Mbabazi tips youth on innovation

The Prime Minister, Hon. Amama Mbabazi has called on the youth to be more innovative in order to curb unemployment. Speaking during the third annual Orange Community Innovations Awards held at Makerere University on Thursday, Mbabazi said: A lot of creativity is expected from the youth today since the levels of unemployment are high. Today, I feel proud in the confidence that the future of this country is safe with such innovations as shown here today.

Mbabazi thanked Orange Uganda for creating a platform where the youth can share their ideas and applauded Makerere University for supporting students' innovation efforts. I am pleased with the progress Makerere University has done in terms of incubation. No wonder Makerere is now fourth in Africa, thank you for holding Uganda's flag high.

The competition that drew 20 finalist groups saw Katusiime Lisa and Omiat Isaac both fourth year Software Engineering students at the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) win sh10m and a one year internship opportunity with Orange Uganda. The duo developed an application - AgroMarketDay which features agricultural markets, market days, farmers, their details and the products sold in different markets in different districts in Uganda. An excited Katusiime said they would use the funds to carry out further research to enrich their application.

The CEO Orange Uganda Philippe Luxcey said the company was committed to supporting incubation initiatives in Uganda by bridging the gap between education and industry sectors and equipping the students with skills to transform their ideas into marketable ventures.

During the same event, the State Minister for ICT, Hon. Nyombi Thembo launched the top three applications of 2012. These were Brainshare, My Revision Guide and Diet Assistant. He too was excited by the level of innovation displayed by the youth.

Viola Bazanye who is part of the team that developed Diet Assistant said Orange Uganda had provided them with technical and financial support to further develop their ideas and also identified markets for their apps. Viola, who is soon completing her internship with Orange, urged the students participating in future competitions to be creative and avoid reinventions.

The main objective of the Orange Community Innovation Awards is to recognize the most impressive app developers in the three main development sectors of health, education and agriculture. This year's first runner up and second runner up came from International Health Sciences University and Busitema University respectively.

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