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MobileSenegal is the first initiative of its kind in a Francophone country in Africa. 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 and organizing activities for the wider community.
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 and India.
To date, more than 250 participants completed boot camps and competitions, and more than 30 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 [http://www.callingallinnovators.com/judges_choice_awards.aspx Nokia Calling All Innovators Competition] in 2009. KomKom was piloted in the artisan village of Thiès.
[http://bizblog.blackberry.com/2011/12/blackberry-academic-program-case-study/ 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.
Four applications submitted to the 2011-2012 MobileSenegal competition were released in the Google Play ([https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=grimykl.app.sgs SenGeoSante]) and Nokia Store ([http://store.nokia.com/content/273105 Donor], [http://store.nokia.com/content/273687 CodeDeLaRoute] and [http://store.nokia.com/content/273396 Niett]) in May 2012.
MobileSenegal launched two meetup groups which have a total of 400 members: in [http://www.meetup.com/mobileinnovationsdakar Dakar] and in [http://www.meetup.com/mobileinnovationsthies Thies]. It was instrumental in initiating [http://mobilemonday.org 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 West Africa.
Over the years, MobileSenegal has been supported by NCIIA, IBM, Research in Motion, Nokia, and Google.
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