Nigeria, Senegal beat Ghana in US Climate Change Competition for West Africa

Winners of the US climate change competition “Apps4Africa” have been announced. Nigeria emerged champions for the West African zone.

The Apps4Africa challenge is a competition which challenges programme developers to find innovative technological solutions to everyday problems on issues ranging from transparency and governance to health and education.

The Climate Challenge centred around several strategic themes that coincide with policy decisions that will be debated and decided upon by world leaders at the 17th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP17) conference in Durban, South Africa.

The winners were announced December 7, 2011 on the sidelines of the ongoing COP 17 in Durban, South Africa.

Victor Ogo Ekwueme from Nigeria won the first prize worth $15,000. He developed a programme known as the HospitalManager – a web-based application that helps hospitals and health organizations prepare for disasters such as floods and storms. It also helps in identifying patterns in patient visits following rains and floods, so that staff can better prepare for these situations and save more lives.

The $7,000 second prize went to the Senegalese team – Assane Seck, Guillaume Blandin and Markus Faschina. They developed an Eco-fund Forum, a web-based community organizer and geo-localized data exchange tool which helps individuals and communities working on sustainable resource management throughout Africa to share their own experiences on best practices. Thus they will better understand and respond to the climate change challenges impacting each specific local context.

The team from Ghana made up of Alloysius Attah and Emmanuel Owusu Addai took the third prize of $3,000 for developing a mobile and web-based system known as “Farmerline” that furnishes farmers and investors with relevant agricultural information to improve productivity and increase income.

Other West African countries that participated in the competition were Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde.

According to officials, the goal of the competition is to ensure that African innovators have the opportunity to contribute their ideas to the discussion that their own and other leaders will partake in at COP17.

By Ekow Quandzie

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