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  join african library project for hack for africa

Inviting makers, innovators, educators, policy experts, and students to collaborate and create solutions to address Africa’s most pressing needs in literacy, health, and more! In partnership with Microsoft, African Library Project is hosting Hack for Africa, a free, one-week hackathon where hundreds of makers across the globe will get together and create solutions for literacy, health, and more in Africa!

pick your path 

Literacy and Education

Did you know 65% of the African population is literate? While those numbers are continuing to improve, let’s find a way to use technology to bring that to 100%!

Health and COVID-19

Africa has a high number of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria cases. Create a solution that can improve the overall health of those who need it most. Also, can your solution prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Africa?

Other paths to take 

Do you have a powerful idea that doesn’t fit into one of the categories? We welcome any and all ideas that can have an impact in Africa! 

your task

  • Develop a solution that addresses one or more of the above challenges. We are not telling you what to do, we want you to illustrate your ideas in a way you see fit. Whether that comes from building an app, developing a hardware prototype, or creating a presentation – it is your choice!
  • Pick a team, choose a challenge, and then build your solution for a chance to win $6,420 in prizes from Microsoft. The winning ventures from the hackathon will also be able to consult with the African Library Project Team and Microsoft to scale their idea in sub-Saharan Africa. 

hack for africa prizes

Best Education/Literacy Hack

  • Consultation with the African Library Project Team and Microsoft to scale your idea in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Fire Tablets (for each Team Member)
  • More Microsoft Prizes to be Announced Soon!

 Best Health/COVID-19 Hack

  • Consultation with the African Library Project Team and Microsoft to scale your idea in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Fire Tablets (for each Team Member)
  • More Microsoft Prizes to be Announced Soon!

Best Out of the Box Hack

  • Consultation with the African Library Project Team and Microsoft to scale your idea in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Fire Tablets (for each Team Member)
  • More Microsoft Prizes to be Announced Soon!

Runners Up (1 for each track) (3)

  • Amazon Gift Card ($100)
  • More Microsoft Prizes to be Announced Soon!

  judging criteria

Ideation

Is the idea well thought out? Is the idea original? Will the project idea have an impact? If not, is it useful in some regard?

Implementation

Does the implementation follow the idea? Does the implementation function (i.e. in a demo)? Does the implementation show complexity?

Presentation

Are the presenters professional? Are the presenters confident in their product? Does the presentation show teamwork and collaboration?

Scalability & Impact

Is your product scalable? If given the right resources, can your idea have the ability to impact the billions of people who live on the African continent?

  meet the judges

 organizing team

 frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to participate?
Nothing! The African Library Project believes in accessible education for all and have worked our hardest to make sure that this event can run smoothly without any cost for more people to join in. However, if you would like to donate towards making education more accessible to your African peers, please click here.
who can participate?
Any current student grades 9–12. If you’re under that age, email us & we’ll see what we can do. Gap year and going-to-college in the fall students are also allowed! And if you’re interested in mentoring or helping out, hit us up too!
Hacking? Is that safe?
No, we’re not “hacking” servers. The word is being constructively redefined for coding—apps, games, websites. It’s safe, supervised, & entirely educational. Now go look somewhere else, RSA.
What can i make?
Anything! A website, app, game, hardware hack, you name it. Judges will rate projects on creativity, technical skill demonstrated, polish, utility, theme adherence, accessibility, and, last but not least, impact.
What if I’m new to coding?
At Hack for Africa, complete beginners are not only welcome, but expected! Learn as you go with our tutorials, workshops, and expert help that will be hosted throughout the course of the hackathon.
do i need a team?
Nope! You’ll have an opportunity to meet fellow hackers and make teams of up to 4 — find some new friends, bring yours, or let us help you find a team.
what do i need to participate?
All you need is a computer, WiFi, and access to the Internet to access the online platforms (Discord, GoToMeeting, DevPost, Zoom, etc.) the hackathon will be held.
what if i have more questions?
Please email stem@africanlibraryproject.org