Arab Mobile App Challenge (AMAC) Looks to Spur New Entrepreneurship Wave –

Against the backdrop of a rapidly changing Arab world fuelled by the demands of young people for jobs and economic opportunity, Silatech and the Applied Innovation Institute, in partnership with Ooredoo, have launched the first Arab Mobile App Challenge. Teams of up to six members, under 35 years of age, will work to develop applications (known as “apps”) for mobile phones that address needs in the education, health, entertainment or employability/entrepreneurship sectors. The winning teams will receive a prize of USD 50,000, USD 30,000 and USD 20,000 respectively for first, second and third position.

The main objectives of the competition are to introduce young Arabs to the concept of entrepreneurship and the path to business start-up, as well as opportunities for enhancing employability skills particularly relevant to the tech space. Teams will go through an acceleration process, opportunities for multiple workshops, and also be assisted by an experienced mentor who will provide coaching and advice in how to turn good ideas into viable businesses. Starting as a pilot challenge this year in Tunisia, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, the intent is to roll the contest out to the entire region in the future.

The global mobile app market is growing at very high speed and the Middle East mobile apps market is in line with this especially due to a high regional uptake of mobile phones. Though the region is well placed to benefit from mobile app opportunities, the number of commercially successful Arabic apps has been relatively few. The Arab Mobile App Challenge is a step toward developing the region’s underutilized potential in this regard.

Silatech and the Applied Innovation Institute are the founding partners of the Arab Mobile App Challenge, and Ooredoo has joined forces in the early stages as a Platinum Regional Sponsor supporting this initiative. The Regional Partners include Microsoft, Pearson, Yahoo, Tam Projects, Wamda, MIT Enterprise Forum, Potenial, and ArabNet. Country hosts are the Queen Rania Centre for Entrepreneurship (Jordan), Sup’Com (Tunisia), International Medical Centre and Saudi Telecom (KSA), The Hub (UAE) and Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. by

5 Billion People to use Mobile Phones by 2017

Four years from now, 5.1 billion people will be mobile phone users around the globe — almost 1 billion more mobile users than the 4.3 billion people worldwide using them now.

Asia, the region that will see the most growth, is already home to the most mobile phone users. Some 2.4 billion people there use mobile phones, a figure projected to grow to 2.9 billion by 2017

Statista‘s chart, below, compares mobile phone penetration in 2013 to forecasts for 2017 in different regions of the world.

mobile phones

Ten untapped African mobile markets

Africa may be the second fastest growing mobile market in the world after Asia, but there could still be lots of room for growth.

Despite countries such as South Africa having among the continent’s highest mobile penetration rates of over 120%, there are a number of African nations that have not yet even achieved 50% mobile penetration rates.

Bordered by Sudan in the West and Ethiopia in the South, Eritrea has the lowest mobile device uptake in Africa with only 5% penetration in that country, according to the GSMA.

The list below indicates markets with the lowest mobile penetration at the end of 2012, according to GSMA Intelligence figures.

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The Global Awards for Mobile Content and Commerce finalists announced

Entries from over 25 countries as the international awards ceremony moves to San Francisco as part of the inaugural MEF Global Forum 2013

15 October 2013: MEF, the global community for mobile content and commerce has revealed the finalists for the 10th annual Meffys awards.  With entries across 13 categories from across all five continents, the award ceremony will for the first time take place in North America as part of the inaugural conference, MEF Global Forum 2013 on 14th and 15th November in Silicon Valley.

Established businesses, agencies, start-ups, diverse verticals and mobile innovators from developed and growth markets entered award categories that span the total mobile ecosystem, highlighting the depth and maturity of the mobile content and commerce industry.

Judged by an international panel of over 40 journalists, academics, analysts and VCs, the awards are acknowledged as the global benchmark for measuring success and rewarding innovation in mobile content and commerce.

The winners will be announced on 14th November 2013 at a Gala Dinner at the InterContinental Hotel San Francisco supported by Kaspersky Lab, Real Networks and The awards will be hosted by Emmy nominated and award winning author and broadcaster and Google’s Head of Media Outreach, Partnerships Lead and official spokesperson Daniel Sieberg.

Rimma Perelmuter, MEF’s CEO said: “Celebrating their 10th anniversary, the Meffys are a true barometer of success and innovation in the mobile industry. This year’s diverse entries from across 25 countries and the Meffys shortlist highlights the global nature and ever- expanding ecosystem of mobile content and commerce. We are excited to bring the heritage of our Industry’s most coveted awards to the heart of Silicon Valley as part of MEF Global Forum. Congratulations to all of this year’s Meffys finalists and thank you to all of the amazing judges who participated – we wish everyone good luck for the Awards in San Francisco.”

Meffys 2013 Shortlist

Brand on Mobile
•Brandtone for Pepsico / Credito Para Torcida
•Hungama for Vivel Face Wash Presents Mobi-sur
•Netshoes for Netshoes Click
•Red Bull Media House for World of Red Bull
•Somo for Audi A3 iPad App

Consumer Trust
•Drawbridge for Universal Opt-out
•Ensygnia for Ensygnia Onescan App
•Kaspersky Lab for Kaspersky Internet Security for Android
•NQ Mobile for NQ Mobile Security

Content Services
•3plet Publishing for 3plet Publishing
•Maluuba for Maluuba
•Mobiles Republic for Mobiles Republic
•Nazara Technologies for Games Club
•Nokia for Vyclone

Discovery & Engagement
•Everything Me for Everything Home
•gamesGRABR for gamesGRABR
•Hungama for The Hungama Music App
•Maluuba for Maluuba
•PlayPhone for PlayPhone

•Electronic Arts for The Simpsons Tapped Out
•Electronic Arts for Real Racing 3
•Future Games of London for Hungry Shark Evolution
•Playrise for Table Top Racing
•ZeptoLab for Cut The Rope Cheese Box

Life Tools App
•Box for Box OneCloud on Android
•conVISUAL for Bosch Toolbox App
•Movile for Healthy Living with Dr Drauzio Varella
•Pearson for GlobalEnglish LinGo Pro 2.0
•Tile for Tile

Mobile Money
•Barclays for Pingit: Picture Payments
•Etisalat for Flous Etisalat Commerce Service
•Mahindra Comviva for Ecocash powered by Mobiquity
•Monitise for RBS P2P Payments Visa Europe and Monitise

Social & Entertainment App
•3plet Publishing for 3plet Publishing
•Egos Ventures for Cycloramic
•Hungama for The Hungama App
•Movile for Play Kids TV
•Shazam for Shazam for TV Service

Social Responsibility & Development
•3Sided Cube for Hurricane America Red Cross
•Eneza Education for Eneza Education
•Mahindra Comviva for Ecocash powered by Mobiquity
•PlayMob for PlayMob Monetization Platform
•Real Networks for Dead Tone

Innovation in Apps
•Egos Ventures for Cycloramic
•Everything Me for Everything Home
•F Secure for Safe Profile Beta
•Lively LLC for Lively Mobile App
•SwiftKey for SwiftKey

Innovative Business Model
•3plet Publishing for 3plet Publishing
•Appia for Appia
•Design for Social Change for Changify
•Fortumo for Fortumo
•PlayMob for PlayMob Monetization Platform

Innovation in a Growth Market Initiative
•Clickatell for Global Fluency
•Etisalat for Flous Etisalat Commerce Service
•Mahindra Comviva for Ecocash powered by Mobiquity
•moWoza for moWoza
• for AudiencePro

Innovation in Technology
•Layar for Layar Creator
•Localytics for Localytics App Marketing & Analytics Platform
•Mozilla for Mozilla for Firefox OS
•Qualcomm for Vuforia
•Smaato for Smaato RTB Experience

The 2013 Meffys are part of a two-day event connecting global mobile leaders in Silicon Valley. Day One’s Innovation Day at nestGSV in Redwood City is supported by Silicon Valley Bank and day two’s agenda focuses on global growth and monetization. Speakers from over 20 countries include CEOs from Shazam and Evernote as well as guest speakers from VISA Mobile, Mozilla, Facebook, Telefonica Digital, Singtel Innov8 and many more.

For more information on MEF Global Forum 2013 please visit  and to purchase tickets or corporate branded tables for Meffys Gala Dinner 2013, please go to


About MEF
MEF is the global community for mobile content and commerce. It is the leading trade organisation for companies wishing to monetize their goods, services and digital products via the mobile connected device.  MEF provides competitive advantage to its diverse membership, shapes industry growth, connects thought leaders and spearheads ground breaking initiatives which explore and promote monetization opportunities.

With global headquarters in London and operational chapters and offices in Africa, Asia, EMEA, Latin America, Middle East and North America, MEF is a member network with global reach and strong local representation, ideally placed to drive market growth. Established in 2000, MEF provides an impartial, consistent and powerful voice for the foremost companies and entrepreneurs from across the mobile content and commerce value chain.
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