MEST and UNICEF Ghana launch hackathon under the theme: Solving BIG problems using little technology

admin | Monday, January 13th, 2014

MEST-UNICEF Ghana Hackathon


ACCRA, 13th January 2014
: The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in partnership with UNICEF Ghana will this week launch the MEST-UNICEF Hackathon, a three-day product development competition to find new technologies to serve the hard-to-reach in Ghana. Participants will tackle issues ranging from water supply tracking, to access to information, and sanitation.

Over 3 days (from 15th -17th January 2014), participants will work in teams to develop practical web or mobile applications that address a set of problem statements presented by UNICEF Ghana. On 17th January, 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.

“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 in the continent.” Ekua Odoom, Managing Director  – MEST said.

[Tweet “Top 3 teams from @UNICEFGhana and @MESTghana hackathon will win over GHC 8,000 in cash prizes.”]

“We know talent is equally distributed but wealth is not, and by creating opportunities like this we are 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” Ms. Odoom said.

Over 100 of Ghana’s brightest tech minds will join the competition at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) at East Legon. Participants will be joined by guests from the technology and business communities, as well as members of the general public.

“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,” UNICEF Ghana Country Representative Susan Namondo Ngongi said.

“Partnering with the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology gives UNICEF the opportunity to encourage innovations by Ghanaians, for Ghanaians. This partnership will bring different sets of skills, viewpoints and influence to the table. Most of the problem statements presented by UNICEF are around how we, working with our partners, improve our ability to target resources and 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.” Ms Ngongi said.

Follow @UNICEFGhana and @MESTGhana on Twitter for live updates.

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org.

About MEST

The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) provides training, investment and mentoring for aspiring technology entrepreneurs with the goal of creating globally successful companies that create wealth and jobs locally in Africa. Established in Ghana in 2008, MEST offers aspiring African entrepreneurs a fully sponsored two year, intensive full-time program. Sourced from the top graduates of local universities, 20+ of these Entrepreneurs-In-Training (EITs) are selected each year and receive comprehensive training across the spectrum of skills required to build successful tech businesses, including computer programming, software development, product management, finance, marketing, sales and leadership best practices. After completion of the program, the EITs have the opportunity to pitch a concept. Winning teams receive a seed round from the MEST Incubator to pursue their idea.

For more information about MEST, visit www.meltwater.org.

Contact

Amma Baffoe

Communications Manager, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology
amma@meltwater.org