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“The more user-friendly and relevant the app, the more differentiated it will be, thus increasing the likelihood of its adoption on a wide scale in two vast markets that are hungry for local solutions – not least of which is digital content with an African and Middle Eastern flair,” says Christian de Faria, MTN Group Chief Commercial Officer.

The MTN App Store, which is currently in the works, is shaping up to be the largest in the two regions with ‘killer applications’ that speak to the needs and aspirations of users in MTN’s 21 markets across Africa and the Middle East.

“Our vision for the MTN App Store is to have an apps platform whose vast majority of applications is, by and large, created by the developer community. This way, we hope to offer MTN App Store subscribers unmatched user experience, with exciting and varied content that cuts across all facets of life,” says De Faria.

He explains that there is a huge apps developer community out there, but many of their inventions do not get wide adoption. “The apps competition we are launching today will therefore give the developer community an alternative, and serve as a distribution channel that reaches more than 150 million MTN mobile subscribers,” adds De Faria.

“The MTN apps competition will therefore serve to strengthen the apps ecosystem as well as provide a much-needed distribution channel to 150 million MTN subscribers for the regions’ developer community,” said De Faria.

To qualify for some awesome prizes, budding app junkies are invited to upload their apps – from the most basic to the sophisticated, yet user-friendly ones – on MTN’s global digital portal: www.mtnplay.com/appcomp

The apps competition will run for five months, commencing today, and will focus initially on the Android OS. All apps must be built in English and should be relevant for the African and Middle East markets.

There will be five monthly winners for the duration of the competition. The first prize for the monthly winners will be a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the second prize will be a Samsung Galaxy S2.

The coveted prize for the overall winner, who will be chosen from the six first prize monthly winners, will be an all-expenses-paid-for trip to the Mobile World Congress 2012.

MTN may choose to feature the best submitted apps on the MTN App Store, pending the conclusion of a formal agreement with the developer.