Inaugural StatsBank Hackathon sparks data-driven innovation in Ghana
Fifteen teams representing five tertiary institutions have converged in Accra for the inaugural StatsBank Hackathon, a four-day competition aimed at harnessing data for societal impact.
Universities including the University of Ghana, Legon, the University of Cape Coast (UCC), the University for Development Studies (UDS), and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have rallied together in pursuit of data-driven excellence. Their challenge: unlock the potential of GSS StatsBank and utilize census data to drive policy-relevant research.
Each institution fields three teams, tasked with developing a product that addresses a social issue while emphasizing product aesthetics and its ability to seamlessly integrate with existing Ghana Statistical Service data. Moreover, participants are expected to create a product that addresses specific social problems aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The stakes are high, with the winner set to receive GHS20,000, the first runner-up GHS15,000, and the second runner-up GHS10,000.
Government Statistician Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, speaking at the inauguration of the StatsBank Hackathon last Monday in Accra, emphasized the imperative for consistent development in Ghana, urging a departure from the cyclical fluctuations that have hindered progress. He rallied for the effective management of the burgeoning data surge, underlining its transformative potential.
"In this era of what we call the data deluge, it is crucial that we effectively navigate this abundance of information we have produced," Professor Annim asserted. He called for fresh ideas and the utilization of diverse technologies to realize this goal.
Professor Annim harboured hope for a future where policymakers' statements and figures could be swiftly analyzed through the aid of Artificial Intelligence (AI), a vision that struck a chord with the university students present at the Hackathon.
A collaborative venture between the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and Statistics Denmark, the StatsBank Hackathon is a testament to the commitment to empowering young minds in leveraging data for impactful solutions. The mission is unequivocal: use the power of data to break the cycle of development fluctuations in Ghana.
The inaugural StatsBank Hackathon has ignited a spark of ambition and determination among these young participants. With fifteen teams from five esteemed institutions vying for the coveted prizes, a battle of intellect and innovation is poised to reshape Ghana's data landscape.