• GIZ, MINPOSTEL Pay Important Visits to Encourage Hackers
  • Mentors Propel Hackers into Full Hackathon Spirit with Masterclasses
  • Resilient Hackers Navigate Ramadan Challenges

Following an electrifying opening ceremony and the launch of a 48-hour hackathon, hackers immersed themselves in the hackathon spirit, dedicating themselves to creating sustainable solutions that would benefit their region. The theme, “Learning Beyond Walls – Artificial Intelligence Empowering Cameroon’s North,” guided their efforts throughout the intensive event.

A notable aspect of the Cameroon International Tech Summit (CITS) in Grand Nord was the seamless integration of the 48-hour hackathon with ongoing Ramadan celebrations. Hackers, observing their fasts, convened at 4 a.m. for breakfast before engaging in solution-oriented hacking activities. At 7 a.m., participants united for the “banana banana dance,” fostering a sense of courage and hope as they continued their hacking endeavors.

CITS Draws Guest Attention

Jean Jadot takes tour to liaise with teams

CITS garnered attention from various organizations keen on witnessing the summit’s impact and exploring opportunities for collaboration in Cameroon’s ever-evolving technological and entrepreneurial landscape. Notably, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German development agency committed to sustainable development and education globally, extended support to CITS. Experts from GIZ, including Mendoua Gladys and Ondobo Jean Jadot, interacted with participants and assessed project progress during the hackathon.

Additionally, Mr. Djonfabe Etiene, Representative of MINPOSTEL, visited to motivate hackers, emphasizing the pivotal role of technology in community development.

Masterclasses Enhance Participants’ Solutions

Integral to CITS hackathons are hands-on masterclasses led by national and international experts. On day two, hackers immersed themselves in diverse masterclasses aimed at refining their project pitches.

Manuella on building Apps

The first masterclass, led by seasoned Full Stack Senior Software Engineer Manuella Nouko, focused on “Building Apps: A Toolkit.” With years of experience in software engineering, she provided comprehensive insights into app development lifecycles. Participants learned about ideation, prototyping, and scaling their apps into successful ventures. Nouko emphasized the importance of user feedback and iterative development in creating impactful applications.

Simon talks building winning solutions

Following Nouko’s session, Engineer Effansa Simon Balemba chaired a dynamic session titled “Building a Winning Solution: Business Model and Pitch.” the seasoned mentor and venture builder, guided participants through the intricacies of problem understanding and solution validation. He emphasized the significance of defining a clear business model and crafting an effective pitch to attract stakeholders and investors. Through interactive exercises, participants refined their project strategies, ensuring they were well-equipped to present compelling solutions.

Jeff talks Branding

Another pivotal masterclass, “How to Create a Startup Brand that Excites Your Users,” was conducted by Creative Director Amin Jefferson. Jefferson, known for his expertise in brand strategy and design, captivated participants with insights into brand identity and user engagement. He explored the power of storytelling and visual communication in building brand loyalty and trust. Through case studies and practical exercises, participants learned to craft compelling brand narratives and design memorable brand experiences that resonate with their target audience.

Bill drilling on user experience

To complement these sessions, Mountain Hubs website manager and UX/UI engineer Bill Elton Ndoh led a session on “User Experience Hacks when Building Digital Products for Developing Economies.” Drawing from his extensive experience in user-centered design, Ndoh shared practical strategies for creating intuitive and inclusive digital experiences. Participants gained insights into user research methodologies, usability testing, and design optimization. Ndoh emphasized the importance of empathizing with users and iterating on designs based on real-world feedback.

As the hackathon intensified with masterclasses, participants emerged with refined project pitches and actionable strategies for advancing their solutions. The Cameroon International Tech Summit is equally poised to achieve a significant milestone: supercharging five regions in Cameroon with a unified goal. This ambitious endeavor follows 48-hour hackathons held across the regions, where groundbreaking solutions will be conceived and developed. Through these efforts, the summit aims to catalyze technological advancement and foster innovation, driving progress and transformation across the nation.