Makerere University’s Matibabu, a malaria testing smartphone application has beaten six international universities to win this year’s higher education solutions network (HESN) contest.
This was during the TechCon conference that took place between November 16 and 18 in Williamsburg, Virginia, US.
The international technology innovations contest, launched in 2012 and supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), saw a group of young university innovators from seven universities from around the world compete in the contest.
Those that took part in the contest were the University of California, Barkley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke University and The College of William and Mary’s AidData Centre for Development Policy. The others were Texas A&M University and the Michigan State University. Makerere was the only African university selected to participate in the innovations contest.
Initially, Makerere submitted two entries, but only Matibabu made it to the final round.
The other innovation was Water4lyf, a mobile-based water-testing kit that assesses water quality, maps visualisation of clean and safe water as well as assessing water infrastructure after disasters by Simon Lubambo and Alvin Kabwama from the college of engineering, design, art and technology.
The Matibabu application qualified for round two, facing competition from entries from The College of William and Mary’s AidData Centre for Development Policy, University of California, Berkeley, and Duke University, which were also shortlisted after round one.
Round two involved an international panel of judges grilling the four teams after which Makerere University emerged winner.
Makerere was declared the winner, followed by the College of William and Mary’s AidData Centre for Development Policy, University of California, Barkley and then Duke University.