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Covenant University and Unilag students win Andela-sponsored hackathon

11 Feb 2020, 11:47 am
Financial Nigeria
Covenant University and Unilag students win Andela-sponsored hackathon

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The winning team, Predex, won an all-expense-paid trip to a UNODC conference in Kyoto, Japan.

The winning team, Predex, displaying their ticket to the UNODC conference in Kyoto, Japan

Andela, a software engineering as a service (SEaaS) company – in partnership with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Facebook – organised a hackathon competition over the weekend for 50 students from select Nigerian tertiary institutions.

According to a statement made available to Financial Nigeria today, the winning team, Predex, won an all-expense-paid trip to Kyoto, Japan for a UNODC conference, where they will showcase their solution to a global audience. The event, tagged, 'Hackathon4Justice 2.0,' focused on building prototype solutions that will tackle crime, uphold justice and promote the rule of law.

The competition was organised under UNODC's Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, an innovative and comprehensive educational initiative designed to equip students with the understanding and ability to promote justice and the rule of law. The event, which held on February 8-9 at Andela’s Epic Towers in Lagos, placed the students in various teams to build prototype solutions that address an array of social challenges, including electronic waste (e-waste), trafficking of illegal products, child abuse, corruption, among others.

The winning team, Predex – comprised of students from Covenant University and University of Lagos – developed a deep learning model investigators’ solution that could be used to detect child predators prowling on their victims before they attack. The solution specifically flags suspicious conversations between children and potential predators, thereby helping authorities and parents prevent cases early enough.

“It was a pleasure hosting Hackathon4Justice for the second year running at Andela,” said Omogbolahan Alli, Partner Engineering Manager at Andela. “Andela is known for being the home of and for celebrating technical excellence; seeing how this group of students tackled the problems they were given, their approach to teamwork, the focus that they had in order to meet the deadlines, was fantastic, and demonstrates that we should be very proud of the future technical talent Nigeria has to offer.”  

Representatives of Andela and its partners, Facebook and UNODC, at the Hackathon4Justice 2.0 in Lagos

The runner-up team, RecyclAI, built a solution that is based on object classification using artificial intelligence (AI) to detect whether items of e-waste are recyclable or not. The team added key features like educational blogs, newsletters, and conference meetups, to sensitize users about the solutions to e-waste recycling on their web application.

Team InsideLife VR came third in the competition. Their solution employs the cardboard virtual reality SDK to implement an-easily accessible interactive experience that is highly educative on some of the more subtle aspects of the rule of law.

While Predex won an all-expense-paid trip to Kyoto, the second and third-placed teams won Oculus Go devices and Sure Gift Coupons, respectively.

The Partner Engineering Manager at Andela said the company was grateful to its partners, UNDOC and Facebook, as well as all the students who participated in the second edition of the hackathon competition. Judges for the Hackathon4Justice 2.0 included Alli; Andrew Okoh, Facebook Software Engineer; and Gilberto Duarte, UNODC Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer.

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