iDEA, USPF to host connectivity hackathon


Nigerian incubator iDEA is to host a three-day hackathon aimed at finding a solution to the lack of mobile coverage affecting 36.8 million Nigerians, with NGN1 million (US$5,025) in prize money on offer for the winning team.

The hackathon is hosted in collaboration with the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), and was inspired by USPF research, which identified 207 geographical clusters with an estimated 36.8 million people across Nigeria who have little or no access to telecommunication services including telephony, internet and other ICT services.

Participants will be asked to solve this problem within 48 hours, by building fully working prototypes of their solutions following specific technical guidelines.

The winning team will be awarded NGN1 million (US$5,025), the second best team will receive NGN750,000 (US$3,768), and the team ranked in third place will take home NGN500,000 (US$2,512).  All three teams will also be automatically accepted into iDEA’s incubation programme.

iDEA and USPF have identified a number of specific focus areas for the teams to work around.  These include technology that could extend telecoms services and connectivity into previously unreached areas in Nigeria; visualisation and natural language interface software for the access gap data and other large data sets; and spatial data infrastructure.

Other themes listed are decision support and network-optimisation software that help carriers, and other companies to plan their expansion; and business models that can bring commercial viability to existing USPF pilot projects, and other rural connectivity projects.

A special prize will also be awarded by iDEA to the best prototype of a web-­based data marketplace that allows for natural language search and easy visualization of data.

The hackathon takes place at the iDEA premises, from September 18 to 20.

Registration and further details are available here.

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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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