Microsoft student hackathon kicks off, seeks Climate Change solutions

Mar 16, 2022

Microsoft Africa Development Center (ADC) is launching the 3rd season of its sponsored Game of Learners (GOL) student hackathon competition. The GOL initiative aims to improve digital and coding abilities among African university students. The Microsoft student hackathon participants will seek to find solutions that address the effects of climate change on the continent.

This year the 5-week hackathon’s objective is to propose solutions that reduce or reverse gas emissions and footprints, based on the theme Climate Change & Sustainability. Season 3 has a total of 8 teams made up of 5 participants from across East Africa participating. A Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador will lead each team and they will get mentorship and training from Microsoft.

The program’s main objective is to establish a fun, hands-on learning experience for students. It provides a virtual environment where students learn new technologies and build impactful solutions for their community. Overall, the program provides a platform for Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors to hone their leadership skills as Team Captains while leading and building impactful solutions with the learners.   

The best project will collaborate with the Green Belt Movement to advance the winning solution. Weekly episodes of the GOL Show will be available online as the teams document their progress. Other winning categories are; people’s choice (project with most votes on DevPost), Best Media Presence (best video content) and Learners (highest team average points on Microsoft Learn).

Microsoft student hackathon

 ”Part of our mission in ADC is solving Africa’s problems with Microsoft technology,” said ADC Managing Director Jack Ngare while making the announcement. “Africa is not immune to climate change challenges, and this is one of the issues we’d like to see tackled using Microsoft technology while also upskilling and enabling higher education tech enthusiasts in the region.” 

Green Belt Movement’s Paul Thiong’o welcomed this year’s theme on climate change, noting that it’s in line with the organization’s vision to have a values-driven society of people who consciously work for continued improvement of their livelihoods and a greener, cleaner world.  

At the Green Belt Movement, we believe in empowering communities to take action against climate change, whose effects are already being felt across Africa. Our experience shows that when the communities understand the linkage between their actions, environment, and their livelihood situations, they are more likely to muster their energies and act for change. As a result, we are delighted to be a part of this noble initiative, which will see our young people contribute positively to ongoing efforts to address climate change challenges.” 

“The GOL engages directly with students regardless of the higher education institution they come from. Born virtual, GOL is a program without borders. All GOL activities are supported by volunteers from Microsoft and partners as coaches, mentors, judges, speakers, and trainers,” Ngare explains, adding: “GOL is formed like a sports league, starting with a season, and followed by off-season clinics and exhibitions.” 

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