South Africa featured prominently in the fourth AppsAfrica Innovation Awards, held in Cape Town on 10 November 2018.

Hosts and founders of the annual awards programme, tech advisory service AppsAfrica.com, said the 2018 edition attracted over 300 entries from more than 39 countries across the continent.

Winners were crowned across 14 categories and invited to attend the 2019 Africa Tech Summit in Kigali on 15 February this year.

They are:

Best Agritech Solution: Farmcrowdy for the Farmcrowdy App (Nigeria)

Best Blockchain Solution: Custos Media Technologies for Custos (South Africa)

Best African App: SafeBoda (Uganda)

Changing Africa Award: Vanu, Inc (Rwanda/Zambia)

Disruptive Innovation: Nala for Nala App (Tanzania)

Best Edtech Solution: Xander Educational Apps (South Africa)

Best Enterprise Solution: Kobo360 (Nigeria)

Best Fintech SolutionClickatell for WhatsApp Chat Banking (South Africa)

Best Healthtech Solution: Baobab Circle for Afya Pap (Kenya)

Internet of Things (IoT): HydroIQ (Kenya)

Best mcommerce Solution:Travelstart for Flapp (South Africa)

Mobility and transport: Yego Innovision (Rwanda)

Best news and entertainment solution: Qene Technologies for Kukulu Game (Ethiopia)

Social Impact Award: WeThinkCode (South Africa)

Two SA winners that particularly grabbed our attention are Xander and WeThinkCode, both already making significant contributions towards education and the youth of our country.

Education in kid’s hands

Behind EdTech winner Xander’s apps lies a story of a mother of three turned app creator who realised her dream of creating high-quality, vernacular apps for local children.

Sibella Knott-Craig is the CEO of Tribage, the company responsible for apps like 123, Shapes & Colours, Spelling and many more aimed at developing kids’ fine-motor skills, sorting, matching, rhyming, literacy, numeracy and pattern recognition.

As a result, parents (or their kids) can download as examples, Sakgeld in Afrikaans, Prepositions in English, Wardrobe in isiXhosa, Time in isiZulu, Fruit and Veg in Setswana, Build and Break in Sesotho, Shapes and Colours in Swahili and Animals in Shona.

Social code

Non-profit organisation WeThinkCode aims to unlock youthful potential through talent sourcing and training with a path to employment.

The company’s courses are open to “all talented young people” and learning takes on a peer-to-peer problem-solving format without classes or teachers. Industry sponsorships support the company’s mission of developing local tech talent.

In addition, WeThinkCode’s Coding You for Success Framework aims to instil the key behaviours and life skills to best prepare students for success.

The AppsAfrica Innovation Awards were supported by Uber, JET8¸ Syntonic, KaiOS, Africa Tech Summit Kigali and Mobile Monday South Africa.