February 6, 2011

Vote Now for Your Favorite App in World Bank Competition

The World Bank announced on 31 January 2011 that it has opened public voting on the applications submitted to the Apps for Development Competition, a challenge issued to software developers by the World Bank to get new perspectives in identifying solutions to development problems. The Popular Choice Award will be determined by public vote and the winner will receive a cash award and a feature on the World Bank website. The competition is part of the Bank’s Open Data Initiative, which last year released for free and for the first time the Bank’s catalogue of development data.

Applications were submitted from 36 countries across every continent with more than half came from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The apps use a wide variety of World Bank data, including information about health, the environment, children out of school, agricultural land data, gender statistics, population growth, and mortality rate, among other datasets. The 107 apps came in response to the World Bank’s global call for apps in October 2010 to help find solutions to today's development challenges and to raise awareness of the Millennium Development Goals.

The 107 eligible entries are now available for use, review and voting on the Apps for Development website through 28 February 2011. The apps created range from SMS services to apps for the Apple iPhone, and include games aimed at children, as well as educational and statistical modeling tools. The winners will be announced at the joint World Bank/International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings in April 2011.

Aside from the Popular Choice Award, an expert judging panel will select winners for the First, Second, and Third Prizes, five Honorable Mentions, and a Large Organization Recognition Award. A total of $45,000 is available in prizes. The expert judging panel includes such technology gurus as Craig Newmark of Craigslist, Kannan Pashupathy from Google, and Ory Okolloh, co-founder of Ushahidi. Apps were also submitted by large technology companies, although these cannot be considered for prizes.

So go ahead, vote for your favorite and share in the comment section below what which app you voted for and why.

February 1, 2011

Competition Connects University Students to Emerging Capital Markets in Africa

University or college students located worldwide may participate in the African Stock Investment Competition (ASIC). Sponsored by Afribiz, Africa investor, South African Chamber of Commerce in America, and Universal Creativ Solutions, the ASIC offers students who are at least 18 years of age the opportunity to learn firsthand about African capital markets. For the 2011 competition, U.S. students will have their first opportunity to gain an inside look at emerging market stock exchanges in Africa, while competing to win cash and prizes by building the best performing stock investment portfolio.

The ASIC website explains the two levels of competition. In the ASIC Level 1 Individual Competition, a series of quizzes are conducted February 2011 through May 2011. For each quiz, students who take the quiz and score 100 percent will be placed in a pool to receive a prize. Awardees are chosen randomly from the pool of students who scored 100 percent on the quiz. At least one awardee will be chosen for each quiz.

In the ASIC Level 2 Team Trading Competition, teams of students consisting of two to four students compete against each other by developing high growth stock portfolios of six months (March 1 through September 30, 2011) on a virtual trading platform (university.jse.co.za), which shadows the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. No real currency or assets are involved. The teams that have the three best performing portfolios (based on rules guiding the virtual trading platform) as of September 30, 2011 will be awarded first, second, and third place respectively.

For each quiz competition in ASIC Level 1 Individual Competition, awardee(s) will receive an undisclosed prize with a value of less than $100.00. For ASIC Level 2 Team Trading Competition, winning teams receive the following cash prizes:
  • 1st Place Team – $1,500.00
  • 2nd Place Team – $1,000.00
  • 3rd Place Team – $500.00
Registration deadlines for the ASIC Level 1 Individual Competition and ASIC Level 2 Team Trading Competition are 20 February 2011 and 26 February 2011, respectively. Additional information may be found at www.africanstockcompetition.com/competition-registration.