Sudanese Youth leverage New Technology for the Good of their Communities

Over 1,295,000 people participated in this year’s Sudan’s Social Good Summit via text messages (SMS) to select the top five winners of the Social Good Summit technology challenge to develop tech solutions for social good and peace in Sudan.

Winning projects ranged from creating a phone application to enable visually impaired persons to access education in Sudan, to creating a database for matching unemployed youth with job opportunities, to enriching the Sudanese content on the web by creating online platforms that provides a positive image of Sudan.

Participants showcased their ideas for development in Sudan in a public fair where they presented to around 1,000 youth their perspective on how to improve communities in Sudan.

This contest provided an opportunity for Sudanese youth to enhance their entrepreneurial skills, display their unique and innovative thinking and receive the recognition they most aptly deserve.

A team of high level panelists from various UN agencies, the private sector, technology leaders, and academia reviewed the initiatives on display in preparation for the overall assessment which was calculated based on their review in addition to 30% of public voting.

This year, the Sudanese Ministry of Information and Ministry of Telecommunications, youth organizations -represented by the Sudanese Assembly of Youth- and members of the private sector (Zain Telecommunications and DAL Group) made considerable contributions to this Social Good Summit by contributing to the training and awarded prizes of the young contestants as part of their commitment to development causes in Sudan.

Sudan’s State Ministers of Information and Science and Technology, respectively addressed the summit where they reaffirmed their commitment to boost the use of technology for enhancing peace and development in Sudan through enabling policies and regulations to improve the innovation and technology landscape in Sudan.

Yvonne Helle, Country Director, UNDP Sudan remarked “I’m very impressed by Sudan youth’s tech innovative ideas to serve their communities. They are fully translating locally the purpose of this global Summit by using new technology to initiate a positive change in their own communities.”

The first winner, Yursa Eltahir, commented on her project by saying “My interest in applying to this completion is derived from the large number of the visually impaired people in Sudan who have little access to education.

Therefore, I aim to develop a software program and mobile application suited for visually impaired persons to enable to recognize Arabic texts on their mobile phones and transform them into audio.”

Held during UN Week from September 21-22, the Social Good Summit unites a dynamic community of global leaders and grassroots activists to discuss solutions for the greatest development challenges of our time. This year, meetups focused on the theme of "Connecting for Good, Connecting for All" - what we can do today to make sure technology and new media benefit people in developing as well as developed countries.

In all, the Social Good Summit brought together thousands of people worldwide, including almost 30,000 online participants, and extended the conversation to nearly 144 million people through social media.