Technology

Hacklab Foundation launches 5th Annual Hackathon

The Hacklab Foundation and the Hacklab Annual Hackathon, now the largest Hackathon in West Africa turns five years old in 2020.

The Hacklab Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on preparing the youth for future jobs. It achieves this through boot camps, hackathons, mentorship and coaching, internships and job placement.

Since the inception of the Hacklab Foundation in 2015, it has directly impacted over 10,000 people, organised eight hackathons, two robotics and coding boot camps for kids between the ages of seven to 13 years, supported 450+ women in tech, 223 youth were placed in jobs and 128+ youth were placed internships.

Through a partnership with IBM, the Foundation launched the National Digital Skills Training Program in November 2018, with a goal to reach 100,000 people by 2021.

Globally, emerging technologies are disrupting industries and the way we think about problem-solving. Technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics, Sensor Technology, 3D Printing, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence have the potential to act as impact amplifiers and challenging traditional approaches of going about ‘age-old-problems’ in sectors such as agriculture, financial services, healthcare, education, water, and energy. 

Africa has registered impressive economic growth over the past decade and a half, displaying remarkable resilience in the midst of global volatility and turmoil.

Time is now ripe for the continent to turn the chapter and embark on a journey towards a major economic transformation.

For this, Africa needs a new economic growth model powered by the strength of the real economy, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Emerging technologies can play a critical role in helping Africa address its age-old development challenges and achieve exponential growth over the next decade.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the main driver of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). And while it is not a new concept – for decades computers have been programmed by humans to make decisions on available facts.

But what is different now, as technology advances every day, it is an evolution in machine learning.

Machines are now developing what is known as “tactic knowledge”, which is essentially how the human mind works. And this will only improve with the explosion of data.

According to the Worldwide Web Foundation, much focus has been on countries leading the AI revolution, while middle and low-income countries, such as Ghana, are being left behind.

Research by McKinsey estimates that AI is contributing to a transformation of society “happening 10 times faster and at 300 times the scale” of the Industrial Revolution.

So, it only makes sense that these countries start embracing AI and spotting opportunities because there are many benefits such as deepening democracy, improving service delivering and growing their economies.

This year’s Annual Hackathon is scheduled to take place from April 3-5, 2020 at the Great Hall, KNUST, Kumasi.

Over 800 participants from 18 tertiary institutions, 50+ speakers and facilitators, 50 mentors and coaches will discuss solutions to address local problems under the theme: Leveraging Artificial Intelligence to drive Digital Transformation in Africa.

Solutions will be streamlined under the following verticals: energy, healthcare, agriculture, eCommerce, transportation, climate change, Internet of Things, financial technology.

Winning ideas from the competition will be awarded GHC 20,000.00 worth of cash prizes, cloud services worth over $60,000 from selected partners, internships and jobs opportunities from our partners.

Selected teams will have the opportunity to participate in the Ghana AI Accelerator program through a partnership with some of our partners.

The Hacklab For Women Travel Grant

As part of the Foundation’s objectives to increase women participation in our 5th Annual Hacklab Hackathon, they are awarding 25 ladies between the ages of 16 years – 25 years who reside outside Kumasi a travel grant to attend the event.

Interested persons can apply here: http://bit.ly/HacklabWTGrant

Participating schools include Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi Technical University, Ho Technical University, Ghana Telecommunication University College, Christian Service University, University of Development Studies, Garden City University, Kessben University College, University of Ghana, Wisconsin International University College, Pentecost University College, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, Ghana and many more.