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Clinton Celebrates African Apps

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, October 6 2010

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offers her video congratulations to the winners of Apps 4 Africa, the software development contest sponsored by state that rewarded developers in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania with cash prizes and mentoring opportunities for the apps that help improve the quality of life in East Africa.

The Apps 4 Africa contest is part of the State Department's 21st Century Statecraft push to use technology to develop stronger connections one step down from where diplomacy might previously have taken place, gathered around a conference room table sorrounded by, as State staff like to staff, people wearing suits. The prizes offered are but a tiny drop from State's budget, is is normal for a contest like this, so the hope is that State gets a big bang for its buck by acting as a convener, prodding folks in East Africa to start thinking about the opportunities that tech (and especially mobile tech) might open up.

Secretary Clinton delivers a cheery congrats in the video piece, branding Apps 4 Africa, "a celebration of the vibrant interaction between technology and civil society all working together to solve the big problems of our time." First prize went to iCow, "a voice-based mobile application that helps farmers track the oestrus stages" of their livestock. Details on the rest of the winners are here, and you can watch the awards ceremony live from Nairobi later today right here.

Disclosure: Personal Democracy Forum is working to facilitate a one-day "Tech Camp" on November 20 in Santiago, Chile for the U.S. State Department. We maintain a wall between that work and our editorial work, including that here on techPresident.