Celebrating Ten Years of Recognising Home-grown App Development Talent

MTN Business App of the Year Awards now open for entry, offering biggest prize money ever 

Marking ten years since the launch of this national platform to recognise local champions of app development talent, the 2021 MTN Business App of the Year Awards are now officially open for entry. This year’s prize money for the country’s best digital developers is at its highest ever, with a whopping R 1 million now up for grabs. 

While many of the categories remain the same, there are two exciting new additions this year. This includes the launch of the Campus Cup, a competition open to students currently enrolled at accredited tertiary education facilities, universities, TVET colleges and institutions and incubation hubs. Open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 24, the developer of the most outstanding app will win R 100 000 in prize money for themselves and bring national recognition to their place of study. 

2021 is also go time for African developers. The MTN Business App of the Year Awards is going bigger and broader this year, with the inclusion of The Best African Solution. For the first time, this category opens up these Awards to the rest of Africa and invites app developers and coders from the rest of the continent to enter. To qualify, competitors have to be living outside of South Africa, but within an African country and their app needs to be developed locally within their region. 

“Everyone deserves the benefits of a more connected life, which is why MTN continues to spearhead digital transformation through its continued sponsorship of the MTN App of the Year Awards,” says Kholofelo Magagane, Head of Marketing: MTN Business. “These awards nurture entrepreneurship by providing a platform for developers to be recognised, and the opportunity to make a meaningful living from their passion projects. They also provide solutions for some of South Africans’ most pressing business and personal needs”. 

2021 MTN Business categories include:  

  • Best Consumer Solution 
  • Best Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Solution  
  • Best Enterprise Solution 
  • Most Innovative Solution 
  • Best Gaming Solution 
  • Best Health Solution 
  • Best Agricultural Solution 
  • Best Educational Solution 
  • Best Financial Solution  
  • Best Hackathon Solution  
  • Best “South African” Solution  
  • Best Campus Cup Solution 
  • Best African Solution 
  • Huawei Category 15 

Once again Huawei have come on board with Category 15. Launched last year, this is reserved for apps that were developed for the Huawei App Gallery, are HMS compatible or have integrated an HMS toolkit. 

2021 MTN Business App of the Year winners will join the ranks of those that won before them, many of whom have become well known locally, been acquired by blue-chip corporates or have gone on to launch their apps internationally. 

“The opportunities really are endless – as endless as South Africans imaginations, and their determination to overcome every obstacle in their path with passion and creative energy. It’s this combination that’s sure to see many more successful South African and African app-based businesses emerging – and we’re only too glad to have created platforms that can help them succeed,” Magagane says. 

This year saw MTN Business further their efforts in championing app development in South Africa by once again running the MTN Business App Academy, a six-week virtual coding programme, which culminates in a 72-hour MTN Business Hackathon. Solutions developed during the hackathon are entered into the category of Best Hackathon Solution. 

Submissions close on 9 August 2021, after which a judging panel of leading tech experts will start the shortlisting process. 

Category winners as well as the overall winner will be announced at the MTN Business App of the Year Awards being held virtually on 16 September.  

To enter go to https://www.appoftheyear.co.za/submit/