CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

20 February 2013

Kenya: Google Supports University Students to Create Election-Based Applications.

Applications (Apps) built by Kenyan students ahead of the March 4th elections were unveiled today at event, where they all highlighted the need for information to be availed to every Kenyan.

Their focus was centered on the following themes: Civic Education; Party and Politicians; Lifestyle; Resource Monitoring; and the Electoral process. The Apps include: Tukumbuke (Swahili meaning let us remember), Spotlight, Jijulishe (inform yourself in Swahili), Wenyenchi (the owners of the country), Opinion Yetu, Haki II (justice) and Rasirimali (resources). The Apps will provide technological solutions to governance and the electoral process challenges.

The Apps were developed at the Elections DevFest themed "Software Solutions for Elections", an interactive 3- day event organised by Strathmore University's iLab and sponsored by Google in partnership with IEBC and various Civil Society organizations.

Speaking at the media briefing, Ory Okolloh, Google Africa Manager, Policy and Government Relations explained: "Google has been very active in promoting access to relevant information; access to information is especially important in the electoral process. Through the Elections hub, the YouTube channel, Shabikika Amani na Kura Yako (Sports4peace campaign) and supporting these students to create tools for engagement with this information, we hope to reach as many Kenyans as possible."

During the event, guests interacted with the developers to get insights into how the applications will be used.

"We aim to provide civic education about the electoral process to every Kenyan, especially because most people don't have the urge to go through the whole constitution; it is pretty much breaking down the constitution," explained Mercy Orangi, whose team developed Jijulishe.

All the applications are downloadable at: www.ilabafrica.ac.ke. Please see the details of the Apps below:

Tukumbuke:

Tukumbuke is a web and mobile application that acts as an online digital post-election violence (PEV) memorial experienced in Kenya in 2007/2008. The aim of the application is to foster peace in the upcoming elections.

Spotlight:

Spotlight is an application that is based on the users uploading content that can link media houses with what is happening in various parts of Kenya. The application is able to verify the user generated content.

Jijulishe:

Jijulishe is an application based on the need for civic education of voters. It is based on timelines of key events (e.g. alerts user on the deadline of key dates- registering to vote, notifies users on the actual day the activity to be carried out etc).

Wenyenchi:

Wenyenchi is a mobile application that will be accessible on desktop. It highlights the electoral boundaries via maps, enables users to view information on the candidates in a given region (county, constituency, ward etc). It also allows users to keep track of the results as they are being tallied through the IEBC API.

Opinion Yetu:

Kenya's first internet based opinion poll, which helps the user create an opinion poll of their consituency by completing required questions.

Rasirimali:

Rasirimali is a map-based application highlighting where resources are in Kenya including: social amenities (schools, hospitals, banks etc); mineral resources; and industries. It makes use of open data information to populate the map.

Haki II:

This is a mobile app available on all platforms (Google Play, Samsung Apps and the Nokia Store). It is based on two protagonists, Mboss (the Evil Entity) and the Underground (a group of heroes who strive for peace and tranquility).

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