Kenyan Software Engineers Head to Mobile World Congress on Back of Hackathon Win


Three Nairobi-based Software Engineers are heading to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain on 25 February.

The Engineers – Okal Otieno, Obat Okello and David Ngugi from JUMO’s local office in Westlands – were invited to the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry after winning a Mobile Money API Hackathon at the GSMA’s Mobile 360 Africa Series which took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania last year.

JUMO Engineers were challenged to test harmonised mobile money APIs and impressed judges by producing a virtual checkout ‘Lane Zero’. Over the past year, the GSMA has collaborated with key mobile network operators, platform vendors and third parties within the mobile money ecosystem to define harmonised mobile money APIs for the industry. Harmonised APIs reduce complexity and fragmentation and are beneficial to all mobile money ecosystem players.

The hackathon judges—who included Tigo Tanzania’s Head of Mobile Financial Services, Ruan Swanepoel, Kinu’s CEO and Co-Founder, Jones Mrusha, and GSMA’s Mobile Money Services Director, Gunnar Camner— assessed a broad range of solutions, including agent apps, consumer apps, ecommerce solutions, merchant payment options and more. JUMO’s seamless physical merchant payment solution using QR codes was recognised for its user experience and functionality.

“On behalf of our team we’re thankful for the win against tough competition,” said JUMO’s Director of Engineering Sam Kitonyi. “Now we’re counting down to Mobile World Congress which will give our team exposure to the industry-leading platform in mobile innovation globally.”

Mobile Word Congress Barcelona is the headline event on the GSMA’s calendar in the past hosting a strong line-up keynote speakers including Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

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This year, Mobile World Congress will feature a range of internationally-acclaimed speakers and industry leaders such as GSMA Chairman and Founder and Chairman of BHARTI ENTERPRISES (Airtel), Sunil Bharti Mittal and Netflix Founder and CEO, Reed Hastings.

JUMO Engineers will return from Mobile World Congress in time for Nairobi Tech Week from 22 – 25 March where the company is a headline sponsor.