A massive 2 000 students from 200 universities across 30 African countries will participate in UmojaHack Africa 2022 to win up to $10 000 in prize money and become part of the next generation of global data professionals.

“We can’t wait to kick off our third annual UmojaHack Africa this weekend,” says Zindi co-founder and CEO, Celina Lee. “With our incredible sponsors, partners, and clients, we’re looking forward to conversations and connections between our 37 000-strong community of young African data professionals, and experts and thought leaders in this flourishing sector.”

During the two-day hybrid event, students in computer science, engineering, and mathematics will get to work individually or in teams and take part in challenges spanning the finance, health and environmental sectors. Every student can participate and will have access to practise challenges on the Zindi platform, regardless of their skill level.

The event will also give students the chance to engage with their potential future employers, and go on to develop AI-driven solutions that will benefit the world.

“Zindi believes in teamwork, collaboration, and partnerships to introduce and support machine learning and AI initiatives on the African continent. In research and education, or sectors such as transportation, healthcare, and construction, we are working together towards common goals of making AI accessible to everyone while also laying the foundation for a professional network of scientists, engineers, academics, and other data practitioners,” Lee says.

Notable speakers at this year’s event include Bayo Adekanmbi, founder and lead consultant at Data Science Network (DSN), and Moustapha Cisse, Research Scientist and Head of the Google AI Centre in Ghana. Additional sponsors for UmojaHack Africa 2022 include Microsoft, InstaDeep, NVIDIA, DeepMind, Explore Data Science Academy (EDSA), and H2O.ai.

“Data science represents a new frontier for the financial services sector, combining computer skills with the potential to transform products and our customer and colleague experience,” says Michelle Anderson, head of information and technology office strategy and group digital partnerships at Absa.

“Sharpening data science skills of young talent and bridging the digital skills gap is a key priority for us, and we are excited to be part of UmojaHack Africa 2022 as a sponsor. We cannot wait to see young people put forward their best ideas and see the value they are able to unlock through data.”

Since the first UmojaHack Africa in 2020, Zindi has helped facilitate and host inter-university hackathon events in African countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco, Rwanda, Egypt, Zimbabwe, and Ghana.

Last year’s UmojaHack Africa drew in more than 1 100 students from 120 universities and 22 countries, with institutions serving as regional hubs and hosting attendees on their campuses. To date, over 3000 students have participated, with the winners of the challenges going on to forge successful careers in the field.