Increasing numbers of South African female ‘techies’ are bringing their IT knowledge and coding experience to the world of Apps. Significantly, many are leading the field by combining social awareness and societal issues with their skills and developing solutions to make life easier for other women.
Over the ten years of the MTN Business App of the Year Awards, it has become obvious that the number of entries received by women is steadily growing, says Ellen Fischat.
“At least 30% of Apps that were entered into our annual competitions were the innovation of women who have taken steps to help others enjoy a better quality of life. It is heartening to see that these women are tackling social problems that range from pregnancy awareness through to finance and employment, childcare and even transport.”
Importantly, these women are expanding possibilities by helping to solve real problems, many of which many South Africans are blissfully unaware. However, to the people they assist, they are game-changing additions to their lives that deliver value, security, and desperately needed knowledge.
“By providing solutions that are available on-demand, 24-hours a day and break geographical boundaries, they are changing lives for the better,” says Ellen.
Two examples, says Ellen, include:
- The free ‘LocTransi’ App helps working parents track their children using taxis or public transport as they move around their communities. The App enables parents to keep tabs on their kids in real-time. Parents, especially working moms who leave for work before their kids start travelling, also learn quickly via SMS if there are any problems or delays. The driver of a taxi or shuttle is also able to notify parents of any issues immediately. Schools can also track when learners enter or leave school premises.
“Millions of our children don’t enjoy the luxury of parents being able to ferry them to and from school, appointments or events. Kids using public transport may learn to become independent early, but parents still worry about their children’s welfare. Now, they can check whenever they wish to,” says Ellen. “Peace of mind, as all parents know, is priceless.”
- One of the issues for South African women is access to health-based information, an issue particularly for women living outside urban areas. Using ‘My Pregnancy Journey’ helps expectant moms keep track of information, allows access to local expertise on exercise and nutrition and provides important calculators and reminders that assist with keeping track of mom and baby’s progress.
“Knowing that you can call up this type of information and that it is full of local hints and tips is a great service to women. It is of particular help to those who may not have the resources or live near centres where the appropriate medical facilities are available,” says Ellen.
“As we look forward to the 2021 MTN Business App of the Year Awards, we expect that once again, women will be strongly represented and will combine their social awareness with business and digital skills,” concludes Ellen.
For the first time, the 2021 MTN Business App of the Year Awards, which offers R1 million in total prize money, will be offering students opportunities to compete in the Campus Cup and R100 000 in prize money.
In another first, the event is offering developers from across the continent to submit their locally developed offerings.
Full details of the categories available, deadlines for entries, the judging process and entry forms can be found at: