IBM is encouraging young and talented software writers in Africa to solve society’s problems and challenges, according to a report in ThisDayLive.
The global technology company launched its pan-African hackathon series in Lagos, aimed at promoting local software talents and software innovation across Africa with a four-day technology training and ideas incubation program in Lagos.
The IBM “Lasgidi” Hackathon refers to the moniker, Lasgidi, used by Lagos residents to describe their city.
Hackathons are software programs or projects which seek to create a virtual environment where society’s problems and solutions are simulated and incubated for future development, according to ThisDayLive.
The hackathon will encourage students to build applications that run on mobile devices, compete for innovation grants, and develop new skills. A coding competition will introduce them to IBM’s latest technology tools and frameworks to help build smarter and faster software solutions.
Participants focused on developing apps for mobile payments and smarter government solutions.
“Focusing on mobile payments and smarter government solutions is…a deliberate attempt to make a positive impact and contribution to the innovation agenda of business and government in Nigeria,” said Adeola Allison, IBM’s West Africa leader for developer relations.
About 90 people participated, mostly budding software scientists and students from 10 tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The event was targeted at young technology and computing practitioners, software developers, engineering and computer science students.
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Student participants traveled from Western and Eastern Nigeria. IBM plans to hold similar events in East and Southern Africa, the report said.
IBM West Africa Manager Taiwo Otiti encouraged participants to “get hungry for technology information and always be eager to soak in as much knowledge as they can.”
“Talent has never been more important as it is today in the technology sector,” Otiti said. “Innovation and talent are at the core of the information technology revolution with the potential for positive impact on individuals, communities, countries and the world.”
Organisations like IBM play roles in ensuring that many of society’s challenges and problems do not go unaddressed or unresolved, Otiti said. “Promoting talent in the field of science and technology has therefore become a way of life at IBM.”
For the Lagos hackathon, IBM partnered with the Federal Ministry of Communications Technology, the Lagos State Ministry of Science & Technology, University of Lagos, Airtel, CBC Limited, Wecyclers, Coder4Africa, CcHUB, Smart Campus, ICT Brokers, Quality Certain and other academic and non-academic institutions in Nigeria.