Microsoft has launched the Game of Learners (GOL) programme in the form of a hackathon aimed at spurring innovation among university students across Kenya.

The initiative which was developed by Microsoft’s Africa Development Centre (ADC), is completely student-driven and hands-on. The overall objective is to empower the students to develop impactful solutions that can help address some of Africa’s and the world challenges.

The GOL is structured as a 5-week virtual hackathon comprised of weekly sprints where, at the end of the 5 th week, all participating teams will submit their final projects for judging. There will be 13 volunteers from Microsoft (student partners) to mentor the students throughout the 5-week engagement and judge each team’s final project submission.

The student partners will define the challenge and each team lead will dictate the rhythm of the weekly sprints. All participants will have access to development resources provided by Microsoft throughout the competition. Final project submission is comprised of a 3-minutes pitch video, code repo and a shippable product for every participating team.

Winner evaluation and selection will be based on the following:

  • Weekly sprint submission (25%)
  • Judging of final submission (50%)
  • Twitter voting of final submission (25%)

Upon completion, each standing member of the winning team will be rewarded with:

  • 1-year Azure credits
  • 1-year LinkedIn Learning vouchers
  • Digital certificate and digital badge for winning
  • 1:1 mentorship from preferred professionals

Jack Ngare, the ADC Managing Director, had this to say, “The program’s objective is to empower Microsoft Student Partners (MSPs) to develop leadership skills by teaching learners (student participants) technical skills in a fun competition while building awareness to all undergrad students. The original plan for GOL was to be conducted on campus at one of our partner universities. However, due to the pandemic we pivoted to a completely virtual experience which removed geographic limitations and has actually provided us with an opportunity to reach more students across the region.”