Ghanaian developers fail to impress in continental innovation contest

Accra, the capital of Ghana is being touted as the next technology hub in Africa  after Kenyan capital Nairobi, but the performance of Ghanaian software developers in the $150,000 Innovation Prize for Africa  (IPA) contest does not reflect that optimism. None of the 14 Ghanaian developers made it to the finals.

The IPA is a joint initiative of the African Innovation Foundation and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) which is seeking to encourage and honour innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or saving cost in Africa, according to the ECA.

The annual award is set to acknowledge and reward technological breakthroughs in such main areas like clean/green technology, ICTs, health,agriculture and food security.

“The prize also promotes among young African men and women the pursuit of science, technology, and engineering careers and business applications,.” the ECA said.

The list of entries by countries shows that Angola has the highest number of entries of 85, followed by Egypt’s 63 and 41 from Kenya. Nine countries out of the 38 entrants, submitted one application each for the contest.

After the competition closed in October 2011 seven developers have been nominated out of which the winners will be announced but there is no Ghanaian among them.

The nominees are from Egypt, two from Kenya, Algeria, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Angola.

The first prize winner will receive $100,000 and the second prize winner will get $50,000 at an award ceremony to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 26, 2012.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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