A nine-year Nigerian girl, Stephanie Ugochukwu, was the youngest participant to compete at the recently concluded AfricaHacks global competition.
Stephanie is not new to the tech scene. At a very young age, she was actively involved in many innovation labs and challenges like NaijaHacks in 2018 and 2019.
Speaking about her experience at AfricaHacks 2020, Stephanie said mentors at the AfricaHacks lab programme had enabled her to stay on top of the programme. When asked how she started out in techs, she said the support from her mother, who is also into techs, had proved invaluable, as she has been accompanying her for several hackathons since 2018.
Speaking at the competitions’ grand finale, AfricaHacks founder, Uchi Uchibeke, stressed the need for all participating teams to join the AfricaHacks Startup sandbox programme in the AfricaHacks Innovation Lab Platform and commended Stephanie and her family for showing what is possible.
The AfricaHacks Global Hackathon, which held recently, played host to different tech and business enthusiasts from over 17 countries in Africa, brainstorming and creating innovative solutions for agriculture, healthcare, citizen safety, web monetisation and other SDG goals.
The weeklong event, which was held virtually, saw young African entrepreneurs idealise a business concept into a most viable product, which is part of AfricaHacks mission, to provide opportunities and resources to African youths in the field of technology and entrepreneurship.
AfricaHacks co-founder and Vice President, Christine Dikogue, in her opening remarks, charged participants to always remain innovative with their ideas.
Similarly, the AfricaHacks organising team; Hilary Marsha and Tony Ogunmade, while taking participants through the hackathon’s expectations, urged participants to utilise their skills, talents and time effectively.
Dr Andrew Nevin, Chief Economist of PWC West Africa, in his keynote address, said: “The challenge in Africa will be solved by young people,” and highlighted recent examples like AfricaHacks, where youths across Africa had taken a stand to create and innovate for a sustainable economy, adding that technologies and innovations were needed to solve challenges in society across different sectors.
Climax of the event was the grand finale of the competition, where formed teams were able to pitch their innovative projects in front of judges.