Mission and Outcomes of MobileSenegal Since 2008
MobileSenegal is the first initiative of its kind in a Francophone country in Africa and recognized as a Tech Hub by the World Bank. It was founded in 2008 under the umbrella of Pace University in the US and evolves in collaboration with partners across Senegal and beyond. Its mission is to build capacity in mobile technology by facilitating the introduction of mobile courses in educational institutions, organizing activities for the wider community, and promoting the work of the mobile application development community in Senegal. Mobile4Senegal was created to be the legal entity of MobileSenegal and is a registered association in Senegal.
MobileSenegal organizes boot camps, courses, competitions and dedicated field projects, and arranges training for faculty. It is led by professional and passionate educators, developers and quality assurance experts from the US and Senegal. The teaching philosophy we designed takes into consideration the multi-disciplinarity of mobile application development and integrates teaching components on technology, software engineering, graphics, marketing, and entrepreneurship. It mixes theoretical instructions with a focus on real projects for real beneficiaries, and incorporates follow-up of the participants’ projects. Some of these projects are global in nature and involve students from the US, Senegal, Cambodia, India, Thailand, and Tanzania.
MobileSenegal is a pipeline that trains mobile developers for the Senegalese industry (incubators, startups and established companies). To date, more than 450 participants completed boot camps and competitions, and more than 70 applications were developed.
The noticeable outcomes of MobileSenegal include the following:
- KomKom, a Java ME accounting application developed during a boot camp, was awarded a Judge Choice Prize at the Nokia Calling All Innovators Competition in 2009. KomKom was piloted in the artisan village of Thiès.
- CibleCI, a Java ME application designed to help first grade pupils practice essential skills in math, reading, writing and geography, was piloted in elementary schools in Senegal in 2012. CibleCI was developed by students from Pace University, Ecole Superieure Polytechnique (ESP) and University of Delhi in the global software development project in 2009.
- StopMalaria, a Java ME application developed during a boot camp, was awarded first prize at the Population Council Data Uncovered Contest in December 2011 and was selected to participate in the GSMA Mobile Health University Challenge 2012 in Cape Town, South Africa
- Four applications submitted to the 2011-2012 MobileSenegal competition were released in the Google Play (SenGeoSante) and Nokia Store (Donor, CodeDeLaRoute, and Niett) in May 2012.
- Transport Dakar, an Android app that provides information on Dakar Dem Dikk buses, won the Africa Android Challenge for Senegal in 2014.
- Four applications submitted to the 2013 MobileSenegal competition were released in the Google Play (Jarmode, CasaTour, Transport Dakar and Fruit Secret) in January 2014 after 3 months of mentoring.
MobileSenegal launched two meetup groups which have a total of 600 members: Mobile Innovations Dakar and Mobile Innovation Thiès (now retired). It was instrumental in initiating Mobile Monday Dakar to build a sustainable community of professionals around mobile technology.
MobileSenegal is currently looking at new models of teaching to accelerate release of enterprise and customer mobile applications, and to extend its activities in Africa (Tanzania and Benin).
Over the years, MobileSenegal has been supported by NCIIA, IBM, Google, BlackBerry, Neurotech, Nokia, Pearson Education, O’Reilly, CTIC Dakar, Djanoa, WARC (West African Research Center), Jones & Bartlett Learning, Oracle, SenMobile, US Department of State, and Ericsson.
Contact us at mobilesenegal AT gmail.com.