The National Campus Blockchain Hackathon was held at the Nile University of Nigeria in Abuja on the 25th and 26th of September. This event organised by the Cryptographic Development Initiative in Nigeria (CDIN) was solely sponsored by Jelurida Africa; a Blockchain-as-a service solution provider based in Lagos.
The idea to take the Blockchain Technology to Campus communities was borne out of the fact that the knowledge about the technology was lacking in such a place as Academic Institutions. Jelurida Africa as part of their brand’s promise to ensure quality Blockchain education offered to support the movement and have been the sole sponsors since the inception of the programme in 2018.
Having been to five Academic institutions across Nigeria which includes Covenant University, Federal University of Technology Akure, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kwara State University and the University of Nigeria Nsukka, the winners of the Hackathons in these schools were invited for the Grand finale in Abuja.
The event was held in two days, the first day had a series of activities which included the President of CDIN Mr Adeolu Fadele flagging the event officially open with his opening remarks where he took the audience through the journey of the Campus Blockchain Hackathon, CDIN’s efforts and the future of the initiative with campus communities. This was followed by the representative of the Vice Chancellor of the Nile University of Nigeria, Professor Ousmane giving his welcome address. He spoke about the school’s efforts in collaboration with National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to advance technological research in the school and also appreciated the Organisers of the event for being in the school.
The Director General of NITDA, Mr Yashifu Inuwa Abdullahi was also at the event. The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is committed to implementing the National Information Technology Policy with a mandate to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices in Nigeria. He gave a keynote speech centered on the Blockchain Technology as a tool for National development.
He further emphasized on NITDA’s efforts and plans to ensure the Blockchain technology is given the necessary attention it needed. It is a thing of comfort to know that the government (NITDA) is aware of the need for adoption and it recognizes efforts made by private sectors towards the actualization of the dreams for the 4IR technologies in the country and are ready to partner with tech firms to see this through. This was made evident when he said he just returned from a trip the previous night and ensured he was physically present for the event and he still have a trip to make the same day.
He went ahead to launch the Blockchain Industry Association of Nigeria (BIAN).
After his speech, The Managing Director of Jelurida Africa DLT Mr Adedayo Adebajo met him afterwards and exchanged pleasantries further strengthening relationship ties between the two with hopes of possible partnerships between NITDA and Jelurida Africa.
To commence the Hacking session, participants were first treated to a Tea Break and later served lunch as the Hacking sessions came to an end and that ended the first day of the event.
The second day of the event was for the student representatives of the three schools involved to pitch the ideas they hacked the previous day to the audience.
The event started with a brief opening remarks from the President of CDIN followed by another Keynote address from the Vice Chancellor of Nile University of Nigeria.
The Managing Director of Jelurida Africa DLT Mr Adedeyo Adebajo also gave his Keynote Address on the topic ‘Blockchain Innovation for Sustainable growth in Nigeria’ and he succinctly ensured the audience were fully aware of the potential the Blockchain technology comes with and how Jelurida Africa is welcome to ideas and partnerships to implement Blockchain projects.
The students finally got to pitch their ideas. It was really amazing to watch students of these Universities present their solutions to the audience and exuding knowledge emanating from the fact that their ideas were well researched. It really means a lot to know that those in whose hands the future of the Nation lies are taking it seriously and more fulfilling it is that they showed great interest in the learning of Disruptive technologies such as Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence proving that the impact of the Campus Blockchain Initiative was indeed positive.
The solutions they proposed was a clear indication that the Blockchain technology still remains the most viable tool to tackle the Nation’s accountability issues as it proposes a more transparent and secure system. The student representatives from FUTA developed a solution named AUDIFY that helps small businesses ensure a simple and transparent Auditing process, The student reps from Covenant University and Ahmadu Bello University Zaria developed solutions around election named I-ELECT and 1-VOTE respectively, each solution posing to solve the issues the present electoral system is facing.
After much deliberations from the Judges, the team representing FUTA were crowned winners of the National Campus Blockchain Hackathon followed by Covenant University coming second and Team ABU Zaria came third.
Awards of Recognition were given to the winners of the competition and also notable contributors to the success of the pilot stage of the Campus Blockchain Development program were also awarded. The National Coordinator of the Campus Blockchain Development Programme, Mr Kayode Babarinde and Jelurida Africa DLT were recipients of this award for their immense contribution to the growth and advancement of Disruptive technologies.
Here are some images of the Pitch and Award session.
With much being achieved from this pilot stage of the Campus Blockchain Hackathon, it can be said that the Campus communities are ready for another round of this initiative in times to come. We hope to spread this initiative to cover more academic institutions in subsequent phases as we keep to our promise of not only bridging the gap between ideas and implementation of Blockchain solutions but also supporting the plans with efforts till it becomes a success.