1st Competition of Mobile Application Development for Senegal (2009)

1st place – ABCGame

  • Team (students from Université de Thiès):
    • Tamsir Diop
    • Oumar Seydou Niang
    • Mamadou Ndir
    • Khady Agnounty Coly

2nd place – School Schedule

  • Ilboudo Daouda, student from UCAD

3rd place – Business Manager

  • Team (students from Université de Thiès)
    • Ibrahima Ndoye
    • Adama Balla Kone
    • Moustapha Diagne
    • Ahmadou Bamba Ndiaye

Competition description:

Mobiles phones are computers; they can be programmed the same way computers are. Mobile applications can create a variety of experiences for their users – experiences in social networking, gaming, entertainment, education, marketing, mapping, finance, arts, training, health and agriculture. In the mobile for development sector, the literature showcases many examples led by international organizations and NGOs in geo-politics, education, health care and agriculture.

4 billions mobile subscribers are expected by 2010. A large part of these subscribers will be from Africa. Indeed, Africa is the fastest growing mobile phone market in the world. Thus, it appears to be more relevant to look at mobile phones rather than traditional desktops/laptops for bridging the digital and impact the daily lives of people in Africa. However, most of the social initiatives in mobile are currently concentrating in English-speaking countries of Africa rather than in French-speaking countries.

Who will develop the mobile phone applications that will have social impact on the populations of Africa? We believe that African students will play a crucial role in this enterprise but need to be trained and better prepared as software developers / engineers and entrepreneurs to be actors of this promising field.

Several universities in Senegal with collaborators in the US are aware of the promises of mobile phones to improve the conditions of lives of people in Africa. To kick off mobile application development in Senegal, after the organization of a boot camp at the University of Thies in Senegal and a training that gathered 22 faculty of Senegalese universities at the headquarter of Manobi (http://www.manobi.net), it is the time to organize a competition on the development of mobile applications for Senegal.

This competition for the development of mobile applications for Senegal is open to all students in Senegal. It will run from October to December. Teams of students (maximum 4 students per team) will submit a short description, a video (maximum 3 minutes), a PowerPoint presentation, and the code, JAD and JAR of their Java ME application. The 3 best teams will present their work and be awarded prizes and will be honored at a reception to take place at ESMT in Dakar on Saturday, January 16th, 2010. The ceremony will open with a talk from a speaker from one of the leading mobile technology companies in Senegal. The submissions will be judged by experts within and outside Senegal. Students will then be mentored to submit their mobile application to international competitions such as Nokia Calling All Innovators or similar.

Download the complete description in English or French (PDF).


Mobile applications covering the topics below are particularly sought:

  • Learning and education
  • Health care
  • Social activism
  • Support of the informal sector
  • Journalism
  • Support of the rural population
  • Agriculture
  • Fishery
  • Social networking
  • Location-based systems

Please note that this list is not exhaustive.

Sponsors for organization: 

  • National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), USA through Mobile Senegal (main organizer)
  • ESMT, Dakar, Senegal


Neurotech, Senegal (Java training and flight ticket to South Africa for one student)

Sun Microsystems, Inc, USA (Java certification vouchers)

IBM (University Relations, IBM Sub Saharan Africa) (Bags, bottles, alarm clocks, flash drives, pens)

Pearson Education, USA (Books on Java ME)

Mentoring to submit the application to an international competition such as Nokia Calling All Innovators

Important dates:

  • Register by: November 20th, 2009
  • Beginning of the competition: October 1st, 2009
  • End of the competition: December 15th,2009 (firm deadline)
  • Results: December 30th, 2009
  • Award ceremony, Saturday, January 16th, 2010 at 3 pm hosted at ESMT


  • Christelle Scharff, Pace University, New York, USA (cscharff AT pace.edu)
  • Jean-Marie Preira, ESMT, Dakar, Senegal (jmpreira AT yahoo.fr)


University contacts:

  • Mamadou Bousso, Universite de Thies, Thies, Senegal
  • Jean-Marie Preira, ESMT, Dakar, Senegal
  • Ibrahima Ngom, ESP, Dakar, Senegal
  • Papa Baba Fall, ESP, Dakar, Senegal
  • Samuel Ouya, ESP, Dakar, Sénégal
  • Amadou Dahirou Gueye, Universite de Bambey, Bambey, Senegal
  • Jean-Marie Dembele, Universite Gaston Berger, Saint Louis, Senegal
  • Joseph Ndong, Universite Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal
  • Mbaye Babacar Sene, Universite Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal