App Developers Win Big At Dev:Congress MPower API Hackathon 2013

October 24, 2013 | 3 minutes read

iSpace, Osu, Accra, GhanaSMSGH and Dev: Congress teamed up for Ghana’s first ever eCommerce Hackathon. The event dubbed the Dev:Congress MPower API Hackathon 2013 was hosted at the iSpace, Osu in Accra.

The winning entry was “Fundr-Africa” a crowdsourcing platform where individuals can create campaigns to generate funds to help with social problems in Africa. It was developed by Osborn Kwarteng, Bright Ahedor, and Kingston Tagoe, and out of the other applications presented, it was judged to have the highest levels of creativity, technical difficulty, polish, usefulness, and overall complete utilization of the MPower API.
The DevCongress team worked out the modality of the event and managed to convince SMSGH, the brain behind MPower, to provide sponsorships. The event brought over 50 developers and web enthusiasts together to take part in collaborative computer programming. As a result, the 60-second presentation time limit was pretty strictly enforced, but teams still had plenty of chance to wow the judges and the audience.
“It’s a value exercise. It allows you to quickly think about a lot of different things,” Yaw Boakye, co-founder of Dev: Congress said of the event. “It’s an opportunity to try something you might not otherwise.”

Hackers were restricted to utilizing first the MPower API plus other SMSGH APIs to work on an application of their choosing. C.T.O of SMSGH, Kwadwo Seinti suggested in advance that some consider creating an application that “benefits the society in some way”.

Fueled by soothing music and fortified by a range of nourishment and cocktails, the young hackers worked for 10 consecutive hours on their applications. The majority of applications hacked at the event revolved around Fund Raising. This goes a long way to emphasize the difficulty and need to apply technology and commerce in the generation of funds for groups and the advancement of socially relevant causes.

The 1st and 2nd runner-ups took home GHs1,000 and GHs500 respectively. Prizes were issued instantly into the winning teams’ MPower account which was projected for all to see. Hackers who were unable to complete their apps were given the chance to do so within 14 days. The first team to present its final app wins GHs500.

The Judges for the event were, Kwadwo Seinti (C.T.O of SMSGH), Alfred Rowe (nCodeDevLab), and Reginald Royston from Berkeley University (Researcher)
The Hackathon also attracted professionals in the banking sector. Attendees found the topics of the event applicable to many different fields. “MPower Payments API is the single most complete API for dealing with Telecos in Ghana and electronic money business”. These were the words of a merchant who has successfully implemented the API for processing payments online.

The event was crowned with a charged party atmosphere with great music from DJ Loft and cocktail engineering by Desny’s Cocktail Engineering.

DevCongress is a budding developers movement aimed at becoming the most vibrant across the software developers space in Ghana and Africa.

SMSGH remains Ghana’s leading mobile value-added-services company with services and applications in use by more than 7 million mobile subscribers. The company aims at blending communication, content, and commerce to create Africa’s most useful technology aggregation company. Its flagship solutions include MPower, MYtxtBOX, and Jumpfon.

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