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KZN university wins MTN challenge

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The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has won the inaugural MTN SA Foundation ICT Challenge and the overall National Championship title at the recent Enactus National Competition 2015.

The championship title has qualified UKZN to represent South Africa at the Enacatus World Cup 2015 taking place in October at the Sandton Convention Centre where 35 countries will be represented.

The UKZN team, which comprised 22 students, presented their Agri-Hub ICT application that provides farmers with basic information about farming, including giving advice on matching the farming and harvest season with certain crops. It also serves as an interactive platform for farmers to liaise with their customers and allows the farmers to market their harvest virtually.

To enter in the championship, universities had to identify a beneficiary organisation that could benefit from the solution presented.

UKZN identified uMtatewamaBovu Cooperative and it is hoped that the application will contribute to a creation of a consistent flow of income, allowing uMtatewamaBovu employees to provide for their families.

“Our application equips and empowers farmers with basic farming lessons. It contains information on when crops are planted with projections on the next expected harvest date, allowing customers to pre-order their desired quantities even before the crops are harvested,” says one of the UKZN team members.

“It enables customers to plan in advance and eliminates the travel between the farmers and potential customers, allowing farmers to be just a click away.”

The teams that participated at the Enactus National Competition showcased the impact of their community outreach projects to judges who are business experts.

“We first partnered with Enactus in 2014 as they share the same vision with us of creating an enabling environment that will allow entrepreneurs to thrive and help in the alleviation of poverty,” says Kusile Mtunzi-Hairwadzi, GM of MTN SA Foundation.

“Human progress depends on our ability to waken up the entrepreneurial spirit that lives within each one of us and I’m pleased that our ICT challenge was able to do exactly that in the Enactus National Competition 2015,” she says.