MEST and UNICEF to launch Hackathon

The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in partnership with UNICEF Ghana would this week launch the MEST-UNICEF Hackathon, on the theme: “Solving Big Problems Using Little Technology”.

The three-day product development competition is being organised to find new technologies to serve the hard-to-reach in Ghana.

A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency by UNICEF Ghana on Monday said participants would tackle issues ranging from water supply tracking to access to information, and sanitation.

It noted that participants would work in teams to develop practical web or mobile applications that address a set of problem statements presented by UNICEF Ghana for over three days starting from January 15 to17.

“On January 17, the teams will pitch their solutions to a panel of judges from UNICEF Ghana and MTN Ghana, and the top three teams will receive GHC 5,000, GHC 2,500 and GHC 1,000 respectively” it said.

The statement quoted the Managing Director of MEST, Ms Ekua Odoom, as saying, “MEST is dedicated to supporting young and bright Africans to start their own software companies to create wealth and jobs in Africa. Our goal is that by setting this pace we can inspire generations that follow to achieve greatness on the continent.”

She said, “talent is equally distributed but wealth is not and by creating opportunities like this, MEST was showing the world how inspirational, talented and promising the youth in Africa are.

“ And for this reason we are excited to partner with key development players such as UNICEF Ghana, to pursue this common vision of touching the continent in a phenomenal way- by helping find innovative technologies to serve the hard-to-reach in Ghana through this hackathon”.

The statement said over 100 of Ghana’s brightest technical minds would join the competition at MEST at East Legon, adding that, participants would be joined by guests from the technology and business communities, as well as members of the general public.

UNICEF Ghana Country Representative, Ms Susan Namondo Ngongi said “New ideas and technologies are needed to serve the hardest to reach communities in Ghana. UNICEF aims to co-develop innovations that are driven by and suited to the needs of the most vulnerable”

She said partnering with the MEST gave UNICEF the opportunity to encourage innovations by Ghanaians for Ghanaians, explaining that the partnership would bring different sets of skills, viewpoints and influence to the table.

Ms Ngongi said most of the problem statements presented by UNICEF were around how the teams were working with their partners to improve their ability to target resources to monitor and manage results.

“We believe that this hackathon will come up with innovative concepts that can be further refined to improve the lives of children in Ghana. “She said. GNA

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