Past Hackathons

Ashesi Design Lab, the design thinking and innovative solutions hub of the prestigious Ashesi University organized the Future Learning Hackathon 2 of 3 to invite brilliant ideas and innovative solutions to enhance the students’ ‘campus life’ even whilst they study from home.

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic affected life in all circles, especially that of students and academic institutions by leading to the temporary closure of academic institutions. However, for several months now in Ghana and the world over, the educational system has since been disrupted with the closure of school campuses due to the pandemic. Most universities had to move their classes online providing a varying level of engagement with their students in the online format. For many students, being home is complicated; the life at home and that on campus are worlds apart. With another academic year drawing close in September, and the dread of reopening schools online, students wonder how they are going to experience ‘campus life’ from the comfort of their homes. This was the rationale behind the Future Learning Virtual Hackathon 2 of 3 – to provide an opportunity for this challenge to be addressed with ingenious solutions incorporating the use of Design thinking.

The Ashesi Design lab in partnership with lead sponsor Hatchery Positivo BGH, brought together enthusiasts from different academic disciplines in 17 groups (minimum of 3 individuals to a maximum of 5) to partake in the virtual competition. About 26% of the participants in this version of the series of hackathons were female.

Read more

Ashesi University is known to be the MIT of Africa and a leader in STEM education. The Ashesi Design Lab, the design thinking and problem-solving hub of Ashesi University, on July 1st announced a virtual hackathon with the aim of identifying challenges in online examination systems and get creative ideas with solutions in a prototype.

The Virtual hackathon was launched on 1st July 2020 in partnership with Vodafone Ghana being the lead sponsor. Registration of interested teams commencing from 1st to 7th July.

Teams consisted of a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 members. Prizes ranged from potential private sponsorship of the presented prototypes to fully functional solutions, networking and mentoring opportunities from Vodafone and Dream Oval, and souvenirs and gift packs from other partners and sponsors to participants.

At the end of the registration, 20 teams had signed up with its members from across Africa and Europe bursting with ideas from multiple disciplines. Teams were taken through an online design thinking and orientation session after which they were assigned mentors to guide them in the hackathon in preparation for their pitch on July 16. On the day of pitching, there were 2 sessions, and 2 sets of judges.

The first session in the morning with 6 judges had the first 10 teams pitching, and the 2nd session in the afternoon with 5 judges had the remaining 10 teams presenting their solutions. Both sessions were done via a video conferencing platform and scoring by the judges were done simultaneously online as well.

The judging of solutions presented were based on criteria such as;

1. Clearly defining problems

2. Clear feasible solutions

3. Scalability of the solution

4. Presentation skills

After about 6 hours of brilliant ideas, entertaining interaction and constructive feedback from judges, here are your winners for the first virtual hackathon out of 3 sessions to be organized.

Read more

UNICEF Hackathon

Ashesi D:Lab partners with UNICEF in a hackathon

October 19 – 20, 2018, Accra – In partnership with UNICEF, Ashesi D:Lab facilitated a two-day hackathon focused on showcasing how young people are using technology to tackle social issues to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On the theme, Partnership with Youth to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals the hackathon aimed at developing solutions that employ child-centred approach for SDGs 3 (Good Health & Well Being), 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality), 6 (Clean Water & Sanitation), 8 (Decent Work & Economic Growth), 10 (Reduced Inequalities), and 13 (Climate Action).

“UNICEF realises the potential within our young people and how those potentials could help transform nations and economies, yet they remain untapped,” said Mrs Antoinette Gyan, Communication Officer-in-charge of Brand and Youth Engagement at UNICEF Ghana. “So moving forward, we are seeking partnerships with the private sector, academia, and all stakeholders to ensure they tap the potentials of these young people.”

Read More

Blockchain Hackathon

The Ashesi D:Lab, Blockchain Society Ghana, Kumasi Hive and Devless organized the first Blockchain Hackathon in Ghana in partnership with the Ministry of Trade and the Association of Ghana Industries. For this challenge, the most creative and inspiring teams from all over Ghana were invited to design and pitch a blockchain-inspired solution for a supply chain platform inspired by the work of the Ministry of Trade. The platform aims to enable buyers (large scale contractors and LSE’s) to engage suppliers (sub-contractors and SME’s) in an exchange arrangement that ensures that buyer needs are met while supplier capacity is enabled. The Blockchain Hackathon took place on the 12/05/18

What is Blockchain Technology?

Check out our useful resources on our Resources Page!


You can download a PDF version of the challenge for portable use HERE.
A division of the Ministry of Trade is designing a Subcontracting and Partnership Exchange (SPX) platform to enable buyers (large scale contractors and LSE’s) to engage suppliers (sub-contractors and SME’s) in an exchange arrangement that ensures that buyer needs are met while supplier capacity is enabled. Using the details of the platform below, design a blockchain-inspired solution that would make the above possible.

Details of the Challenge

This document gives more background knowledge on the problem and what the Ministry of Trade is trying to achieve. Sub-contracting refers to a situation whereby a contractor, who requires a lot of input to make a good to meet his obligation to a consumer, contracts small and medium-sized enterprises to acquire these inputs ensuring that they meet his specifications and requirements. This is usually done because the contractor cannot source all inputs himself and require other enterprises to do so.

Details of the SPX Program

The Ministry of Trade has outlined six key steps that would have to happen to ensure that the SPX can facilitate a successful Partnership exchange. They are:
Hosting: Creating the platform that enables buyers, suppliers, LSE’s and SME’s among others to engage for their mutual benefit.
Institutional Capacity Building: In order to obtain the platform described above, institutional capacity would need to be built to ensure the sustainability of the system. This involves understanding the key concepts around sub-contracting and partnership as well as the intricacies of how all interactions in the partnerships would take place and what would be required to make this happen. The institution that does the hosting would need to be built in this way.
Profiling: After the institutional capacity is built, there is a need for information to be collected to be fed into the system. Key and specific information about LSE’s, SME’s, buyers etc. would be needed to build the platform. Information regarding pricing, the quantity of goods that can be produced/supplied, the location of the company, type of company among others is such information.
Enterprise capacity building: This involves building the capacity of SME’s to be able to meet the requirements of the LSE’s. If it identified that SME’s are unable to meet the capacity requirements of the LSE’s, there should be a mechanism to bring SME’s to a level where they can meet LSE capacity requirements.
Bench-marking: Comparing an enterprises processes and performance to industries best practices. Enterprise capacity building in the previous step seeks to build up SME’s such that they can meet industry benchmarks as well as LSE requirements.
Match-making: When bench-marking is done, and requirements of LSE’s are met then enterprises are matched and brought together to begin the partnership exchange.
The supply chain process with Zobolo example:
Breakdown of the above image and example:
Zobolo (Sobolo) Fruit international is a Large-Scale Enterprise (LSE) seeks to produce Zobolo Fruit Drink to meet consumer needs. A consumer seeks to sweet Zobolo with mild ginger flavor. To do this he requires 5 key ingredients with special requirements:
  • Brown Sugar
  • Soft Water
  • Flavoring
  • Zobolo Hibiscus
  • Ginger
In order to obtain these economically, Zobolo Fruit International contracts 5 small & medium-size enterprises (SME’s) to help source these items:
  • Red Velvet Limited – Manufacturers of white and brown sugar
  • Adjoa Memuna Enterprises – Distributors of fresh ginger
  • Mcnatty Limited – Distributors of a variety of flavourings
  • GamSavid Enterprise – Bulk distributors of quality soft water
  • BioFlow Company Limited – Retailers of local Zobolo Hibiscus leaves
These five companies contracted by Zobolo Fruit International source and deliver these items for processing and transformation into the Zobolo drink that consumers want. In this process, the 5 companies must have the capacity and quality to meet Zobolo Internationals standards and requirements in order to be given the contract.
Partnership Exchange: If the above enterprises are able to meet requirements then a partnership exchange between the enterprise and Zobolo Fruit International is established. The enterprise is able to distribute and supply in exchange for money and Zobolo Fruit International is able to obtain the inputs necessary to fulfil its obligation to consumers.

Blockchain Hackathon happened on 12/05/18

Read more


Sponsors and organizers of the event include Ashesi D:Lab, Kumasi Hive, Ministry of Communications, and DevLess