Microsoft partners UN Influx to address societal challenges with technology

In a bid to address societal challenges with technology, Microsoft has partnered with UN Influx to organise a hackathon event aimed at finding innovative solutions that will help build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation as well as facilitate the attainment of sustainable development goals.

The three-day hackathon, which took place at Sidmach Technologies, Ikeja, had over 100 young programmers with unique solutions from all over the country in attendance.

In his opening address, the Regional Lead, UN Influx, Mr Olufunbi Falayi stated that the hackathon event was necessitated by the need to push for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. According to him, “There is an important need to remain committed to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals as set by the United Nations.”

Falayi noted that solutions that will be built at the event would focus on Goal 9 of the SDGs which is building infrastructure.

“Lagos Nigeria is the only African city and one of the nine regions participating in this UN Hackathon exercise globally and 9 winning ideas from all nine regions would feature at the UN Headquarters during the Science and Technology Summit later in the year,” Falayi said.

The Public Sector Director, Microsoft Nigeria, Hakeem Adeniji-Adele informed participants that Microsoft is at the fore front of addressing global challenges by enabling entrepreneurs with technology, especially in this era of digital transformation. He added, “The focus of this hackathon is build solutions that address innovation, which is one of the pillars of Sustainable Development Goals and to increase access for all youths to learn computer science, empowering them to achieve more for themselves, their families and their communities as well.”

Announcing winning ideas at the end of the event, Falayi expressed optimism at the potentials of these solutions to transform various sectors they will feature in. The winning ideas include Smart Transit, an integrated transport system that gives commuters real-time information on buses routes, stops and fares via mobile application; Flowes, A GIS enabled cross-platform application that monitors and forecasts flood imminence, disseminating information to the vulnerable flood region for early preparedness while reducing risk, mitigating and strengthening path to resiliency and LegitCar, a car theft deterrent system which enables a car buyer search a vast database of stolen vehicles in Nigeria and verify their potential cars are not listed as one.