The U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce the winners of Apps4Africa 2012: Business Challenge, an Africa-wide competition to develop sustainable technology-based solutions to youth unemployment. Selected from nearly 300 applications from 27 countries by an international panel of judges, the winning teams are:?

SliceBiz (from Ghana): a web and mobile investment platform that uses crowd sourcing to connect promising startups with young investors in Africa.

Prowork (from Nigeria): a web and mobile project management tool that enables businesses to create and assign tasks and track project status in real-time.

Ffene (from Uganda): a low-cost business management platform that helps small and medium-sized businesses simplify accounting, generate reports, and manage customer relations.

These young technology entrepreneurs?and the many others who competed this year?are the faces of a growing trend of innovative African start-up companies.

This year?s Apps4Africa competition, sponsored by the U.S. State Department?s Bureau of African Affairs and coordinated by private sector partner Appfrica International, builds on the success of two previous competitions?Apps4Africa 2010: Civic Challenge and Apps4Africa 2011: Climate Challenge?which also encouraged the development of mobile, web, and desktop applications to address local challenges in Africa.? This year?s competition was also supported by the Department?s Liberalizing Innovation Opportunity Nations (LIONS@FRICA) partnership.? The closing ceremony for the 2012 competition will take place on March 6 in Kampala, Uganda.? The winning teams will be awarded cash prizes and follow-on mentoring.

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