Innovation That Matters

In Cairo, crowdsourced app challenge seeks to ease traffic congestion


The Egyptian government is calling on citizens to come up with a way to solve the capital's traffic problems through the Cairo Transport App Challenge.

Crowdsourcing has already been used to good effect to help provide potential solutions to social issues, such as unemployment in ireland or helping businesses go green. Now, the Egyptian government is calling on citizens to come up with a way to solve the capital’s traffic problems through its Cairo Transport App Challenge. There are 17 million people living in Cairo and traffic is a problem that affects both residents and businesses, and is set to get worse over the next few years. According to the organizers, some 90 percent of Egyptians own a mobile phone and the aim of the new contest is to use these devices to enable a better flow of information about congestion. Backed by academic, government, NGO and private sector stakeholders, the challenge is calling on the tech community in the country to come up with solutions to alleviate traffic, pollution and accidents on the road. The specifications for apps are broad, but it is hoped that creators will tackle safety, help improve the unregulated microbus system, encourage car sharing and raise awareness of poor driving. Registrants have until 29 October to get involved and 16 November to submit their ideas. The three finalists will get cash rewards, while the overall winner will be nominated for a 2013 Mobile Premier Award. The project should encourage the creation of apps that otherwise may not have been made and aims to give backing to tech workers coming up with solutions that could made a big difference to quality of life in Cairo. Could other countries tap the crowds in a similar way? Spotted by: Murtaza Patel



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