The winners of Afghanistan’s first smartphone app awards were announced in Kabul at the Afghan Mobile Business even on Thursday. The event, which concludes 1st November with a job fair, was organized by the Faculty of Economics of Kabul University in cooperation with the Faculty of Computer Science and Faculty of Arts and was sponsored by the German Government.
The first prize went to Zainab Safi for a hajj app idea that helps users find their way around the city of Mecca and its important sights. Monibullah Monib won the second prize for an app concept that calculates building material quantity and cost estimates for construction projects. The third prize went to Mohammad Zaki Askari with his plan for an educational assistant app aimed at students. A total of 100 students from various faculties took part in the competition.
With financial backing from the German Government, the three-day Afghan Mobile Business event was the first of its kind in Afghanistan. Speaking at the opening ceremony on 28th October, Christian-Hendrik Heusermann, Economic Counsellor of the German Embassy, said, “We hope the event will unleash the entrepreneurial potential that lies in Afghanistan’s universities. The project is driven by the academic and private sector and brings the country’s dynamic, creative and well-educated youth together with both vibrant start-ups and established mobile business companies. Our wish is that the Afghan Mobile Business app awards and job fair can help create new and positive prospects for the Afghan youth and Afghanistan’s economy as a whole.”
The winner of the first prize, Zainab Safi, is a second-year student of English literature at Kabul University. About the awards, she said, “This was a great initiative and I could offer an idea outside my field of study.” She added that her hajj app was “an idea to benefit everyone. My app idea will help Muslim Hajjis (pilgrims) so they do not need to hire a guide, it will offer all the information Muslims need to carry out their religious duties.”
After the awards ceremony, the winners were able to discuss their ideas with academics, industry experts, other students, potential employers, government representatives and company owners. The Afghan Mobile Business event is divided into three days and opened 28th October with a symposium day, featuring talks by academic specialists. Following the awards ceremony day, major companies in the field of mobile telecommunications field will be exhibiting at the job fair on 1st November and offering students and young potentials the chance to make new contacts, exchange ideas and talk to prospective employers.
The smartphone app competition was open to students and young people from all faculties. The apps were all submitted as ideas and concept briefs in the run-up to the Afghan Mobile Business event held at the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University.