The COVID-19 pandemic has caused human suffering and a socio-economic crisis on an unprecedented scale across the globe. At the same time, it has brought people together in a global solidarity movement of volunteers and tech innovators who dedicate their time, passion and creativity to find innovative and practical solutions that support an effective response to the pandemic.
Across the Africa region, digital startups and young innovators are leveraging the power of digital innovations and open data to develop apps and technology solutions that have the potential to be truly transformational for people, governments and businesses. For instance, blockchain-enabled innovations are transforming the way governments interact with citizens, placing trust, accountability and improved efficiency at the center of public services.
We see great potential for the rapid growth of digital innovations across the Africa continent led by Africa’s digitally agile youth and startups, who contribute to finding creative solutions to the most important development challenges of the continent. We are excited about the unprecedented potential that the rapid spread of digital technologies offer us. We now have opportunities to directly collaborate with innovators, youth, startups and committed young leaders across both the Africa and European continents, in order to co-create solutions that respond to the most important challenges of our time.
The COVID-19 crisis is affecting the poorest and most vulnerable communities and countries the hardest. For many people across the Africa region, the consequences are much more severe and the choices to adapt more limited than in Europe. Though the Africa region so far has been hit relatively less by the virus from a health perspective, projections suggest that it will be the hardest hit region economically, in terms of increased extreme poverty. In fact, the pandemic is expected to push an additional 23 million people into poverty across the region.
“EU: Africa – The Post Crisis Journey”: a hackathon for better tomorrow
"EU: Africa The Post Crisis Journey”, which will take place online from 10-13 of December, is an African-European online hackathon programme to find innovative solutions to socio-economic problems that have been further escalated by the outburst of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can join this global movement of volunteers to make a real difference in the lives of poor and vulnerable communities by signing up for the hackathon.
The European Commission fully supports the EU-Africa hackathon as part of its broader Digital4Development and Startup Europe programmes, as well as the African-European Digital Innovation Bridge (AEDIB) projects that will build bridges between the African and European digital innovation ecosystems. This D4D flagship program will be launched on Tuesday 8 December at a high-level event with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The hackathon provides us with a powerful platform to connect innovators, startups, and citizens of Africa and Europe with each other, to find new ways to collaborate, and to co-create solutions in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The programme is open to all who would like to come together and make a positive difference in the crisis — visionaries, innovators, entrepreneurs, community leaders, policy makers, technical experts, students and development practitioners. It offers prizes for the most innovative and creative solutions in each category, with total prizes of €100,000.
Based on the Sustainable Development Goals, the hackathon is looking for ideas in the following 11 areas: education, food security, health and wellness, governance, economy and entrepreneurship, Smart Cities in Africa, cyber security and data protection, big data, banking and finance, job security, vulnerable populations.
Join the EU-Africa hackathon to find solutions and submit your most creative ideas to help each other overcome this crisis and future ones!