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Airtel, Samsung launch African app challenge

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Bharti Airtel, with telecommunication operations in 20 countries across Africa and Asia, has launched an application challenge for start-up developers as it seeks to attract the “next big app developers” into the Airtel group of companies.The challenge – a partnership between Bharti Airtel, Singaporean telecommunications company Singtel and smartphone company Samsung – seeks to attract developers in Africa and Asia who will partner with the companies to launch applications on the two continents.

Airtel Africa CEO Christian de Faria says the challenge reiterates the company’s commitment to empowering the youth to realize their potential in various sectors including ICT.

“This initiative is a great opportunity for developers in Africa to come up with innovative mobile apps that directly touch individual consumer’s needs. We hope to partner with like-minded individuals who will come forward and work together with us to come up with apps that will help us deliver the best smartphone experience for customers,” says De Faria.

Under the partnership, Airtel Africa will provide all operational support by running the campaign promotions while Singtel and Samsung together will organise a two- day mentorship program for the regional winners and the finale in November 2015.

The five-month app challenge will see participants develop consumer-centric mobile applications that will leverage on mobile network services: mobile, data, carrier billing, location and SMS.

The deadline for applications submission is 5 September 2015, after which two African winners will be selected to participate in a Start-up Mentorship Program in October 2015 in Singapore. The overall winners will be announced in November 2015 and expected to commence assignment with Airtel/ Singtel group of companies in 2016.

According to a 2014 Flurry Analytics study, mobile applications command 86 percent of the time that the average mobile consumer spends on their smartphone while smartphone users spend an average of 2 hours 42 minutes on mobile devices with app usage accounting for 2 hours and 19 minutes of this time.