developed an online platform for shopping groceries.