A dream trip to Silicon Valley in California, the United States of America will become true for some lucky youthful Malawians who shall emerge winners in a TNM Smart Challenge for innovative tech-savvy youths in the country.
Silicon Valley in Northern California hosts head offices for most of the world’s largest high-tech and ICT corporations.
TNM head of marketing, Webster Mbekeyani, said the competition is aimed at providing a platform for Malawian youth to compete in the development of ICT applications.
He said the competition has three categories namely Smart Kid, Student and Smart Community and that in all the three youths will compete either as individuals or groups to develop socially-relevant ICT applications.
“Shortlisted projects will be put to a public vote and top winners in the first two categories will earn a trip to Silicon Valley,” said Mbekeani.
He said the outstanding project in the Smart Community category will be an academic institution or technology organisation and will win a computer laboratory in addition to mentorship from Facebook and free developer tools worth US$30,000.
Other prizes in the competition include Samsung Galaxy S6, Ipad Mini 2, branded Facebook goodies, Haus JS T700 tablets and website linkages.
“We are looking for innovative ideas and projects that can take Malawi’s ICT and mobile technology to greater heights,” said Mbekeyani.
He said while in Silicon Valley, the winners will visit the head offices of the world’s leading ICT companies, namely Apple, Facebook and Google.
The will also visit Stanford University, one of the highly respected Ivy league universities in the US.
TNM has joined hands with mHub, a Lilongwe-based firm technology entrepreneurship, as well as Facebook, IBM, Opera Software and Google as technology partners in the competition.
The partners are expected to provide advice on implementation of the programme and support a platform through which application developers will be incubated –from development, testing to launching of apps, according to Mbekeani.