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A competition for the best student app of the year

Mobile applications have seen incredible success over the past few years, with billions of apps being downloaded onto millions of smart phones and tablets worldwide. While many of these are trivial, others have world-changing potential. All it takes is the right idea – and the skills to take that idea and develop and market the right app from it.

CodeJam 2013 aims to give young entrepreneurs the skills needed to develop an amazing, innovative idea and translate that into a mobile app. Registration for CodeJam opened at on Thursday 25 July and runs through to Wednesday 6 August 2013. Entry is open to anybody between the ages of 18 and 25 who isn’t permanently employed, and who wants to explore how great ideas, translated into mobile ideas, can solve real problems.

And not only that – the most exciting, life-changing ideas and apps will win prizes including brand new mobile devices (Apple and Android alike), internships at various technology-related businesses, sponsored business trips to Durban and Johannesburg – and don't forget the real-life exposure and prestige that will surely follow. Also, any app completed will belong to the CodeJammer (or team) who created it, so prizes or no, every participant has the chance to win big in future.

Participants in the CodeJam competition will receive technical, ideation and entrepreneurial instruction through August and September, and will then be required to conduct their own research and use the skills learned to develop Apps that Matter. Specific societal challenges have been identified by the CodeJam 2013 stakeholder group and participants are expected to develop innovative mobile app solutions to address those needs.

CodeJam 2013, now in its second year, is one of several national initiatives aimed at enhancing the digital competence of  South Africa at large. The programme is focused on developing young, local talent in the mobile apps space. It aims to build capacity in both apps development and the appropriation of mobile technology that can address South Africa's particular socio-economic challenges, and meet local needs with a distinctly South African flavour. Last year an amazing 456 ideas were entered, tackling a variety of problems and meeting a variety of market needs, of which 15 made it through to the final evaluation.

The CodeJam competition is a collaborative initiative between the Western Cape CoLab, Kujali Innovation Hub from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology's Apps Hub, the City of Cape Town, Business Connection (BCX), Cape Activa (City of Cape Town), mobileUbiquity HervNet, Core Group, GTP, Immedia and Primedia Digital

To find out more about the exciting CodeJam competition, or to register as a Codejammer, just visit

 The Western Cape CoLab is a joint undertaking by the national e-Skills Institute (Department of Communications) and the University of the Western Cape. The national e-Skills Institute recently amalgamated with the National Media Institute of South Africa (NEMISA) and ISSA.