Call to African innovators: finding solutions for a sustainable way of life and economic development in Africa



From March 5-7, 2021, Defy (www.Defy.co.za), a leading home appliance maker, will host the Hack The Normal online hackathon (https://HackTheNormal.com) to explore how technology can be harnessed for sustainable living and economic development in Africa.

Supported by Defy sister company, Beko (www.Beko.com), hackathon participants will have the opportunity to develop new products, services and business models with commercialization potential to address any of the following challenges:

  • Financial solutions: With Africa rapidly becoming a key player in the global economy, the continent must prepare for a surge in trade activity with all the necessary support services for trade. Participants will be invited to propose solutions that can improve financial inclusion and liquidity in the sub-Saharan region; solve the problem of hard currency between countries involved in trade; address the business challenges faced by individuals and businesses; or create shared economic systems between businesses and individuals.
  • Sustainable lifestyle: While the continent is expected to double its population by 2050 from 1 billion to nearly 2.4 billion inhabitants [1], this will come with challenges such as access to clean water, food and even a constant supply of electricity. With this in mind, hackathoners will need to design solutions for a more sustainable future for the average African household and the planet in general. Alternatively, they will need to find a way to create lasting impact in areas ranging from food waste to energy and water consumption.
  • Healthy lifestyle: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased focus on hygiene and health. To help ensure a healthier future for the continent, solutions that have a positive impact on maintaining healthy living conditions in African households will need to be provided. In addition, solutions that contribute to the health of individuals and families, focusing on areas such as nutrition, personal care, sleep, exercise and personal hygiene are also sought.

During the three-day hackathon, participants will be trained in a myriad of areas ranging from problem discovery and solution development, to prototyping and storytelling. In addition, they will have the chance to refine their ideas with the help of coaches and mentors who are experts in the fields of business, technology and design.

Projects that meet Defy’s impact, applicability and commercialization criteria will be selected for further development. Not only will project promoters have access to sales opportunities, investment networks and the ecosystem in general, but they will also have the opportunity to participate in acceleration and incubation programs.

Applications close on February 28, 2021 and will be accepted by individuals and teams who have ideas or projects that address the challenges of the hackathon. Following a pre-assessment process, successful participants will be notified by March 3 via email.

“We invite people from many disciplines to come together to innovate new solutions to ensure a sustainable life in Africa, stimulate economic growth and improve the state of our world,” concludes Defy Appliances CEO Evren Albaş.

To apply or for more information, go to https://HackTheNormal.com

[1] https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/population/


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