Simple Trace triumphs at Microsoft ICT Innovation Awards

By Christine Muchira

Simple Trace, a solution enabling County Governments to save billions of shillings lost due to an inefficient fleet and fuel management system has won this year’s Microsoft ICT Innovation Awards at the Connected Summit 2016.

It was developed by Thika based technology firm Simple Trace Systems, emerged the overall winner based on its usability and accessibility.

The solution, targeted at National and County Governments, tackles the challenge of fuel inefficiency by automating the monitoring of work tickets, vehicles fueling process and fuel cards.

It is estimated that the Government across its ministries, departments and counties has a negative fuel efficiency of -24.6 per cent. There is an average of 10 per cent unauthorized private mileage and the Government is under staffed to monitor over 11,000 vehicles efficiently.

Simple Trace seeks to solve these challenges through automation and the company estimates that deploying the solution might enable the Government save over Sh2.4 billion that is lost on fuel theft and unauthorised mileage.

The Simple Trace platform enables Government officers in charge of transport to efficiently monitor work tickets, vehicle fueling processes and fuel cards.

The tool was launched in 2015 and is already in use in six counties.

Simple Trace also won the County Solutions Category. Other winners were Sukuul Solutions (Educational and Training), Abacus Finance (Financial Services), Sokopepe (Agriculture), New-Edge Technologies (Environmental Management), Nairobits (Gender Youth and Vulnerable Groups), Bunifu Technologies (IT Services), Enchanted Landscapes (Tourism), Nairobi Water and Sewerage (Water and Sanitation) and Machakos County (County Initiatives).

Looking at this year’s participation as well as the list of winners and runners up in the ICT Innovation awards, there has been a surge in the number of innovative ideas emerging from the counties.

“Other than businesses and individual innovators from the countries that are now participating in the Innovation Awards, there is participation by the County Governments,” said Robert Mugo acting chief executive.

“This is in comparison to the past, where the entries have almost been exclusively from businesses in Nairobi. There are also a number of firms that are focusing at the counties with their solutions, some of them based in Nairobi, a clear indicator that devolution is taking off.”

The Connected ICT Innovation Awards celebrate Kenyan entrepreneurs that have launched new ICT products and services. The inaugural awards were held in 2011 at the Connected Kenya Summit; the award has since recognized more than 45 new ICT products and solutions.

The awards are designed to highlight innovation that development goals for the region. Participants are asked to submit proof of their innovation in one of 14 categories:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Education and Training
  3. Health Care Delivery
  4. Water and Sanitation
  5. Environment
  6. Housing and Urbanisation
  7. Gender, Youth and Vulnerable groups
  8. Wholesale and Retail Trade
  9. Manufacturing
  10. Tourism
  11. Social Equity
  12. Business Process Outsourcing/Offshoring
  13. Financial Services
  14. ICT Service

A new category was introduced this year for County Based Initiatives. In this category, County governments were invited to submit entries for the awards.


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