TECHFARM

Innovation Accelerator Hackathon: “Accelerating Ghanaian Youth Innovations For Productivity And Profitability”

Press Release

Aug. 25, 2021, 10:03 p.m.

About the Ghana Youth Innovation Accelerator Hackathon (GYIA Hack)

A weeklong activity to commemorate 2021 International Youth Day and climax the maiden edition of the Ghana Youth Innovation Accelerator Hackathon (GYIA Hack) has recently taken place at Koforidua in the Eastern Region of Ghana under the theme; “Accelerating Ghanaian Youth Innovations for Productivity and Profitability”.

Ghana Youth Innovation Accelerator Hackathon and GYIA Hack Awards was part of interlaced activities which included the #2021IYD edition of eDIALOGUES spearheaded by TECHFARM Hub in collaboration with the Ghana Commission for UNESCO, MTN Ghana Foundation, Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC) as well as the National Youth Authority (NYA).

GYIA Hack is a minds-on, hearts-on and hands-on hackathon held to unearth innovative solutions of young people and support them with disruptive skills, tools, technologies and resources to upscale for productivity and profitability.

Other Supporting partners include Melton Foundation, Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG), FAPIMPA Foundation, United Nations Youth Association Ghana (UNYA-GH).

Application Selection Processes

GYIA Hack was launched on 7th July 2021 with a call for proposals from young (15 to 35 years) Ghanaian innovators and startups across the country with innovations which achieved the Sustainable Development Goals 4, 7, 9, 12, and 17. Deadline was 25th July, 2021.

Three Stages were outlined for the selection of the eventual GYIA Hack winners by a screening Team and Panel of Evaluators who were carefully selected and oriented on the objectives of the hackathon.

At the close of the call, applications were received from forty-four teams made of at least 2 members per team and at most 6 members per team from across 8 regions out of the 16 regions of Ghana.

The applications went through initial proof reviews out of which 16 qualified teams were shortlisted by the screening team as Finalists. This was done by a team selected from TECHFARM Hub, GIFEC and KICT. The members include Sylvia Sefakor Adomadzi Longdon, Bernard Tetteh Amoatey, Pearl Nina Doe, Kwabena Osei-Owusu, Yakubu Karim, Nayanka Binda, Felix Lumor, Vanessa Ohene Akrofi and Laureen Tsenuokpor (GIFEC) and Nii Okai Quaye (KICT).

The 16 GYIA Hack Finalists were onboarded and given orientation ahead of the GYIA Hack Pitch Day on Friday, 6th August, 2021. A 24 hours online hackathon took place between Monday, 9th and Tuesday, 10th August, 2021 where all shortlisted 16 Finalists made up of 44 individuals interacted and demonstrated their innovations to the 5 Panel of Evaluators for their independent evaluation and recommendations. The Panel of Evaluators was made up of Janine Van Throo (Board Member, TECHFARM Hub), Joan Agyekum Nsowah (Ghana Commission for UNESCO), Destiny Adzaho (Social-Impact & Innovation Professional), Kobina John Sanni (Ecoband & Vibespot Technologies), Kwabena Twumasi Ankrah (CEO, Divergent).

The independent Panel of Evaluators after thorough reviews using benchmarked criteria for selection (Feasibility, Desirability, Viability, SDG, Sustainability, History, Responses, Presentation) shortlisted 3 teams out of 16 GYIA Hack Finalists as eventual Winners of the maiden GYIA Hack. The names of the 3 Winners of the maiden Ghana Youth Innovation Accelerator Hackathon were announced as GYIA Hackers (teams); Agro Sourcing Ltd, Cocoplus and EduFund at the climax Ghana Youth Innovation Accelerator Summit and 2021 GYIA Hack Awards ceremony.

The Winners

Agro Sourcing Limited is working to curtail agricultural wastage through inclusive, circular and efficient supply chain systems. The young innovators have developed a cloud based agricultural resource management platform that allows data controllers to identify and precisely capture data on value chain actors and their production/ waste generation activities in order to facilitate stakeholder linkages, increase market opportunity and build efficiency into agricultural logistics. Their innovation focuses on SDG 9, SDG 12.

Cocoplus is a business that seeks to repackage fresh coconut in an eco-friendly way with an innovative medium (online) of reaching our customers. Their innovation focuses on SDG 9, SDG 12, SDG 17, SDG 1 and SDG 3 and seek to solve the problem of productive time wasting by especially students and workers who queue during lunch breaks to buy coconut and top executives who cannot queue at the roadside to buy coconut.

EduFund is a platform that provides avenues for financially challenged students in all levels of schooling to solicit for funds from the general public. Their innovation promotes SDG 4 (Quality Education) and aims to remedy some of the challenges associated with achieving the SDG Goal to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

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eDIALOGUES

On Wednesday, 11th August, 2021 TECHFARM Hub and our project partners as part of scheduled activities also hosted the 2021 International Youth Day edition of eDIALOGUES under the main theme; “Advancing Youth Innovations to Boost Sustainable Food Security and Decent Work”.

eDIALOGUES is a TECHFARM Hub flagship online based panel discussion which engages astute industry professionals, academia, public sector officials and private sector players on selected topical issues.

2021 GYIA HACK Awards Ceremony and International Youth Day Celebration

The GYIA Hack was climaxed with an Awards ceremony which also earmarked the 2021 International Youth Day Celebrations on Friday, 13th August, 2021 at The HIVE, 4 Grape Link, Galloway, Koforidua in the Eastern Region.

Some invited dignitaries and partners present at the International Youth Day Summit and Awards ceremony included Ama Serwah Nerquaye-Tetteh (Secretary-General Commission of UNESCO), Nelson Owusu-Ansah (Ag. CEO, National Youth Authority - NYA), Mrs. Marian Mansa Minnah (Eastern Regional Director, NYA), Mr. Steve Asare (MTN Ghana Area Manager, Eastern Region), Vivian Kafui (Communications Director, Youth Advocates Ghana - YAG), the Eastern Regional Crime Officer (Ghana Police Service), New Juaben Municipal Director, Ghana Enterprises Agency, New Juaben Municipal Social Welfare Director, Eastern Regional Secretary, Association of Small-Scale Industries (ASSI).

The event drew participation from about 34 individuals representing all 16 the GYIA Hack finalists, some leaders from the Students Representative Councils of Koforidua Technical University and All Nations University College, teachers and students of Koforidua Secondary Technical School as well as the media. A total of 200 people participated in the summit.

In his akwaaba and purpose of gathering messages, WH. Kobina Adomadzi Longdon, Developer & Chief Executive of TECHFARM Hub (www.techfarmhub.com) shared an inspiring account of some of the identified factors which spurred him and his Co-Developer on to establish TECHFARM Hub in March 2020 as a result of an urgent need to fill an ecosystem vacuum in the Eastern Region and specifically in Koforidua for a safe space where young people could meet and engage towards building their entrepreneurship and agripreneurship innovations using disruptive tools, technologies and resources to upscale opportunities for productivity and profitability. On behalf of the Board of Advisors and management team, the Chief Executive extended the gratitude of TECHFARM Hub to all the 2021 GYIA Hack partners for their resourceful support towards the successful implementation of the maiden GYIA Summit and Hack Awards. He however, he admitted that the inputs were not enough to meet initial budget demands and reiterated that TECHFARM Hub remains committed to the core objectives of GYIA Hack and already securing local and global partnership resources and funding support to boost the implementation of scheduled incubation, acceleration and investment match-making opportunities. He also mentioned that the Ghana Youth Innovation Accelerator Summit and Hackathon has come to stay and will become an annual invigorating event on the calendar of TECHFARM Hub.

Ama Serwah Nerquaye-Tetteh, Secretary-General of the Ghana Commission for UNESCO in her statement highlighted salient points from the 2021 International Youth Day message from the Director-General of UNESCO which drew inspiration from a 2020 International Labor Organization (ILO) report which states that after women, young people are hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in mental health and education crisis. The message also stated the commitment of UNESCO to create empowering opportunities for young people through flagship projects such the Youth Research Initiative which promotes social-impact research and applicable technologies. On behalf of the Ghana Commission for UNESCO, the Secretary-General reiterated that the best way to develop young people was first to empower them to be the agents of change. She affirmed the commitment of the Commission to support innovative initiatives such as GYIA Hack as a way to promote key emerging technologies and career opportunities for the youth. She called on partners and stakeholders to aptly support TECHFARM Hub to continue making a life-changing impact in the lives of the youth of Ghana and globally.

Mr. Nelson Owusu-Ansah, Ag. CEO of National Youth Authority who was also a special guest at the ceremony affirmed the positive contributions and impact the creativity and innovative solutions by young people are making towards the sustainable development agenda of Ghana. He acknowledged that it was time for more youth-inclusiveness in the planning and building of Ghana and needed to discontinue the cycle of making young people an after-thought in decision making. Mr. Owusu-Ansah used the moment to reiterate the commitment of the NYA to continue supporting and empowering youths to be more responsible and patriotic citizens.

Mr. Steve Asare, Eastern Regional Area Manager of MTN Ghana during his remarks, commended TECHFARM Hub for implementing the maiden GYIA Hack in the Eastern Region and expressed that MTN Ghana is poised to introduce innovative and hands-on products and services which will continue to actively engage many more young people towards building a resilient and transformative entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem across Ghana.

Interlude was by Nana Kofi Anim, a vibrant spoken word artist and Executive Coordinator of Awesome Thinkers Network International.

Award Package

The 2021 GYIA Hack Award Winners received three months business incubation, acceleration, formalization and investment match-making support together with laptops, citations and branded souvenirs as part of the award package.

The remaining 13 GYIA Hack Finalists also received certificates of participation. All 16 finalist teams have been enrolled into the 2021 GYIA Hack Community, which is a cohort Community aimed at supporting individuals and teams to use disruptive tools, technologies and resources available to learn and share best practices, experiences, skillsets to make more impact on local, national and global

Way Forward Recommendations

TECHFARM Hub is already looking forward to consolidating existing partnerships as well as forge new ones to secure new essential resources and funding support to boost the implementation of scheduled incubation, acceleration and investment match-making opportunities which is part of the winning package for the 2021 GYIA Hackers.

TECHFARM Hub extends a special invitation to all stakeholders including the Government of Ghana, The United Nations, the African Union, Diplomatic Missions, international and local agencies, businesses, and the media to join in the collaborative effort towards using the Ghana Youth Innovation Accelerator Hackathon (GYIA Hack) to unleash the creative potentials of the youth of Ghana and harness their innovation for the country’s development.

“Only through Action do words take Meaning”. The quote has spurred the management team of TECHFARM Hub since our conceptualization and remains even more relevant today looking into the future.

TECHFARM Hub was established in March 2020 to fill an urgent vacuum in the Eastern Region and specifically in Koforidua for a safe space where young people can go to build their entrepreneurship, agripreneurship and innovative solutions using disruptive tools, technologies and resources to upscale opportunities for productivity and profitability.

tag: hackathon, techfarm, Innovation, Startup,

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