Supporting ICT innovations and entrepreneurship that enhance agriculture
To have regular updates on the hackathon, check its blog http://hackathon.ict4ag.org/
A hackathon is an event during which computer programmers (and development stakeholders when required) collaborate in a short period of time to develop an ICT application or platform addressing a specific challenge. Now, CTA is offering East African computer programmers a fantastic opportunity to display their skills through an innovative five-week regional Agri-Hackathon Championship!
This is not your traditional hackathon. It takes the form of a regional tournament of which the preliminary phase will be organized before the ICT4Ag Conference and the finals will take place during the conference in Kigali, from the 4th – 7th November, 2013.The aim is to showcase the potential of ICT applications in agriculture and to support the development of innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture, especially by young people. In order to ensure that the applications developed meet the needs of those in agriculture in East Africa, and that the developers have the opportunity further to refine and launch the applications after the event, CTA has involved, from the start, key East African stakeholders. International organizations supporting agricultural development, business development or ICT services have also been consulted. These stakeholders and institutions contributed to the identification of the agricultural challenges for the hackathon, during a meeting that took place in Kigali in July 2013.
CTA is organizing the hackathon in close partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (Rwanda), the Ministry of Youth and ICT (Rwanda) and East African ICT hubs and labs. A call for expression of interest was launched in August 2013 to select hubs that are participating in the Championship. These innovation spaces organised local/national selection events or hackathons on the same challenges. They each have selected a team, which will send two representatives to the Finals.
The hackathon will take place in a venue different from the main venue of the conference. The two places will be connected via webcast. Applications developed will be “pitched” at the main venue of the conference for selection by the judges. The top three applications developed and the hubs supporting them will receive a substantial prize including cash awards, capacity building and incubation opportunities. All finalists will also receive incentives as winners of the national hackathons or selection events. The three winning applications will be showcased during the Gala Dinner of the Conference.
This Agri-Hackathon Championship is a not a one-shot event that will close its doors after the ICT4Ag Conference. The rewards offered to the technology hubs are grants for them to provide incubation and support to the winners for six months, according to agreed terms of reference. The event is a pilot experience for CTA, hence the focus is on only one ACP region. Lessons learned will be shared and will generate other future initiatives. These activities will mainly be undertaken through the CTA Youth and ICT project ARDYIS.