As part of the initiative to bridge the digital divide gap and connect brilliant minds to technology, Andela in collaboration with Blacktocats, GitHub’s Black Employee Resource Group, Microsoft, and Flutterwave recently hosted the 2019 CodeNaija Hackathon in Lagos.
The Hackathon themed “building technology for social good” had over 100 Nigeria’s best software engineers converge to hack for solutions that could help solve some of Africa’s challenges especially in the healthcare, education, finance, and agriculture sector.
The Country Director, Andela, Omowale David-Ashiru, explained that the goal of the CodeNaija Hackathon which already presents itself as Nigeria’s biggest Hackathon of 2019 is to support and highlight the existing community of Nigerian developers by showcasing their amazing.
According to David-Ashiru, Andela was built on the premise of connecting ‘brilliance’ with opportunity.
“We are committed towards bridging the digital divide gap in Nigeria, a situation which puts the economic growth of many developing countries in jeopardy.
“Digital divide is a big deal because when citizens do not have access to technology they are more or less excluded from social and economic impact in the society,” she said.
David-Ashiru explained that companies all over the world are leveraging technologies to create innovations that is valuable to the world.
“Think about companies like Cousera, they are bringing education online for people to learn and get certified and for them to continue creating innovations they need technology.”
She said it imperative for people to start having access to technologies to be able to make social impacts. Andela’s has the technology and we are connecting the brilliant minds to these technologies, David-Ashiru said.
“We want to showcase to the world the kind of engineers we have in Africa and what they can do.”
She maintained that it is important to reshape the minds of people globally. ”You don’t even need to travel to US or a particular area before you can start to innovate, once you have access to technologies that enable that.
”We know it’s not everybody that has access to technology. So, we are encouraging developers to build Apps and technologies that have socio-economic impact.”
Speaking with the Senior Commercial Counsel at GitHub and Cofounder, Blacktocats, Leithia Williams, she explained that the partnership with Andela to connect young developers to the already available technology was sacrosanct.
There is a strong alignment with the partners in terms of the thrust behind 2019 CodeNaija Hackaton, Williams said.
“We are all here working on the same projects for the betterment of the society,” she added.
According to Williams, Nigeria has one of the highest number of developers community in the world, hence, the reason for coming to Lagos to ask creative minds to develop solutions that will solve social problems.
She explained that the partnership will not come to an end after the Hackaton, as it is important to continue supporting the developers.
“We have invited a few speakers here to our conference in San Francisco, USA to speak about the amazing work that is going on in Nigeria and Africa.”
Williams maintained that GitHub will continue to invest in the ongoing projects in Nigeria. “It is important to our ecosystem”, she said.