Rehab Moustafa and Sara Elmougy are two young Egyptian graduates who have seen the power of coding and app development to make an impact in people’s lives. They represent the unlimited potential in Africa for great app ideas, which is why they were part of Microsoft’s AppFactory in Egypt, helping them bring their ideas to life.
Sisters doing it for themselves
Both Rehab and Sara are following their passions and breaking into traditionally male-dominated industries. Rehab graduated in Systems and Biomedical Engineering, while Sara has a degree in Computer Science. Sara’s interest in coding began in elementary school where she first learned to code HTML, and Rehab was tasked with using coding to develop projects for medical fields during here studies.
Their achievements are among those of many women being celebrated this International Women’s Day (8 March 206), which focuses on gender parity.
Developing a love for coding
Beyond this, both young women are eager to make a difference and believe that coding is key to doing this. Sara explains, “It makes me really happy to develop an application for people to use. It’s about innovation, design and development – and when you finally get your application right you can be proud of being a helpful and useful person.”
Rehab agrees. She has seen first-hand how mobile technology and applications can enhance her field of Biomedical Engineering. “I can actually use coding to help patients get their treatment right where they are – and that inspired my team’s idea for our graduation project. We developed an application that connects patients with their doctors to get functional electrical stimulation treatment right in their homes with the doctor’s instructions.”
Rehab Moustafa and Sara Elmougy, app developers from Egypt's AppFactory
Addressing real needs
Between the two of them, Sara and Rehab have developed more than 10 apps during their time at the AppFactory, serving a host of different needs.
Rehab developed two apps by herself and a further three as part of a team. On her own she developed “How can I fix it?” and “Eventopia”, offering simple steps to fix cars and sharing events happening around Egypt respectively. With her teammates, she created “Library” and “Kotobna” for book lovers and aspiring authors, as well as “Recipes Valley”, which is a database of simple recipes suggested depending on what users have in their fridge.
Sara created five apps on her own: Meyaww for children with autism; Hawyany Al-Aleef for pet owners; Research Hub for researchers wanting to publish their papers; a mathematical game called Prof. Bubu; and UX News, which is a hub of information for UX designers. She was also part of a team that created two apps for start-ups. Beliaa is a one-stop instant communication platform between car owners, Road Assistance Service and after sales service providers; while HOPE is a social aggregated mobile platform for blood donation.
The common thread running through each of these apps is that they address a real community need, which is at the heart of these young women’s love for coding.
Coding to change the world
When it comes to encouraging other would-be coders, Rehab says: “Never stop developing yourself, be passionate about what you do, realise your potential and never give up on your dreams.” Sara believes that it takes focus and patience to succeed in this area.
They agree that the AppFactory helped them receive the training they needed, challenged them to prove themselves and built their confidence that they can do anything they set their minds to. We look forward to watching these ladies do their part in changing the world.