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Empowering Women in Tech: UbuntuNet Alliance Women Hackathon 2023 for Innovations in Research and Education

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Are you a female student or graduate in software engineering, IT, or related fields? Join the Women Hackathon by UbuntuNet Alliance and showcase your innovative ICT solutions for research and education. Get a chance to win funding for your idea and attend the UbuntuNet-Connect Conference in Uganda Kampala. Apply now!”

About UbuntuNet Alliance Women Hackathon 2023
AfricaConnect, Capacity Building, Stories / By Harold Bowa

To address the underrepresentation of women in the tech industry, the UbuntuNet Alliance is planning a Women Hackathon. The goal is to empower and encourage 20 women developers from East and Southern Africa to take part in this event. It will happen before the UbuntuNet-Connect 2023 Conference in Uganda Kampala from 23 to 25 October 2023. This initiative is part of the AfricaConnect3 project, co-funded by the European Commission.

The UbuntuNet Alliance’s mission is to create a thriving and sustainable community of National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in Eastern and Southern Africa. They aim to promote collaboration and innovation among Research and Education Communities. The organization recognizes the vital role that research and education play in shaping societies and driving progress. Innovation is key to advancing academia, leading to new ideas, theories, and products that improve lives and society.

However, there are challenges that limit the full potential of research and education. Technology can play a crucial role in helping students interact with their study materials, enhancing their learning experiences, and exploring new knowledge.

Benefits
Participants in the Women Hackathon organized by the UbuntuNet Alliance will enjoy the following advantages:

  • Certificates of Participation: All participants will receive certificates recognizing their involvement in the hackathon.
  • Awards for Top Performers: The winner, first runner-up, and second runner-up will receive modest awards in recognition of their outstanding performance.
  • Physical Attendance at UbuntuNet-Connect Conference: Participants will have the opportunity to physically attend the UbuntuNet-Connect Conference in Uganda, also known as “the pearl of Africa.”
  • Internship Opportunities: There is a chance for participants to secure internship opportunities with National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) affiliated with the UbuntuNet Alliance.
  • Industry Connections: Participants will have the chance to establish connections with professionals and organizations in the tech industry.
  • Mentorship Opportunities: The hackathon offers the possibility of receiving mentorship from experienced professionals, providing guidance and support in their careers.
  • Funding Potential: Participants may have the chance to access funds to accelerate their ideas and turn them into reality.
  • Networking at the Conference: Participants will get to interact and network with individuals from research and education networks across Africa and beyond
  • Travel and Accommodation Covered: The successful teams’ travel and accommodation costs will be taken care of by the UbuntuNet Alliance.
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Themes
The hackathon’s main theme is “Innovate for Research and Education,” which perfectly aligns with the UbuntuNet Alliance’s main goals and objectives.

Key Focus Areas:
Participants are encouraged to explore innovative solutions in the following important areas:

  1. Innovations for 21st Century Education:
  • Improve the way learning happens in schools and beyond, especially after the pandemic.
  • Find ways to use technology effectively in education and make people aware of such technologies.

2. Innovations for Improving Research Uptake and Impact:

  • Develop innovations to make research findings accessible to stakeholders, like policymakers and practitioners.
  • Promote capacity development to understand research outputs.
  • Create ways to increase the influence of research on society and provide incentives for using research in practice.

3. Innovations for Enhanced Collaboration in Research:

  • Develop technologies that bring together diverse teams to work on research projects.
  • Mobilize teams effectively for impactful research.
  • Assess team performance and contributions to improve research outcomes.
  • The Women Hackathon will focus on these critical areas to find creative and effective solutions that contribute to the advancement of research and education in Africa.

Eligibility

To apply for the Women Hackathon, you need to meet the following criteria:

1. Female Participants Only: Only women can participate in the hackathon.

2. Academic Background: You should have at least a university degree in one of the following fields:

  • Software Engineering
  • Information Technology
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science
  • Any related field
    Alternatively, you should be pursuing a degree in one of these fields.

3. Student or Graduate: Participants should either be current students or graduates who have completed their degrees within the past 5 years.

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4. Residency: The call is open only to residents of UbuntuNet Alliance member countries. You can find the list of UbuntuNet Alliance member countries on UbuntuNet Alliance Member Countries https://ubuntunet.net/. scroll down to find the listed countries.

 

Application Requirement for the UbuntuNet Alliance Women Hackathon
To participate in the Women Hackathon, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Form Teams: Create a team of four members who are interested in participating in the hackathon together.

2. Submit Concept Note: As a team, prepare a concept note that should not exceed two pages. Use Times New Roman font, size 12, and single spacing. The note should not include the cover page.

3. Concept Note Elements:

  • Introduction: Start with a brief introduction of your project idea.
  • Background (or Relevance): Explain why your project idea is important and relevant.
  • Proposed Objectives: Clearly state the goals you want to achieve with your ICT solution.
  • Methodology: Describe the approach you will take to develop the software, including the technologies you plan to use.
  • Programming Skills: Highlight the programming skills of each team member.
  • Previous Experience: Share any previous experiences or links to work you have developed.
  • Cover Page: The cover page should include the topic of your project and details of all team members, such as names, email addresses, and phone numbers.

4. Online Submission: Submit your concept note online through the Hackathon Submission Link

5. Deadline: Make sure to submit your concept note before the deadline: 10th August 2023.

 

Selection Criteria
The concepts submitted for the Women Hackathon will be assessed based on the following criteria:

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Problem-Solving and Theme Relevance: The proposed idea should address a real problem and align with the hackathon’s theme, “Innovate for Research and Education.”

Innovativeness: The idea being proposed should be creative and innovative, bringing new and fresh approaches to the table.

Programming Skills: The team should possess the necessary programming skills to implement the proposed idea effectively.

Feasibility: The judges will evaluate the feasibility of the proposed idea, considering if it can be practically implemented.

Overview

Types of Opportunity: Training/Grant/Funding
Deadline: August 10, 2023
Worth: Funding for your idea
Open to: Students and Graduates in software engineering, Information technology, Information systems, computer science, etc.
Duration: October 23 to 25, 2023
Location: Uganda Kampala
Organizer: UbuntuNet Alliance
Country: African countries

Inquiry

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