It all started here when we announced that registration had commenced for a hackathon event billed to start in February. The programme, which featured the gathering of entrepreneurs, innovators and sponsors in Accra Ghana, was organised by Hack for Big Choices and co-sponsored by WordPress and internet.org.

Ghana’s hackathon sought to provide opportunities for the next generation of leaders and guide entrepreneurs to develop businesses that are innovative and equally good for subsistence living in West Africa.

As Aurora Chiste CEO and Hack for Big Choices, succinctly puts it back then: “We believe this is deeply necessary because Africa’s population will grow more rapidly. Further constraining efforts to address poverty, create jobs, and protect the environment. We envision a landscape where African citizens source and adopt the best technologies to address local needs, become emerging entrepreneurs and create impactful innovation”.

The programme reached crescendo a couple of weeks back (February 20-22) when winners for the event were announced. The winners represented three major categories i.e. Design & Technology, Healthcare and Education.

“Under these categories, we found there was a particular emphasis on solving food safety, education access in remote regions, health data in action, and pregnancy complications. The pregnancy issue was, ironically, was being tackled by a team of men,” an excerpt from the official website.

The winners are: Smartscreen (Design & Technology), Pharmsee (Healthcare) and Prepa (Education); with Pharmsee grabbing the grand prize for their innovative pharmaceutical search engine and given the opportunity to attend the Global Hackathon Seoul –kudos for that.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is often overlooked as a region for leaps in innovation. Most in the western world lack the awareness of the rapid growth happening there. This was the primary reason why we chose to hold the hackathon in the region. There is a strong economic emergence happening and the world needs to pay attention. Ghana serves as the central hub of activity with high potential for investment growth in young startups looking to shake things up in the world. They just need a little push” another excerpt from the organisers.

Africa is a repository of talents, prodigies and social engineers; hackathons such as this will act like a nuclear fission, helping to release the potential energies within such special people.

Photo Credit: LaMenta3 via Compfight cc

Olumuyiwa Coker Author

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