Technology for good and citizen safety at a Hackathon in African

As citizens, we want a safe, conducive, and supportive environment to live, learn, and thrive. Technology has the potential to make our lives better and change industries, and it has already done so in our country, Nigeria. To that end and given the current situation of the society, we believe that now is the time to use tech for good, be tech proud, and use tech to keep ourselves safe. African technology and events like a Hackathon in African should be used to profer solutions to challenges in the continent.

Hackathon in African to build African tech solutions for citizen safety
Photo by Oluwakemi Solaja on Unsplash

To achieve this, we are including an additional challenge in NaijaHacks 2019, a Hackathon in African by AfricaHacks, and calling on all Developers to form teams of 1 to 3 at NaijaHacks2019 to build solutions that will help to keep us all safe because when we are safe, we can thrive and grow as a community and we can attract investors. Investors will be more open to putting money into the startups that we build.

The Challenge

The NaijaHacks challenge will be called the challenge for The Best Citizen-safety solution. We will create and award a Prize to the Best Team that builds the best, most efficient, most accessible and most cost-effective solution that can be used to Protect Citizens and alert predefined relatives/families/authorities during times of crisis.


Although the challenge will be open-ended, and teams will have the option to build anything they imagine, here are some specifications of the project:

  1. Must work without internet. Therefore, it should depend on only a 2G network to communicate with a server.
  2. Bluetooth, Wifi, and other wireless communications are allowed. This Hackathon in African project must work for the majority of users in Africa.
  3. Should have an option to work when away from your phone. Therefore, even if someone takes your phone away, you should still be able to send an alert.
  4. Should send a GPS location or recorded/typed location. Can depend on your phone as far as your phone is nearby.
  5. Must be customizable for each user to set/edit the list of contact numbers.
  6. Contact method should be either by SMS/Voice call.

How to participate in the Hackathon in African challenge

You can apply now at Please, complete all fields in your application form as a human reads them, and applicants are either admitted or rejected. The outcome of each application depends on their application and the number of participants we can admit this year. Last year, we admitted 50% of applicants, but it will likely be more competitive this year because last year was just the first time we did NaijaHacks.


We will have mentors from around to world to help out with questions that participants have, and we will plan to provide free credits to hosting providers, SMS/USSD platforms, some hardware/IoT modules and any technical asset needed to make an MVP work.


We will be awarding either prize items or a combination of mentorship and prize items. We will be revealing information about the amount/items in the coming weeks because we do not want to overpromise and underdeliver.

How to support the Hackathon in African challenge

Companies and individuals looking to sponsor the prize for The Best Citizen-safety solution should reach out to us, and we will be happy to explore how we can incorporate their awards into what we are offering the winners. Last year we had the Dr. Andrew S. Nevin Prize for the Best Solution that promotes accountability in government.

Finally, if you have any questions/comments/concerns, please reach out to me directly at uchi AT naijahacks DOT com.

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