In an effort to promote gender balance in the tech industry and overcome the underrepresentation of women in software development, the UbuntuNet Alliance is organizing a Women Hackathon. The event aims to empower and encourage 20 passionate women developers from the UbuntuNet Alliance region in East and Southern Africa to participate in a hackathon. This event will take place prior to the UbuntuNet-Connect 2023 Conference in Uganda Kampala from 23 to 25 October 2023 and is under the AfricaConnect3 project which is co-funded by the European Commission.
The mission of the UbuntuNet Alliance is to develop and nurture a thriving, sustainable community of National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) and partners within Eastern and Southern Africa. The organization strives to enable and strengthen collaboration and innovation among Research and Education Communities, recognizing the pivotal role research and education play in shaping societies and driving progress. Innovation is the catalyst that propels academia forward, leading to the creation of novel theories, ideas, and products that improve livelihoods and positively impact society. However, several challenges impede the realization of the full potential of research and education. Technology has emerged as a critical tool in enabling students to interact with study materials, enhancing their learning experiences, and understanding new frontiers of knowledge.
The Women Hackathon: Bridging the Gender Gap
In an effort to promote gender balance in the tech industry and overcome the underrepresentation of women in software development, the UbuntuNet Alliance is organizing a Women Hackathon. The event aims to empower and encourage 20 passionate women developers from the UbuntuNet Alliance region in East and Southern Africa to participate in a hackathon, running parallel to the UbuntuNet-Connect 2023 Conference.
Theme and Key Focus Areas
The hackathon’s overarching theme is “Innovate for Research and Education,” aligning perfectly with the UbuntuNet Alliance’s core objectives. Participants are encouraged to explore innovative solutions in the following key focus areas:
1. Innovations for 21st century education: All over Africa, there is a need to improve the way learning happens both in and out of a school, especially in the post pandemic era. Moreover, the reliance of education on technology has continued to increase and awareness of such technologies is key.
2. Innovations for improving uptake of research and its outputs: This involves innovations, which help in stakeholders becoming aware of and accessing research outputs to improve policies and practice. Research uptake involves dissemination of research findings, Capacity development to understand research outputs, increased Influence (social influence), Incentives and creation of enabling environments among others.
3. Innovations for improved collaboration: Innovations, which bring together multiple stakeholders in research projects. Collaboration technologies include those which assess the diversity of teams (experiences, roles etc), help in the mobilization of teams and assess performance and contribution of teams and individuals in order to provide impactful research.
Eligibility and Application Process:
To ensure gender representation and diversity, the hackathon is open exclusively to female participants. The applicants must be students or graduates within five years of completing their studies. Moreover, only residents of UbuntuNet Alliance member countries are eligible to apply.
To participate, interested individuals must form teams of four and collectively submit a concept note, not exceeding two pages (Font: Times New Roman, Size: 12, Single Spacing), excluding the cover page. The concept note should encompass the following elements:
- Background (or Relevance)
- Proposed Objectives (leading to the development of an ICT solution)
- Methodology (based on the software development lifecycle and incorporating necessary technologies)
- Programming Skills of Team Members
- Previous Experience and Links to Developed Work
The cover page should include the topic and the team member details (names, email addresses, and phone numbers). The submission of concept notes should be done online through the link: https://events.ubuntunet.net/event/125/abstracts/ . This should be done before the deadline: 10 August 2023.