Ms. Geek Rwanda

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Rwanda has long been keen on beauty pageants, the largest of which, “Miss Rwanda,” attracts international judges and provides the winner with a year-long paid contract. However, increasingly, the organizers realized the importance of intelligence among their competitors.

In response, they developed the “Miss Geek” pageant in 2014 instead of the traditional beauty competition. Rather than wearing makeup and gowns, contestants pitch an idea for a technology business to the judges to solve a problem their community faces.

Last year’s winner, 21-year-old Nancy Sibo, pitched a “Mobile Cow App,” which monitors cow’s productivity and gestation. 200 local farmers now use the app. The second place prize went to Christine Bayizere, who created a “Wireless Black Box” to produce alerts after traffic accidents and monitor cars. Josephine Tujyimbere won third place for her fingerprint-based “Class Attendance Management System.” Finally, Chantal Mukundwa’s “Nearby Item Locator System” took fourth place.

Miss Geek is now open to high school students as well as its original target university audience. From the more than 70 applications, five will win prizes, chosen by judges from Girls in ICT. The first place prize is “Rwf2 million ($2800), a trip to an international tech conference, a tablet surface, a laptop and internship.”

The following organizations sponsor this event: the charity of Rwanda’s First Lady, Jeannette Kagame; Imbuto Foundation; and UNDP Women.

Source: News of Rwanda, Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media