Report on the National Hackathon Series 1.0 in Nigeria – open source hardware for SDGs

Jenny Molloy Open Science Hardware News, SDGs Leave a Comment

Obasegun Ayodele, Technical Co-Founder at Vilsquare and AfricaOSH participant reports on the National Hackathon Series 1.0 in Nigeria to build technology solutions to strengthen government institutions.

Twenty-two youth from across the length and breadth of Nigeria converged in Kano state on the 14th of November 2018, to build IoT (Internet of Things) solutions to problems surrounding the 16th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), which is: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

They did this as part of the National Hackathon Series 1.0. The Series themed “Building the Makers’ Movement”, presents a unique opportunity for young Nigerians to collaboratively work together during the hackathon, with each participant contributing the skills and knowledge required to achieve the desired results. Participants in this hackathon came from the traditional tech sectors – software and embedded systems design as well as non-tech sectors including law, journalism, fashion design, graphics design, architecture, and advocacy. This edition focused on enabling young Nigerians to use IoT as a way to solve some of the problems inhibiting the achievement of strong institutions in Nigeria.

At the 3- day hackathon, the participants were able to respond to assigned case studies. The case studies articulated some of the problems facing these institutions from the perspective of the public. The participants of the hackathon then went to work developing some solutions to be applied to these problems. At the end of the IoT Edition, participants built 6 open source products:

  • A public procurement web platform
  • A document tracker for Ministries, Departments and Agencies
  • A ticketing device to buy and sell toll pass/units in markets and other government parks.
  • An embedded system/hardware for fingerprint logging and hydrocarbon forensic tests on premium motor spirit at crime scenes of pipeline vandalization.
  • Unified Identification card containing carrier’s Voting, Driver’s License and BVN information and customised card reader.
  • A touch screen device for anti-human trafficking education.

The previous hackathon held in Ado-Ekiti in July 2018 targeted solutions to SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being).

We are very excited at the diversity in skills and experiences that participants bring to the National Hackathon Series, as well as the passion and commitment they display to collectively and collaboratively contribute their quotas towards solving the problems that bedevil us as a nation.

Obasegun Ayodele, Technical Co-Founder at Vilsquare

Speaking to the cooperation exhibited by the participants who came in from the different parts of the country, Alhaji Muhyi Magaji, the Executive Chairman of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission who hosted the hackathon said:

the National Hackathon Series 1.0 serves as a platform for promoting national cohesion, unity and integration among Nigerian youth through technology and innovation. This IoT Edition held in Kano provides our youth with a laudable platform through which they can learn to effectively integrate not just with their Nigerian counterparts but with the global community.

Alhaji Muhyi Magaji, Executive Chairman of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission

The National Hackathon Series 1.0 is a 2-year civic engagement programme jointly developed and implemented by Vilsquare Makers’ Hub, the social impact subsidiary of Vilsquare Global Resources Limited – a data science and analytics firm and Meluibe Foundation, an NGO which focuses on empowering women and youth through good governance, technology and innovation, youth employment and women-centric programmes.

For more information on the National Hackathon Series, visit


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