Ericsson has finally announced winners of the Apps for African City Life Competition. The first prize goes to Team Shinsekai from Senegal while Kenya grabbed the second and third positions respectively.

The ‘Apps for African City Life competition is part of the global 2013 Ericsson Application Awards (EAA 2013) – for application developers.

Team Shinsekai developed an app to support environmental sanitation and hygiene development in cities. Kenya developed the Easy Parking and Tokelezea applications. Easy Parking application will help motorists locate and pay for available parking areas thus reducing fuel consumption. Tokelezea will focus on enabling individuals to locate events and places around them and share the information with their friends.

The “Apps for African City Life” award was designed to inspire innovation and promote the development of mobile applications that address the demands of business and daily life in urban centers across Africa’s Networked Society.

Ericsson’s Sub-Saharan Africa Marketing and Strategy Head Shiletsi Makhofane said that applications are an integral part for a Networked Society.

The regional competition opened on October 29, 2012 and ran until January 25, 2013. Entries were accepted in two categories – one for students and the other for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Teams were required to develop an application based on the Android platform that addressed the theme, ‘Apps for African City Life’ which is designed to promote the development of innovative ideas and mobile applications to address situations particular to urban centers across the region.

In tandem, the rate of urbanization in Africa is recognized as the most rapid in the world. By 2020, Africa is expected to have 70 cities with populations over 1 million, including 11 mega-cities with 5 million inhabitants or more.

According to the latest United Nations projections, between 2010 and 2030 the urban population of sub-Saharan Africa is projected to double, from 298 million to 595 million.

However, urbanization in Africa has yet to deliver the economic development and degree of prosperity that is expected. Inadequate education and physical infrastructure have constrained the efficient use of resources, and industrial development. While ICTs, and in particular mobile technology, has dramatically transformed people’s lives, there is still an untapped potential in supporting social and economic growth, in the region.

The members of the winning teams in the regional competition will each receive top-of-the -range android tablets and their applications entered into the global competition – EAA 2013 – “Apps for City Life”, for a chance to win a €25,000 cash prize.