HackWeakEnd Technology Event 2018
HackWeakEnd: A social initiative that uses #technology and technology based events to solve issues affecting our #society. It featured a #Hackathon to solve issues plaguing the #Fishing Sector in the #Gambia and #Software Development Training using #Python. Learn more at www.hacktheweakend.com
ORGANIZER: OPEN-SOURCE ACADEMY
EVENT LOCATION: KHAMSYS TECHNOLOGIES LTD, BIJILO, THE GAMBIA.
DATE OF EVENT: FRIDAY 27TH — SATURDAY 28TH APRIL 2018
EVENT THEME: LET’S SAVE OUR FISHES (SOCIALLY THEMED, FOCUSED ON LOOKING FOR CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE WAYS TO SOLVE ISSUES AFFECTING THE FISHING SECTOR)
HackWeakEnd: A social initiative that uses technology and technology based events to solve issues and problems affecting our society. This is achieved by bringing together technologists, industry/subject matter experts, academicians and enthusiasts to come up with compelling solutions to tackle the “Weak Ends” plaguing our societies.
Mission: A collective social responsibility of bringing people together to Hack  issues and problems plaguing our societies.
Vision: To see that lives are changed, communities are made better and impact is felt through the issues that will be solved.
Objective of HackWeakEnd: The main objective of HackWeakEnd is to drive and improve socioeconomic development of not just the Gambia but Africa at large and this is achieved currently through two intervention methods.
- Hackathon: Using themed hackathon to bring together technologists, industry/subject matter experts, academicians and enthusiasts to solve social issues. Every year will be a unique event where we focus on a specific industry/sector. The focus called HackSets are based on relevant and pertinent issues sourced from Government, Partners and the populace to look at a sector that needs quick solutions.
- Capacity Building: Training, workshops and seminars where participants are exposed to latest technologies and also trained in these areas to build their capacity so that they can start or further their own journeys of being technologists.
This was the maiden edition and the two intervention areas saw us have a Hackathon focused on solving issues affecting the fishing sector using 3 themes or Hacksets
- Marketplace: solutions focusing on transactions with emphasis on fairness and transparency.
- Enforcement: solutions focusing on law enforcements and regulations within an industry.
- Sustainability: solutions focusing on protection and preservation
The Software Development training used the versatile Python Programming Language. Python is a language under the custodian of the Python Software Foundation who worked with us on the contents of the training. Python is a general purpose language which is used in software development, used alongside frameworks for web application development, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, just to mention a few. Since we are trying to make an impact, Participants were given the Hacksets before the event to do their own research and work on them.
Organizing team: Olawale Fabiyi — lead organizer, Mariyam Drammeh, Lang Loum, Adamma Ceesay, Mbaye Kah
Registration boot opened at 8:00am , participants were registered by Ms Adamma Ceesay, management lead for HackWeakEnd by confirming their registered credentials, they were provided with T-Shirts (Sponsored by Youth Empowerment Project) and run sheet of the event. Participants had breakfast between 9:30am and 10:30am.
The opening ceremony was held at the main conference room of Khamsys Technologies Ltd, with all participants and in attendance was the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources & National Assembly matters Mr Gibba, Mr Baboucarr Sallah representative of Youth Empowerment Project, Ms Menggeh Lowe representing PointClick technologies Ltd and Mr Amir Elhashemite a senior lecturer at the University of the Gambia all on the high table. Ms Maryam Drammeh, Operations Lead of HackWeakEnd mounted the stage at about 10:45 am, she welcomed the guests and participants and invited the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources & National Assembly matters to declare open the event, highlight of his speech was on how they have also been using technology and how he hopes this event will be able to provide solutions to some of the problems the Ministry and Department is facing, he then formally flagged the event open. Ms Maryam Drammeh, the Operation Lead then invited the lead organizer of HackWeakEnd, Mr Olawale Fabiyi and the major highlight of his speech was that “We do not need to wait for the government to solve our problems, we as a people as much as we can should take the bold step and that is why the HackWeakEnd initiative was started with the focus this year that looks at solving issues in the fisheries sector also align with some of the United Nation’s Sustainability Development Goals.
After his speech, there was a 5minute video from Code.org that featured some of the biggest names in tech and entertainment from Mark Zuckerberg to Bill Gates to William talking on how technology is a game changer. This was followed by a photo session with all participants. By 11:30am the Hackathon and Software Development training started. There were five teams creatively named using aquatic theme, the team members and the hack sets they worked on are listed below.
- Team Dolphin : Marketplace solution focusing on fish sellers and buyers Members: Ousman Kassama, Abdoulie Kassama
- Team Sea Dragon: Enforcement Solution focusing on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing practices — Members: Hassan Y Jallow, Assan Jeng, Momodou Samateh
- Team Shark: Marketplace solution focusing on fish sellers and buyers — Members: Okorigba Akpesiri, Momodou lamin Ceesay, Basiru Drammeh, Mahmoud Wray, Kara jagne
- Team Piranha : Enforcement solution focusing on managing fishing landing sites, catches etc — Members: Seedy Jobe, Omar Baldeh, Waka Jeng, Ousainou Jonga
- Team Wakanda Snapper: Marketplace solution focusing on fish farming where fish farmers, suppliers of their input and investors meet. — Members: Emerance Lysse Ayode KOUDESSI, Mohamed Ali Mariama, Amadou Yattassaye, Abdoul Karim TOGOLA
The Software development training with Python Programming language ran concurrently with the Hackathon and served as a foundation and base for the participants to be able to start and progress their career in software development.
Mr Michael Jallow, one of the trainers exposed the students to the rudiments of software development and. Lunch was served at 2:00pm after which sessions continued. The training for the day ended at about 7:00pm, while most of the hackathon participants were around till about 9pm and before the final close for Day 1.
Momentum from Day 1 carried on into the final day of the technology event as participants arrived earlier than breakfast which was slated for 9:00am to continue working on their projects, after breakfast sessions resumed.
We had a correspondent by the name Claire Bargeles from Radio France International, she was excited as to what was happening, she spoke to each of the Hacking Teams and the lead organizer, the excerpt can be found at rfi.my/2a2u.t
The event went on and was at its peak around 5:00pm where the Hacking Teams were trying to finish up their solutions. At the Software Development Training, the 2nd Trainer, Malang Sanyang joined them, the participants were building a simple game (classic Snake game) at this time, and they also built an expense report application. The Hackathon and Software development training finally came to a close at about 6:30pm.
Everyone converged into the hall, Mr Lang Loum, technical lead for HackWeakEnd mounted the stage for the closing and pitching contest. We had in attendance the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly matters — Mr Gibba, Mr Baboucarr Sallah from the Youth Empowerment Project, Mr Bassamba Drammeh, mentor to the HackWeakEnd and had as judges Mrs Beran Gillean Dondeh, Mrs Morayo Osinyemi , Ms Menggeh Lowe and Mr Amir Elhashemite.
Before the pitching, sponsors came up to talk about their organizations and why they decided to be part of HackWeakEnd. Mr Baboucarr Sallah spoke about the Youth Empowerment Project’s intervention in the Gambia and in building Youths and why they decided to come on board HackWeakEnd, then came Ms Menggeh Lowe, representing PointClick Technologies Ltd, talking about PointClick’s success in the United States, why they decided to start up in Gambia and why they came on board HackWeakEnd. The pitching started and all 5 teams demonstrated their solutions.
One of the major highlight of the pitching event was a very innovative solution that stole the show. It was hardware + software solution built from scratch called Sea Dragon by Team Sea Dragon which was designed to help in combating IUU (illegal, Unreported & unregulated) fishing practices which is a global problem.
At the end of the pitching, the judges went aside to deliberate and the moderator of the closing, Mr Lang Loum announced the winners. The Winning Team of HackWeakEnd 2018 composed of nationals from Mali, Niger and Benin came all the way from Senegal. The Top Three 3 teams were selected based on Impact the project will make, Practicality of the solution, Creativity and Technical Innovation, viability of the idea and overall projection for the solution. Below is how final standing of the Top Three 3 teams.
- Team Wakanda Snapper: Marketplace solution focusing on fish farming where fish farmers, suppliers of their input and investors meet.
2. Team Sea Dragon: Enforcement Solution focusing on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing practices
3. Team Piranha : Enforcement solution focusing on managing fish landing sites, catches etc
Each member of the Winning team went home with an Amazon Fire HD Tablet (from PointClick), JetBrains Software Voucher, Mentorship, support and funding by Mr Malik Khan of PointClick , each member of the 2nd and 3rd teams got an Amazon Eco Dot which is a device use in building voice enabled apps, cloud resources from PointClick Technologies Ltd. Finally all top 3 get funding for additional online educational/technology related resources also sponsored by PointClick Technologies.
The lead coordinator, Olawale Fabiyi, was then invited to give the vote of thanks and the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources & National assembly matters closed the event.
This event would not have been possible without the support and guidance from all our sponsors, partner and participants.
We look forward to a more exciting event next year where we pick a sector sourced from discussions with Government, Partners, Advisors and the Populace on pertinent issues affecting our society and together with technologists, industry/subject matter experts, academicians and enthusiasts come together to hack the weakends  plaguing our society.
THANK YOU ALL
Open-Source Academy: Focused on Higher Education and centered on students with the sole purpose of bringing technology as it is used in the workplace into the classroom using a project-based, problem-solving approach. The aim is to bridge the gap between academia and the technology workforce www.open-sourceacademy.org
Ministry of Fisheries, Water Resources & National Assembly Matters: We engaged the Department of Fisheries to get the pertinent issues from the industry that was used in the Hackathon (www.mof.gov.gm)
TeraBhyte Africa Services: Did all the Branding, Designs, and Website etc. (www.terabhyte.com)
YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROJECT: provided all meals, refreshment, t-shirts, banners used. (www.yep.gm)
POINTCLICK TECHNOLOGIES LTD: Provided Prizing for winners and will provide mentorship, resources and funding (www.pointclick.net)
PYTHON SOFTWARE FOUNDATION: Reviewed the software development training contents and gave cash support (www.python.org/psf)
JETBRAINS SOFTWARE: Provided One Year Software License to members of Winning Team (www.jetbrains.com)
Khamsys Technologies Ltd: Provided venue (www.khamsys.net)
Once again we will like to say a big thank you to everyone that made HackWeakEnd 2018 a success. We hope to do this again next year while focusing on another important sector and hoping that the aim of driving and improving socioeconomic development in our society is achieved.
LINK TO OFFICIAL PHOTOS: https://goo.gl/zfQY5n