Ugandan techies beat Kenya to win 2016 EAC climate innovation award

In Agribusiness, Success

Two young Ugandan innovators beat Kenyans at their own game in their own home in a first ever climate focused ICT competition organised by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development(IGAD) in Nairobi.

Built around early warning and knowledge and awareness mechanisms for addressing climate change effects, the first IGAD Climate Challenge Hackathon themed “ICT for Disaster Resilience in the Greater Horn of Africa” ran for three consecutive days starting Monday, with over 30 innovators taking part.

Representing the Kenyan team were 5 groups developing and presenting their ideas to potential investors for two separate days which saw Uganda post two great ideas tailored to preventing and mitigating disasters in the Greater Horn of Africa, which comprises eleven countries.

Building resilience

The Ugandan team was made up of four groups while Tanzania had only one group which was overshadowed as well by two groups of young Ugandans who had come up with two novel means of teaching and warning people of impending disasters while focusing on building resilience and adaptability using gaming and voice calling systems.

The only group which gave Kenyans hope clinched the second position with their system SIKIZI IMS which also provides an efficient way of sharing knowledge on looming climate change hazards and disasters.

During the closing ceremony on Wednesday, Dr Guleid Artan , Director of the Kenyan based IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre(ICPAC), praised the young innovators for putting their time in seeking long-term solutions for climate induced disasters in the IGAD member countries.

“What happened here today is a clear testimony to the fact that Africa has great potential for creating cutting edge solutions for the many challenges it faces including climate change disasters,” he said.

Meanwhile, the best two groups from Uganda were recognised with more than Sh200,000 as the Kenyan team received more than Sh100,000 as tokens of appreciation.

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