Africa’s biggest mobile operator, MTN, recognized a selection of mobile applications created and used on the continent for their positive impact on business.
The seventh edition of the MTN Business App of the Year Awards took place recently in Johannesburg, with an app that provides an offline virtual assistant, another that connects farmers to international markets, and an app that brings traditional savings-methods into the digital age all awarded for their innovation.
The South African telecoms giant is the largest mobile operator on the continent by subscribers, with its major markets South Africa and Nigeria counting 30 million and 54.5 million users respectively.
Here are the 11 business apps that were recognized by Africa’s biggest mobile operator, MTN.
South African app Khula!, which enables emerging farmers to connect with the formal marketplace, won the Best Agricultural Solution prize, as well as the prize for the best overall app. The mobile app brings together numerous farms to basically crowdsource and deliver on bulk orders made via supermarkets, restaurants and private individuals. Khula’s prize for winning the top award was a trip for their developers to Silicon Valley.
Recently selected for the Google Africa Launchpad Accelerator, South African insure-tech startup Pineapple provides innovative insurance products for users to benefit from. The company’s unique machine learning technology allows a user to easily insure individual items that they own using a mobile app. In 2017 Pineapple received an investment of around $350,000 from Lireas Holdings, the strategic investment arm of Hannover-Re Group Africa, according to BusinessTech.
Recognized for the app’s ability to address business-specific challenges, Cowa Bunga applies optimization, security, communication and intelligent client-specific algorithms to the last mile supply chain, creating a network linking clients to their drivers and customers. The Cowa Bunga solution is currently being adopted by Nandos, a South African chicken restaurant with 40 stores in the U.S.
Digemy Knowledge Partner was the winner of this particular prize, as the innovative app’s team is currently part of the Besmarter incubator. The app’s purpose is to address some of the most important issues in traditional education. By using a series of algorithms based on neuro-scientific research, the app creates unique learning curves for each learner based on their knowledge of the subject before they start studying, according to MTN.
Another of the double-award-winning apps on this list, the Bestee App provides users with the first ever offline virtual assistant. It uses complex machine learning algorithms to compute directly to user Android devices. The most innovative and best breakthrough developer awards went to Bestee.
The Stokfella app brings the traditional South African community-based savings system (stockvels) into the digital realm by providing a platform through which users gain access to a directory of local stokvels and the terms for joining them. Through the StockFella app, old school saving techniques meet modern technology in a marriage that allows users to take part in a stockvel or create and run one of their own, where a number of users contribute savings to a single stockvel.
Difela Hymns is an app that provides users with a collection of hymns in two prominent South African languages, with Sesotho from the Lifela Tsa Sione Hymn book, and Xhosa, from the Amaqculo a se Wesile Hymn book. The app also makes it possible for users to digitize artefacts central to African languages, preserving them for future generations, according to IOL.
The African Cyber Gaming League App creates a community of gamers throughout Africa, allowing users across the continent to connect to online gaming tournaments, receive instant push notifications and connect to live events. Through this platform, a community of like-minded gamers is nurtured and they engage with one another, connected by their passion for gaming.
The dbTrack certified earphones and mobile application is designed so that users listen to music through safe, high quality earphones that monitor the exact sound exposure in the ear, in real-time. The app is not only about measurement, however, as it also adjusts sound to a safe level based on its calculations of what is safe for the ears on an ongoing basis, providing detailed historical data to track listening habits, according to ITWeb.
The Xander English Play app was chosen as the Best Education Solution by MTN. Designed with young children in mind, the app focuses on mathematics development for numbers one through to 20. Counting and mathematics skills are taught through the app in an engaging and fun way that kids appreciate.
Selected as the Best Financial Solution, Ctrl is a fintech app that simplifies short-term insurance and makes it easy to find and compare various quotes available for specific insurance needs. The whole process is completed through the app at the user’s convenience, eliminating the need for unnecessary paperwork and sales calls in the pursuit of insurance quotes.