Plant Signal is a free offline interactive, smartphone app to give farmers real-time diagnosis of the pest or disease that affects their crop. Plant Signal was among the five solutions in the Fursa vs Virus competition.
Plant Signal beat other finalists which included Expan USSD, Ntaka Charcoal, Njiraini Food. The competition awarded youths developing solutions to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Fursa vs virus competitions targeted solutions in 6 categories including food security, education, business & economy, environment & energy, government support, and social welfare and were held at the International Youth Day celebrations presided over by His Excellency President Kenyatta on, August 12.
Speaking at the celebrations, President Kenyatta said: “Today we will celebrate the winners of the Fursa versus Virus Challenge. This is an initiative by the National Youth Council to facilitate and promote innovative responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.
May I, at this juncture, take this opportunity to thank the Kenya Pipeline Corporation, Royal Media Services and Huawei Technologies Kenya Limited for partnering with us to ensure that the Fursa versus Virus Challenge was a success.
We are particularly grateful to Huawei Technologies Kenya for covering internet costs for the entire Fursa versus Virus Challenge period as well as for providing 47 tablets and three (3) laptops for the winners.”
Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Mucheru, thanked the partners: “Mastercard Foundation is one of the others partners we have been working with very closely. I want to recognize them alongside all the other partners we have: the UN; with the technology partners, Huawei and KCB. This is something we will continue to work together.”
An exciting collaboration between public and private sectors, the competition enables youth to utilize the internet to submit their solutions and to receive training, mentoring, financial support and other in-kind support. Youth are critical to addressing COVID-19 and technology can play a critical role in reaching them and supporting them develop their solutions.
CEO of Huawei Kenya, Will Meng, said: “We believe these devices we are providing today will go a long way to fulfilling young people’s dreams”. Huawei Kenya has supported youth for many years in Kenya and played a critical role in providing the ICT infrastructure in the country. During the competition they have been supporting outreach through the DigiTruck mobile training classroom reaching rural youth by giving them access to the internet and training on essential skills on demand in the remotest places in our country. Huawei has also provided online training, data bundles and various prizes and technical support for the winners.
NYC is a State Corporation in the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, which came into being through the enactment of the NYC Act 2009 as the official voice of the youth mandated to advocate for youth opportunities, to associate, be represented and participate in the political, social, economic and other spheres of life.
NYC has been leading in the COVID-19 response, however they quickly realized that COVID-19 is a major labor market, social and economic issue with the youth being the biggest culprit. NYC therefore set out to have an economic recovery response that will keep the youth engaged hence the Fursa vs Virus Challenge. As they go on ground distributing PPEs they are also encouraging engagement of young people by them coming up solutions for now and in the coming future.
NYC’s collaboration with Huawei and KPC typifies the opportunity for leveraging partnerships and the power of the public private sector to support the Fursa vs Virus Challenge and especially demonstrating the willingness to work together to empower the youth. Technology is critical to the Economic Recovery Response and Huawei is taking the lead.