Techies, Social Innovation Rises Up From Egypt’s Political Revolution

Techies, Social Innovation Rises Up From Egypt’s Political Revolution

Despite political tension and a gripping regime that has halted the country’s progression, in the last few years, tech savvy citizens have made the most of Egypt’s offerings by pushing social innovation, creating apps and web platforms.

BBC recently tracked down innovators of three startups, reporting on the nation’s tech revolution that is enhancing communication, education and furthering the country’s tech advancement.

Founded in the midst of the political revolution, XoneBee a bluetooth application made it possible for two people within 10-20 metres to transmit messages without using wi-fi.

“The government had just cut off all internet and communication networks around the nation,” creator Mohammad Omara told BBC. “I started thinking of a solution to get people connected.”

He’s since advanced the application’s capability which now allows a network of individuals to transmit messaging within 300 square metres, according to BBC.

Moataz Soliman and Omar Gabr are the founders behind Instabug, an app that allows users to send bug reports to companies by shaking their phone when problems arise. Users can then add comments by drawing on the screen. An internally generated bug summary does the rest of the work, notifying engineers of application bugs in a comprehensive report.

“It really enables greater collaboration between developers and users. Now it’s fun to report bugs,” co-founder Moataz Soliman told BBC. “When you’re angry at an app, what’s the first thing you think of doing? “You shake it! It’s a completely natural reaction!”

Catering to students looking to learn from their peers and sources other than classroom teachers, the online video educational tool Nafham seeks to engage students while providing alternate ways of learning.

Nafham was founded by Mohamad Habib, Mustafa Farhat, Hashem Ali and Ahmad El Alfi. While Egypt’s education gap continues to widen, the Arabic educational tool already has 18 million users. Farhat expects that number to increase.

“We have 18 million students. We’re already overcrowded, and by 2017, we’ll have a shortage of 700,000 seats,” he said in the report.

One of the platform’s main purposes, according to BBC,  is to encourage students to share and upload their methods and learning process.

“We don’t want it to be one-way learning. We want to engage people to create videos themselves,” Farhat added.”We have to think outside of the box, and find alternative solutions.”

Nafham translates to “We understand” in Arabic.