Mobile apps, that has been the song much of 2011 and I expect more in the year 2012. But in between I been asking myself whether Kenyans are making quality apps required by consumers to solve their problems. We go back down the memory lane and you find so many apps, and the question is, do they really solve any particular problem or people can simply do without them. That is why I am happy that the people at m:Lab East Africa are calling for applications for mobile applications developer training. The call for applications which was opened early December 2011 is expected to attract young people from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan. Successful applicants will go through a four month intensive training course on mobile applications development and mobile entrepreneurship. The course covers both technology and business aspects of mobile entrepreneurship. The dead is on 9th January 2012
East Africa ability as a region to remain competitive, in the mobile innovation front, depends on the kind of training developers receive. According to John Kieti the m:Lab Manager:
Successful applicants will form the third wave of trainees undergoing this capacity building effort to enhance East Africa’s ability to remain competitive on the mobile innovations front.
One of the lessons learnt from previous intakes is that successful applicants from countries outside Kenya find it difficult to cover travel, accommodation and subsistence costs for undertaking the training which is based in Nairobi – Kenya, away from their home countries. Although tuition fees for the course is currently subsidized by infoDev, m:lab East Africa is reaching out to corporate players from Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda to sponsor qualifying students from those East African nations to cover additional non-tuition costs.
More details on the training and application process are as follows :-
Course Duration & Dates:
- 4 months (16th January – 16th May 2011 for third wave of students)
Costs / Tuition Fee Structure:
- Non-refundable Commitment fee – KShs. 5,000,
- Refundable deposit – KShs. 5,000 (based on attendance history and performance),
- infoDev Subsidy – KShs. 90,000,
- Total Cost – over KShs 100,000 (including infoDev Subsidy)
Overview of Course Content (subject to improvement)
USSD, Android, Nokia Web Apps, J2ME, PHP, mysql, LWUIT, Mobile Web – HTML5 & CSS3, User Experience Design, Business for Mobile, SMS, Systems Design
- Must have completed a degree program (evidence = final year transcript or degree certificate or a letter from college/school director confirming completion of the final school semester)
- Must be available on a full time basis from 9.30am to 3.30pm for 4 months (between January 16th 2012 and May 16th 2012 for third wave of students)
Evaluation and Selection Criteria
The selection panel for submitted applications will consider the following criteria
- Familiarity with technology, platforms and programming languages (25 marks)
- Accomplishments achieved in entrepreneurship and technology use (25 marks)
- Demonstrated interest and motivation (25 marks)
- Academic background and performance (15 marks)
- General Presentation (10 marks)
m:lab East Africa is an initiative of the m:lab Consortium, comprised of: *iHub_, eMobilis, the World Wide Web Foundation, and the University of Nairobi School of Computing and Informatics. The consortium won a bid to host infoDev’s Mobile Application Labs (mLabs) initiative and is one of only five (5) such initiatives in the world.