China-funded tech contest boost innovation among Kenyan youth

Kenyan youth who participated in this year's Africa tech challenge sponsored by Chinese firm AVIC International have come up with innovations that make life easier and enjoyable.

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by Christine Lagat

The contestants who spoke to Xinhua during separate interviews on Friday said Africa tech challenge revitalized their innovative spirit to help address life’s challenges.

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Irving Amukasa, a 20 year old actuarial science student at a local university said the event exposed him to new ideas that are transformative.

Amukasa has developed a mobile application called Ultipedia to help primary school pupils revise for their exams in a more interactive format.

“Having passed through the analogue system of revising exams, I decided to work on a mobile application that would not only make this exercise less taxing but also enjoyable,” said Amukasa.

During his participation at the Africa tech challenge held in August, Amukasa met trailblazers in the world of computing who gave him ideas to improve the mobile application.

“I met experts in coding and design who advised me on how to improve Ultipedia and convert it into a world class mobile application. The interactive sessions with tutors and fellow contestants were enriching,” Amukasa told Xinhua.

He aspires to become a techpreneur, mentor and hopefully provide employment to talented Kenyan youth.
Before participating at this year’s Africa tech challenge, Amukasa had teamed up with two friends to develop advanced mobile applications that make reading easier.

The trio has already developed a video game to help students revise their exams with minimal hassles.
Amukasa hailed mentorship he received at the Africa tech challenge for sharpening his skills in software engineering.

“To develop a mobile application is a herculean task but the Africa tech challenge helped us bridge the gap between theory and practice,” Amukasa remarked.

The second edition of Africa tech challenge focused on the use of advanced machines and development of mobile applications.

Contestants were taken through a rigorous process to enable them operate state of the art machines and develop mobile-based applications that address societal challenges.

Perry Ajuma, a 22 year old mechanical engineering student at technical training institute based in Western Kenya, said her participation at the Africa tech challenge has boosted her ability to operate modern machines.

“During the contest, we were introduced to advanced machines and taught how to produce shafts. I am now accustomed to machines used in modern plants,”Ajuma told Xinhua.

She has participated in the China funded tech contest twice and aspires to become an engineering professor in future. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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