by Isi Esene
Microsoft Nigeria today formally declared open its 9jApps contest. The challenge is designed to empower local developers to take advantage of Microsoft’s new tools and resources to develop locally appealing and locally-relevant apps for the Windows platform, utilizing Visual Studio 2012 and the Windows Phone SDK, in addition to the Windows Azure SDK.
The 9jApps contest will run for 3 months teeing-off in March and climaxing at the end of June, 2013. This contest is intended to empower the next generation of Nigerian developers, by helping them drive innovation and grow the local software economy.
This push for economic development through African innovation is one of the key drivers of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, launched continent-wide in February of this year. Microsoft is committed to working with Africa’s students, entrepreneurs, and independent developers to help them create the next generation of world-class African apps on the Window Platform, to bring relevant content and new business opportunities to people across the continent.
At a press briefing to launch the contest, Emmanuel Onyeje, Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria said, “Nigeria is blessed with enormous talents, and Microsoft is proud to be able to help these talented developers to acquire new skills that will help them explore their potential and reach new heights”.
Oyeshina Oyetosho, Developer and Platform Evangelism Lead, Microsoft Nigeria, added, “This is not development for development’s sake. This contest is about giving developers the skills and tools they need to help them publish their apps to the Microsoft Store so they can monetize their innovation and share it with the world. The Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative is rooted in the belief that African innovation can and will shape the future, so it is our hope that contests like this one can help fuel that cycle”.
While fielding questions from journalists at the event, Shina explained the following conditions for entry:
- Apps entries must be in the respective stores (Windows 8 or Windows Phone) by 14 June 2013 at 23:59:59 GMT.
- Apps published and available in store before the contest period are not eligible to participate.
- Apps developed for the Windows Phone platform must be compatible with low-end Windows devices.
Prizes by categories of the contest include:
Window 8 Apps category:
- Grand Prize: 2012/2013 KIA Rio automobile
- Second Prize: NGN750, 000 cash
- Third Prizes: A Windows 8 device each (X5)
Windows phone category:
- Grand Prize: NGN750, 000
- Second Prize: NGN500, 000
- Third Prize: A Windows Phone 8 device (X5)
The 9japps contest is a Microsoft initiative aimed at fostering innovation and creating personality around developers and their apps, in collaboration with Nokia, Dell and CCHub Nigeria
Speaking on the partnership, Partner Manager, Developer Experience, Nokia, West Africa, Mr. Olumide Balogun noted that Nokia is thrilled to partner with Microsoft, to bring the 9jApps competition to both students and independent developers. We are looking forward to some great solutions on the phone side leveraging both Microsoft WP and our Lumia devices capabilities to deliver locally relevant apps that we can export to the world.
Also airing his view about the partnership, the Country Manager, Dell, Nigeria Chuks Udensi said “Dell remains committed to the partnership and looks forward to great innovations to come from the competition”.
Tunji Elesho Pre-Incubation and Research Lead for CCHub added that “The Microsoft 4Afrika initiative is a laudable one which seeks to empower Africans. The entire plethora of what Microsoft is bringing is massive”.