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Google has announced the Kenyan, Nigerian and South African finalists of its Impact Challenge, while calling on the public to vote for the People’s choice winner in the respective countries. Voting closes on 25 November.
The challenge — which was launched across all three countries in May — aims to identify local innovators who have the potential to make their community a better place.
The finalists include startups as well as non-profits and various public-private initiatives.
As part of the challenge, the public and a panel of judges votes for ideas with the most potential. Thereafter, Google pairs each winner with a package of strategic support, funding and Google volunteers.
Public voting for the Google Impact Challenge finalists will close on 25 November
Each of the four winners will receive a $250 000 grant and the remaining eight finalists will receive a $125 000 grant. All 12 finalists will receive training from Google.
The 36 finalists are:
GiveDirectly Kenya: GiveDirectly Kenya wants to support entrepreneurship by providing unconditional cash grants to young people living in Nairobi’s urban informal settlements.
UjuziKilimo Solutions: UjuziKilimo utilises sensors, data science and machine learning to provide actionable agronomic insights to farmers, business intelligence and predictive analytics to agriculture service providers.
AfriScout: AfriScout’s mobile app displays current water and vegetation conditions on localised grazing maps, enabling pastoralists to make more accurate and cost-effective migration decisions which will help improve pasture management and collaboration, as well as reduce the risk of herd loss.
Startup Lions: Startup Lions trains talented young adults — most of which have never touched a computer before — in high-value skills like web development, graphic design and animation.
The Somo Project: Somo is a social impact accelerator that works with entrepreneurs from low-income, urban communities. Somo invests directly into community-led initiatives and provides resources and tools needed to help build sustainable enterprises.
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy: Lewa Wildlife Conservancy’s digital literacy programme aims to provide fair-access quality education to children and youth in marginalised communities.
Creatives Garage: Creatives Garage focuses on African content, and wants African stories to be told in an African context. The multi-disciplinary creative space aims to create a residency programme to scale up technical and soft skills for 75 creative artists per year.
M-Shule: M-Shule is the first adaptive, mobile learning platform in Africa to connect primary school students with personalised education through SMS. M-Shule’s platform uses artificial intelligence to deliver learning support in Math and English via SMS and chatbots, building students’ concept mastery, exam performance, and confidence.
Sauti East Africa: Sauti’s mobile-based trade and market information platform helps women cross-border traders work safely, legally and profitably across East Africa. Sauti leverages SMS and USSD technology to deliver up-to-date information on commodity prices, exchange rates and official border-crossing procedures.
African Prisons Project: The African Prisons Project aims to enhance access to justice and economic empowerment for Kenyan prisoners. African Prisons Project’s legal aid clinics empower inmates with legal knowledge to progress their cases and access justice through self-representation.
NairoBits Trust: NairoBits’ Trust Tech for Empowerment project equips out of school youth aged between 17 to 24 years residing in informal settlements with ICT skills to improve their opportunities in employment and entrepreneurship.
Global Minimum InLab: InLab aims to assist disadvantaged high school students discover an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The programme helps students build the skills needed to become innovators.
Bunmi Adedayo Foundation: The Bunmi Adedayo Foundation trains public primary school teachers to bridge competency gaps in their teaching methodology and subject area deficiencies.
HelpMum: HelpMum provides clean birth kits to ensure any pregnant woman is given the best possible care during delivery, no matter where she lives.
Seed Tracker – IITA: The Seed Tracker app connects seed producers, seed traders, and seed quality certifiers. In addition, the app provides real-time information on seed variety, quantity, availability as well as facilitating trade decisions as well as timely access to seed markets.
The Cece Yara Foundation: The Cece yara Foundation’s Project Safe Access provides a safe platform for free access to healing and justice for children experiencing sexual abuse in Nigeria.
Solar Sister Nigeria: Solar Sister is a non-profit social enterprise that recruits, trains, and mentors women to deliver solar and clean cooking solutions directly to the doorsteps of homes across Nigeria.
Rural Development and Reformation Foundation (RUDERF): Ruderf’s Oleju social entrepreneurship hub trains low-income women in the Niger Delta to become paid artisans and assists them to build their first small business.
Project Enable Africa: Project Enable Africa is a digital inclusion initiative that promotes the access of persons with disabilities and their caregivers to ICT skills and opportunities.
LearnFactory Nigeria: LearnFactory’s EmBED project leverages technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) to make learning fun for kids, with the goal of ensuring that children have “amazing” academic experiences and outcomes, regardless of their backgrounds.
Vetsark: Vetsark is launching their Alpha Prime Disease Surveillance Technology to predict, prevent and control pests and disease outbreaks in Nigeria. The technology will educate farmers on pests and diseases and inform them of the resources they need to protect their crops and livestock.
The Roothub Tech 101: The Roothub’s Tech 101 training programme provides technology skills to low-income youths, helping them access employment and advance career paths.
Junior Achievement Nigeria: Junior Achievement Nigeria provides entrepreneurship and digital skills training for secondary school students and young digital entrepreneurs.
BudgIT Foundation: BudgIT’s Tracka initiative is a community of active citizens tracking the implementation of government projects in their community to ensure service delivery.
South Africa finalists
Saide’s African Storybook initiative: An offline app to create and publish illustrated digital African storybooks with young children.
Quirky 30 NPC: Quirky 30 provides free training in technology skills that are most in demand in the marketplace today — coding, design, cloud and entrepreneurship.
The MakerSpace Foundation: The MakerSpace offers tools, technology, training and physical work space to enable people to make things that improve the world around them.
Clothes to Good: Clothes to Good helps mothers of children with disabilities find financial independence via clothing recycling.
The Youth Employment Service (YES): YES is a business-led collaboration with government, labour and civil society to create one million first-time work experiences, over three years, for South Africa’s unemployed black youth.
RLabs Zlto Digital Platform: RLab’s Zlto mobile and blockchain platform that tracks and incentivises positive behaviour in youths.
mLab CodeUp!: CodeUp! provides recently graduated coders with the opportunity to gain practical experience, increasing their chance of employment by matching coders to community startups where they can build prototypes.
Memeza Shout Crime Prevention: Memeza Shout Crime Prevention claims to be the first ICT-based public community alarm system that links directly to South African Police Services (SAPS) sector vans patrolling an area in cases of emergency.
GreenFingers Mobile: GreenFingers Mobile is a mobile technology platform which manages and finances large groups of smallholder farmers.
Corruption Watch – Bua Mzansi: Corruption Watch is launching an online interactive website called Bua Mzansi – Know your Police Station to enhance public participation and transparency in policing.
Gradesmatch: Gradesmatch is a comprehensive career guidance tool that assists learners to unlock their potential. The platform-based solution is designed to map career data for learners, parents and teachers to help them to make well-informed career decisions.
HearXGroup: HearX Group, in partnership with the Carel du Toit Centre & Trust, are implementing a decentralised programme to ensure access to healthy hearing and vision services for preschool children.