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Regional News of Friday, 15 May 2015

Source: GNA

African entrepreneurs set to improve education technology

Entrepreneurs in education technology across Africa are to engage in a 'Hackathon'- an event which would bring together computer programmers and others involved in software and hardware development, to develop new paths and methods for sustainable change in social systems.

The event to be held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, from May 17-20, 2015, as part of this year's E-Learning Africa forum would also enable graphic designers, interface designers and project managers to, collaborate intensively on software projects for social good.

A statement issued by the organisers of the event and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said the event would set to prove whether it is possible to achieve a measurable impact towards sustainable development through fun and engagement.

Iceaddis, a community oriented innovation hub in Addis Ababa is part of the team of organisers, led by GIZ and eLearning Africa.

Markos Lemma, the co-founder of Iceaddis, said it is the first time organisers of the programme have been able to bring 35 people from Africa together to work on social causes using technology.

"I think it's important to have a hackathon on social change because hackathons are a great way to collect ideas in a very informal way. It encourages people to get creative and come up with innovative solutions," said Lemma.

Lemma stated that, as many of Africa's technological entrepreneurs are involved in developing technology-supported educational materials, it is a great opportunity for them to not only show the rest of the continent how the private sector can be involved in education but, display the different eLearning innovations coming out of Africa.

Under the theme 'Gamification for Social Good', teams of programmers, designers, problem solvers and subject matter experts are required to identify key challenges and problems from a variety of areas - with a particular focus on the African context - such as gamification and green technologies; gamification in education and (vocational) training; or gamification for emergency and disaster management.

Starting at iceaddis, the hackathon will finish up at the eLearning Africa conference on May 20, where teams will present their newly-developed gamified tools - whether it's an app, online platform or immersive environment - to an international audience.

The conference is being co-organised by the African Union and hosted by the Government of Ethiopia, and is expected to attract over 1,200 participants.

The winner will be invited to visit Berlin, Germany, for the 21st edition of OEB in December 2015 - the global, cross-sector conference on technology supported learning and training.

The statement said participation is exclusively for citizens of African countries, with teams coming from throughout the continent - Botswana, Cameroon, Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Togo and Zimbabwe.