The winners of the 2014 Arab Mobile Learning Challenge have been announced at an event in Doha. The winning team, Loujie, based in the UAE, has been awarded $50,000 USD; the second and third place teams, Crowd Analyzer (UAE) and Markabaty (Jordan), won $30,000 and $20,000 respectively.
The winning mobile apps were selected from fifteen semi-finalists, narrowed down from 150 entrants from the UAE, Jordan, Tunisia, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. To qualify, mobile apps needed to be relevant to the hospitality, education, entertainment, or employment sectors. Prior to the final round, each semi-finalist team underwent “an intense mentoring program, led by technical and business experts from across the region,” according to a statement.
“AMAC was developed to help address the challenges the Arab World faces in relation to high levels of youth unemployment and underemployment…. Some estimates suggest one in three young people are looking for work,” the statement continued.
Mark Andrews, regional Qualifying Director of Pearson, a multinational education company which has been a major sponsor of AMAC, believes that “promoting an entrepreneurial spirit among the region’s youth population will have an impact on unemployment rates in the MENA…. There is a high degree of digital and technological talent amongst the Arab world’s school leavers and graduates; what is needed are opportunities where this capability can be effectively channeled. The AMAC competition has provided an excellent forum for ambitious, tech-savvy Arab youth to demonstrate their skill.”
We’ll keep you posted with updates on the winners’ next steps.