The second season of the The Africa Tech Challenge kicked off on Tuesday with an elaborate launch at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi. The challenge which is organised by AVIC International in conjuction with the Ministry of Education and Technology seeks to empower students in Technical Training Institutes in Kenya by upgrading their expertise to enable them get quality jobs and become entrepreneurs.
This year’s training will begin with four regional competitions that will determine 12 finalists who will then proceed to Shamberere Technical Training Institution in Kakamega for final training and competition.
“These teams will undergo a rigorous training from the Chinese experts on how to use raw materials and machines as well as gaining the best techniques to use during the competition. Marks will then be awarded on skill, accuracy and precision, cost of production and quantity of raw materials used,” Project Manager Lynette Mwende explained.
Six winning teams will be awarded with cash prizes amounting to Sh1million and the three most outstanding participants get a chance to win scholarships to study in the most prestigious Engineering Universities in China.
Three most outstanding participants from the first season walked away with full master’s degree scholarships in the most prestigious engineering schools in China as well as cash prizes of Sh153,825 ($1500), Sh123,085 ($1200) and Sh92,314 ($900) for the top three teams.
During the Season I, Kelvin Munyotu Nzioka, Manoti Ososi Gilbert and Stephen Sigei from Kabete Technical Institute walked away with a manufacturing contract worth US$100,000 (Sh9.8 Million).
Meanwhile, the second aspect of this years competition, the Africa Mobile App Challenge which will see the best developer walk away with Sh500,000 kicked off on Monday. The MAC training will be 12-days with contest elimination, with 2-day of hackathon to build and 1-day for demoing. All participants will be given computer or laptop access during the training, hackathon and demo.
The winner of the contest will receive a cash prize of US$5,000 and access to GearBox’s incubation and business development services for up to 6-months (free). The 1st runner-up will get a cash prize of Sh$2,000 with the 2nd runner-up walking away with US$1,000.