The 6th edition of the She Hacks Africa program recently came to an end with 35 young people being equipped with web development, tech entrepreneurship and leadership skills.
The program is an intensive 4 weeks coding boot camp, and in-person training workshop, where African youths learn software programming and then, practice what they have learned in project-based exercises that aim to simulate the every-day work environment and build their self-confidence as community change makers and technology innovators and entrepreneurs.
The initiative began in January 2017 and has grown significantly. It has stayed true to its major goal of building African entrepreneurs who will create solutions to the continent’s burning problems using technology.
Since inception, the program has trained over 100 young people and has produced passionate tech entrepreneurs and leaders.
A major feature of the boot camp is the project work. With it, the participants are tasked with choosing a project they can work on. With these projects, participants are able to demonstrate a clear working knowledge and understanding of the things they are being taught.
Participants are expected to select a major problem in their immediate society and to proffer solutions using technology while harnessing the skills they have learned.
This has resulted in many brilliant ideas and solutions. The 5th edition of the program saw the introduction of a grant award to the participants with the most promising idea as well as mentoring for the winning start-up.
In the 6th Edition, the participants were divided into 6 groups. Each group identified a problem and the solutions offered were as follows;
Group 1 – Events.ng
They offered a one-stop shop for events hosts and vendors. They built a website where hosts could select various vendors and logistics needed to host a successful event with no stress.
Group 2 – Commute
They proposed to tackle the problems of an uncomfortable commute experience, the high cost of transportation and lateness to work as experienced by commuters moving from Mainland to the Island in Lagos state. They created a website where users could book for buses available in their vicinity, which would take them directly to the Island.
Group 3 -Waste Relief
They proposed to offer effective waste management solutions to existing waste management agencies and waste generators, to solve the problem of inefficient and untimely waste evacuation.
Group 4 – Kids Code
They offered a service of providing long-term ICT training targeting young children between the ages of 10 – 19.
Group 5 – Service Instanta
They created a platform where registered users can find and hire the services of registered artisans.
Group 6 – Ovice Hub
They built a website which would make it possible for people seeking to rent office spaces to find available spaces according to their selected location, prices among other criteria.
At the end of the program, Group two emerged as the winning group who will be awarded the seed grant.
The She Hacks Africa program enlists the services of seasoned trainers and facilitators to teach the participants.
The program has also benefitted from the services of volunteers who assist in teaching and mentoring the participants.
The just-concluded edition had 3 volunteers;
Mr Abi Adeoti, a member of the governing board of the WAAW Foundation facilitated a session on Financial Responsibility for Tech Start-ups.
Victoria Ekuwughe, a PhD student from the University of Technology, Australia mentored the participants on Effective Leadership.
The She Hacks Africa program is achieved through a partnership between WAAW Foundation and ACT Foundation.
The partnership has sustained the vision to ensure that more African youth benefit from the program by acquiring the basic skills needed for effective leadership, software development and tech entrepreneurship.