Five teenagers, aged 15 to 17, are the only Africans selected to take part in this year’s international Technovation competition, where girls develop mobile apps to end problems in their communities.
“FGM is a big problem affecting girls worldwide and it is a problem we want to solve,”
This is after the girls who hail from the western part of Kenya – Kisumu to be precise, invented an app known as I-Cut to be used in ending female genital mutilation that has prevailed parts of the country despite it being illegal.
“FGM is a big problem affecting girls worldwide and it is a problem we want to solve,” Stacy Owino told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Although the girls’ Luo community does not practice FGM, they have friends who have been cut and this propagated them to developing the app according to Purity Achieng (one of the 5 girls) – she narrates a story of how she lost one of her smartest classmates through FGM.
Also read: can your car do this! No more need for tunnels to evade traffic jam -video
I-cut connects girls at risk of FGM with rescue centres and gives legal and medical help to those who have been “cut”.
Its simple interface has five buttons – help, rescue, report, information on FGM, donate and feedback – offering users different services.
Kenya is one of the most technologically advanced countries in Africa, known for its pioneering mobile money transfer apps.
“We just have to use this opportunity as a stepping stone to the next level,” said schoolgirl Ivy Akinyi who plans to become a computer programmer.
The international technovation contest, is a platform where girls develop mobile apps to end problems facing their communities.
Technovation, is sponsored by Google, Verizon and the United Nations , promoting tech innovation among girls, it aims to teach girls the skills that need to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders.
Their trip to California is scheduled on 6th August 2017 where they expect to win $15,000 as a prize for the I-Cut in the technovation competition.