KAMPALA, Uganda – This evening Orange announced this year’s winners of this year’s Orange Community Innovations Awards, after three days of exhibition at Kampala Serena Hotel.

The competition is part of Orange’s CSR programme in which every year, Orange Uganda organizes the “Community Innovations Awards”, a competition which recognizes the most impressive ideas in mobile app developments. These awards allow young developers in Uganda to suggest an innovative application that could be used in agriculture, health, or education.

This year’s Gold Winner of the competition is Kfree, a health solution that targets to prevent breast cancer by aiding early detection. Kfree is composed of a mobile app and a small piece of hardware that utilizes light to and takes a spectrums of the breast tissue, which when matched against pre-stored normal spectrums is able to reasonably tell the risk of breast cancer.

Developed by three Makerere University Students, Joshua Sentamu, David Tusubira and Derric Mutabi, the app was selected from 26 finalists in the categories of Health, Education and Agriculture.

The winning applications get cash rewards, mentorship and internship opportunities at Orange Uganda.

Just last week, Orange launched five apps, developed from last year’s edition of the awards, that have already been deployed on Android’s Play Store.

This year’s other winners are:

1st Runner Up (Silver): Kwik Study – This This education app uses flash cards to simplify studying for nursery and primary schools. The app quizzes students while enabling their teachers assess their academic progress in real time.

According to the developers, “it intelligently processes flash cards and modifies the repetition pattern based on how well integrated the answer is in your long term memory…” 

Second Runner up (Bronze): Kawunyemu

Kawunyemu helps one track the concentration level of alcohol in their body, helping drivers avoid driving under the influence of alcohol.

Having been on the panel of judges for the third year, I noted that this year’s challenge had altogether more innovative entries that even increased in number. This year’s total of 26 is a significant increment from the average of 2o finalists over the last two years. For the first time, at least two of the apps in the final round run on Windows Phone operating system.

The apps will be given an opportunity to develop their apps and convert them into money-making ventures.

“As Orange, our objective is to help these students build sustainable businesses. That’s why we’ve given them one year internship and mentorship while letting them register private companies. These apps are owned by them,” said Harriette Kasirye, Head of CSR & Corporate Philanthropy at Orange Uganda.

Uganda’s Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, Guest of Honor at the Awards for the third time commended Orange and the student developers for the high standards set to spur innovation in the country.

“Government is fully encouraging innovations so as to unlock the full potential of our economy,” said the Prime Minister, before adding, “Innovations change the face of the world forever.”

But he challenged Orange Uganda to ensure that the innovations reach the underserved communities in the country.

One of the partners, Huawei also exhibited strong support for the competition, rewarding all participants with smartphones. A total of 65 handsets were handed out.