BLANTYRE (Malawi NewsNow)-Four students have earned a ticket to fly to world’s technology nerve-centre, the Silicon Valley, USA after emerging winners in the TNM Smart Challenge ICT competition, the first of its kind by a local mobile telecoms company in Malawi.
The four are Panache Jere, Daniel Mvalo, Walter Moyo and Thandie Magasa.
Jere won in the Smart Kid category of the competition for developing an application, ‘Talk To Me’, while the trio developed a health service app, ‘Martenitech’ in the Smart Student category. The Smart Community prize was awarded to a group of students who developed a solution called ‘Daily Box’. The four US-bound whizz kids beat a field of 15 other contestants who had been short-listed.
Speaking in Lilongwe during a live-televised awards ceremony, TNM Chief Executive Officer Douglas Stevenson said he was pleased with the response the competition received in its inaugural year and promised that it had come to stay.
“TNM is pleased to be providing a platform for enabling our youth be the best they can be and to challenge the conventional way of thinking. You have the power to change the world aroud you using ICT, and we at TNM alongside our IT partners are very excited to support your innovation,” said Stevenson.
Stevenson said as a telecommunications company is committed to create an enabling environment for innovations in ICT.
“It is our continuous hope that this Smart Challenge competition becomes the trendsetter for various ICT innovations for youth of the country as demonstrated by the innovative and brilliant applications that we received from the participants,” he said
In his remarks Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Information Justin Saidi commended TNM for coming up with the initiative which provided platform for enabling and empowering young Malawians realize their potential in ICT.
“ICT has potential to add value to our agro-based economy, which now faces numerous challenges, key of which is climate change which is negating output. If properly harnessed, ICT products and services could become an alternative source of GDP through job creation,” he said
The winners who are from Smart Students category will travel to USA, Silicon Valley where they will tour Facebook, Google, Apple and Stanford University. Others in Smart kid and smart community will win Smart devices and computers for a lab respectively.
TNM engaged MHub, Facebook, Google, Opera Software and IBM as technology partners for this initiative.