Kenya: Strathmore University Clinches Samsung Deal to develop mobile apps

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Samsung Electronics has signed a deal with Strathmore University for a three-yearSh36million mobile phone research project to develop innovative mobile phone applications.

Under the partnership, Samsung will support Strathmore's iLab Africa to train and nurture students to come up with applications that run on the Android platform and Samsung's own mobile platform, Bada.

The announcement and signing of the agreement was made yesterday as Samsung kicked offs its 2011 African forum in Nairobi. Samsung already has a similar arrangement with the University of Cape Town making Strathmore University the second Samsung innovation lab centre in Africa. "It is a partnership agreement for three years," Dr Joseph Sevilla of Strathmore's Information Science and IT department. "Samsung will support us to do research to help students come up with new and innovative products. It is in form of funding for iLab Africa and Samsung hardware." Strathmore also partners with Safaricom to host the Safaricom Academy at iLab that is also involved in developing mobile applications.

Among the applications that have come out of these partnerships include: wapi discount, a program that tells users which shops are having promotions and discounts within their area; m-order, a program for kiosk owners to order more supplies from Coca Cola among others.

Dr. Sevilla said under the partnerships, business minded people who do not have an IT background but have good ideas for applications will also be taught the technical skills to develop them. Samsung used the event to launch its new line of tablets, the Galaxy Tabs and the new Galaxy S II smartphone for the African market.