Eunice Namirembe, a Ugandan economics graduate has emerged overall winner taking home sh65m ($25,000) in the Google Africa Connected competition in Nairobi on Tuesday.
With little training in the sometimes complicated technology applications, Namirembe is using simple tools like voice and radio to reach rural people so that they can access information about health like first aid, where to go for help or in some cases provide specialised help to patients.
“I hope to stand as a Ugandan, I feel like doing more for the health service in Uganda,” said an elated Namirembe after receiving her plaque. She will now do a 6 month mentorship with Google.
The competition was launched in August 2013, calling entrepreneurs, ‘creatives’, innovators and web-lovers to share stories of how the web has transformed their lives and work.
Through a mobile ambulance call centre, Namirembe is helping Ugandans access medical services and information easily, using technology.
Namirembe says the web has helped her and the other Africa Connected winners to solve pressing problems as well as earn a living. I’m so excited to be making a contribution to my community and I’m looking forward to doing more online!”
The 5 winners were selected from over 2,200 entries from 35 countries, by a panel of judges as well as public voters. The winners will bag $25,000 each, and will also have the opportunity to work with a Google sponsor over a six-month period to further their online success.
“There are over 1 billion people living in Sub-Saharan Africa and currently only 16% of them are online. With Africa Connected, we wanted to celebrate how the web is changing lives in Africa, and show how it is contributing to the socio-economic development of the continent.
“Selecting the shortlist was no easy task, each winner shares a unique perspective of how they have used the internet to solve a problem, earn a living, or create opportunities, not just for themselves, but also for others around them”, said Affiong Osuchukwu, Google Lead for the Africa Connected initiative.
By David Mugabe in Nairobi