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EU, African Union partner to announce African-European online hackathon program

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In a bid to jumpstart cross-continent innovation, the European Union together with the African Union have announced the Africa online hackathon as it seeks to innovative solutions to socio-economic problems in Africa that have been amplified by the COVID-19 crisis. 

Estonia and the African Union, in cooperation with Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg and Poland, with the implementing partners Garage48 and Smart Africa are organising the online cross-continental hackathon “EU-Africa The Post Crisis Journey” on 10-13 December 2020.

The program is open for team and individual sign-ups – visionaries, developers, designers, marketers, entrepreneurs, engineers and anyone socially active. The organizers hope to engage 10 000 tech-savvy and socially conscious participants, 300 mentors and at least 100 community-building organizations from both the EU and Africa. 

“Through this hackathon, we will be able to foster the creativity and the ingenuity of our young people and professionals from Africa and the EU, who will all be working towards the same goal in a competitive spirit: elaborating scalable solutions to today’s challenges.”

Franz Fayot, Luxembourg Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action

The idea submission is open for new ideas and those already being implemented and can contribute to softening the COVID-19 aftermath. In line with the Africa-Europe Digital Economy Partnership Report as well as with AU Agenda 2063 and the United Nations sustainable development goals the competition is looking for ideas in 11 areas: education, food security, health and wellness, governance, economy and entrepreneurship, Smart Cities in Africa, cybersecurity and data protection, big data, banking and finance, job security, vulnerable populations. 

“The post-Covid-19 era offers Africa an important opportunity to revitalise its economy under a green and smart framework that supports health and prosperity embracing new technologies. We are confident that youth shall put their creativity, innovation and ingenuity using digital skills into providing solutions that help Africa recover better and faster.” 

Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, African Union Commissioner for infrastructure and energy

Two online matchmaking sessions will be held before the hackathon on 28th November and 5th December to combine the best teams for ideas. To give a new dimension to the European-African partnership cross-continent mixed teams are encouraged.

The most promising teams will receive guidance & support to implement their projects in the real world. Post-hackathon support to the teams will include a matchmaking event with investors, experts and relevant organisations as well as post-hackathon mentoring for up to six months. The EU: Africa hackathon prize fund is 100K € (fundraising ongoing).

Organising the hackathon is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia’s development cooperation funds. The recruitment of participants and mentors has started here

All the challenges tackled in this program are put together in collaboration with African Union and Smart Africa and are in line with the Africa-Europe Digital Economy Partnership Report and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals The program is put together in collaboration with Estonia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Development Cooperation and African Union, Irish Aid, Luxembourg Aid and Development and Polish Aid and implemented by Garage48 and Smart Africa.

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