As planned, the 2020 Africahacks Global Hackathon kicked off on the 5th of December, 2020. The innovation competition which features the 2020 AfricaHacks Hackathon and the NaijaHacks hackathon had participants from various parts of Africa.
The hackathon started with AfricaHacks Co-Founder and Vice President, Christine Dikogue delivering the opening remarks. In her remarks, she welcomed all participants to the hackathon. Afterward, members of the AfricaHacks organizing team Hilary and Tony took participants through what to expect at the hackathon. While speaking Hilary mentioned that participants are expected to participate actively in the event and utilize the opportunity which has been made available for them to improve their skills as well as their general knowledge in various technical aspects. She encouraged participants to think about the problems they want to solve, the time available, their talents, and what they want to show. “Using all of these, you’re expected to build a prototype that fits your idea”, she said.
Dr. Andrew Nevin of PWC West Africa who is also one of the sponsors of the hackathon delivered the keynote speech. In his talks, he explained extensively why he has invested in Africa and especially the youths. He said that he believes the everyday problems encountered in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole will be solved by young people taking charge of their society. Therefore he encouraged everyone to do more.
While talking about his prize he acknowledged that not everyone will win and therefore stated that the value is not in winning but in everyone making the best efforts. Dr. Andrew further emphasized that it is the result that matters.
“We need these technological solutions to improve health, transportation, marketing, financial services, and other aspects”.
A few minutes after the speech, one of the facilitators for the day, Odun Eweniyi of PiggyVest took the participants through a session on how to scale a business in Africa. Odun gave out crucial keys on how participants can scale their businesses and took questions before the session moved on to the parallel workshop where 4 sessions were held concurrently.
At the end of the workshop, Sultan Akintunde, Zainab Abubakar, Sam Bellen, and Garan Means all held their sessions providing participants with tools, insights, tricks, and platforms to help in their various career lines.
When asked for the aspect of the hackathon he was looking forward to, one of the hackathon participants, Thanni Abdulrahman, said: “I would say I’m looking forward to a whole lot!
I’m looking forward to learning new things, which I believe I’m beginning to achieve. I’m also looking to make new friends that will share the same dream(let me put it that way)/idea with me, perhaps connect with them, and most importantly, put forward my idea for the world to see. Summarily, hoping for the best.”