Friday, June 7, 2013


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Tandabala are winners of the Botswana leg of the Imagine Cup 2013. The Botho Collage softwareengineering students were crowned champions of the local competition on Wednesday 04th April, 2013 at the Microsoft Innovation Centre (MIC) Labs. The Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition where eligible students are invited to use their imagination and passion to create a technology solution in one of the competitions and challenges. The competition allows innovative students from all over the world to take one of a kind, ground breaking app idea from concept to market with Microsoft resources.
The winners will represent Botswana at the Imagine Cup 2013 finals in St. Petersburg, Russia in July this year. They also walked away with a computer and Nokia windows phones. Imagine Cup is divided into three categories, games, innovation and world citizenship. This year contestants were required to entre one of the three competitions. The competitions competition was open to students from tertiary institutions.
The competition gives participants the chance to break new ground, solve tough problems facing the world today, and maybe even turn your ideas into a business. The competition also allows participants to learn new technological skills and test themselves against the brightest students around the world.
Over the past ten years, more than 1.65 million students from more than 190 countries have participated in the Imagine Cup. Joining the Imagine Cup community connects one with other whip-smart creatives from all over the world to share ideas, have fun, and be there when the next big thing is unveiled.
According to the manager of MIC, Patel Barwabatsile, “Although the competition is an annual event, this was the first time it was held in Botswana. Twenty groups registered on line but only three managed to show their projects while others failed.” Team Tandabala’s submission was a design of a friendly pension payment system called ‘Tandabala’. The scheme focuses on social security payment for old age pensioners from age 65, World War veterans and destitute. Old age pension fund is a social initiative by the government of Botswana to meet the social, economic and physiological needs of old people, war veterans and the destitute.
There are around 30, 000 old age pensioners registered who are benefitting from Tandabala and the number is increasing annually. Pensioners need this money to be able to support themselves and their families.
The Tandabala team started their project in 2011 for the Links competition which was hosted by Botho Collage which they also won. They said they chose this project because they have realized that old people are abandoned. They are trying to develop a system which will make it easier for them to access their funds.
They said the system is going to be centralized in such way that beneficiaries can be able to get money where they are. In developing their project, they said they faced several challenges including lack of resources and capital. “We suffered from the beginning, there was no place to work from, we used a garage as a working place,” said KabeloBolaane.

MIC Manager Patel Barwabatsile(L) with the Tandabala, the National winners of the Imagine Cup 2013


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