Meet the first student team from Africa to win the Microsoft Imagine Cup competition

May 27, 2021

student team 2019 Imagine Cup EMEA

For the first time in the 19 year history of the Microsoft student competition, a team from Africa are the World Champions. The student team from Kenya beat three other teams to lift the prestigious trophy.

The Student Team

Kenya students Imagine Cup Microsoft

Khushi Gupta, Jeet Gohil, Dharmik Karania and Abdihamid Ali are computer science final year students of United States International University – Africa (USIS), Kenya. REWBA comes from their innovation name Remote Well Baby.

Team REWEBA entered into the competition under the healthcare category with an IoT-based early warning system for babies. Their innovation remotely monitors infant parameters during regular post-natal screening. It then sends measurements to doctors remotely, allowing for immediate interventions saving infants from fatal diseases and reducing infant mortality rates.

Find out more about their journey to winning the competition here.

Microsoft organizes the developer competition each year for students aged 16 years and above. The student innovators, use their passion and purpose to tackle local social issues with technology. Winning a cash amount to help them to keep working on their project, as well as other prizes. The competition starts from the national or online level through the regional and then World Championship event.

Africa teams at the Imagine Cup

Throughout the history of the competition, student teams from various African countries have participated at the Europe Middle East and Africa regional level. With just a handful making it to the world championship level. Unfortunately, none has gone on to win the competition.

Last year, Team Knights from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya and Team RedWalls from Tunisia National Institute of Applied Science and Technology made it to the World Finals. In 2019, team Athena-IO, Tunisia and iCropal, Kenya joined 9 others from Europe as 12 EMEA Regional Finalist. Due to changes in the competition that year second-place team Athena-IO didn’t get to present at the World Finals.

Team iCropal, Kenya on the left

Team E-Park from Morocco qualified through the Middle East and Africa competition held in Lebanon in 2017. Competing as the only team from Africa against 54 teams from around the globe at the finals. In 2016 four student teams from Nigeria, South Africa and Tunisia qualified to represent Africa at the Imagine Cup Finals in Seattle. During this period in the competition history, winners at the national level got direct entries to the World Championship.

The wait has been long but it is finally here. Student teams making it to the World Championship successively these past few years show how far they have come.

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Check out other stories making the news across Africa and Middle East region.