Budding mobile application developers find it difficult to market and commercialise their products. However a partnership between Intel Corporation (UK) Limited and business incubator iHub intends to reverse this.
The partnership will support software developers in Africa through targeted investments in mobile application development, online resources, university training programmes, device seeding programmes and expansion of technology hubs.
Intel will provide developer training at iHub, through its online developer resource that enables creation and porting of Android apps. Intel will also distribute its Android devices to the tech hubs.
A recent study conducted by Research Solutions Africa and iHub Research indicated that of 88 different applications developed by Nairobi tech community, very few mobile phone subscribers use them, making it almost impossible for the developers to earn from their apps.
The study concluded that partnerships, especially with phone makers may be essential in enlarging the scale of start-up mobile applications.
Erik Hersman, managing director and founder of iHub, said that the deal would foster a close relationship between the tech company and Africa’s developers.
“The software development scene in Africa is active but still nascent, we’re excited to partner with Intel to grow it,” he said.
iHub supports the tech community in Kenya and has more than 10,000 members. The organisation offers thought leadership in areas of mobile technology and its use. Its model has been replicated to start more than 30 other technology hubs across Africa.
Mobile phones are important in virtually every sphere of life ranging from education and business to health and entertainment.
“We want to make sure that the community with which we have closely worked with is plugged in to take advantage of the mobile growth across Africa,” said Ms Jessica Colaco, iHub research director.
Part of the objectives of the collaboration between Intel and iHub is to partner with select universities in Africa to offer training programmes.
Many of the local mobile applications designed to serve the economic base of the pyramid in Kenya do not reach their target market.