Microsoft has announced the African countries who will be competing against the rest of the world in the annual Imagine Cup World Finals – and one team is disappointingly absent from the main event. South Africa.

Nigeria’s Team High Rise and Uganda’s Team mDex have made it through to the final in the World Citizen category, while Egypt’s Team Illogic will be competing in the Games category. The annual event pits the world’s best student programmers, innovators and game designers against each other for a $50,000 cash prize.

Before making it to the finals, teams have to compete in various regional and national competitions, where after they will be selected for inclusion in the finals – if they are good enough. If the winner of a specific country doesn’t meet the criteria of the world finals, they are not allowed to go.

According to Microsoft, over 1.75 million students from more than 190 countries have competed in the annual event since its inception – and Africa has been doing rather well. In last year’s competition, Uganda’s Team Code 8 won the Women’s Empowerment Award, and walked away with a cheque for $12,000.

In total, Africa was represented by 12 countries last year, and five teams competed in the coveted Innovation Competition category.

This year’s World Final will take place from 29th July 29 to 2nd August in front of a particularly impressive panel of judges. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Reddit General Manger Erik Martin and Code.org co-founder Hadi Partovi are already confirmed.

I have a long-standing relationship with the Imagine Cup (which included serving as a Games Developer judge in 2012’s regional finals), and one thing that I have learnt over the last couple of years, is that you have to be really good to be included in the World Finals. The standard of the competition has grown exponentially, bordering on being world-class.

[Source – Microsoft, Image – Charlie Fripp]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.