What is HackforGood?

3D Africa HackForGood is a three-day design and prototyping contest that will provide young people from across Nigeria with access to cutting-edge technology, expert instruction, and world-class mentoring to empower them to develop a functional prototype that addresses the real-world needs of their communities.  HackForGood provides university-age students, recent graduates, and early-stage entrepreneurs with the opportunity to develop the world’s next best innovation, transforming the mindset from “Aid to Africa” to “Made in Africa.”

As the world’s only Fourth Industrial Revolution innovation lab hosted in partnership with the education community and the private sector, HackForGood empowers youth to future-proof themselves by exposing them to emerging technologies like 3D printing, robotics, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things so that they can become the innovators, job creators, and highly skilled employees that the future of work requires.

Over the course of 72 hours, participants work together in teams to ideate, design, and create a technological solution that has the potential to accelerate economic and social growth while forging meaningful partnerships.  The prototypes developed at HackForGood have the capacity to be further developed into scalable solutions that can deliver global impact.

HackForGood 2019

Teams of young innovators – including current students, recent graduates, start-up entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts, and creatives – will be selected through a rigorous application process and invited to join the HackForGood 2019 cohort.

Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF) is proud to be partnering with Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) who will serve as the academic host for HackForGood 2019.

Since 1981, FUTA has been among Nigeria’s top-ranked universities. FUTA boasts 8 schools, specialized research facilities, and a population of approximately 20,000 undergraduate students. FUTA has produced more than 25,000 graduates who are trailblazers in different economic sectors.  In 2019, FUTA’s excellence was recognized by the Scimago Institutions Rankings by being named the number two university in the nation!

Registration for HackForGood 2019 is now closed.  Thank you to all who applied.

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  1. To allow a diverse group of youth to experience 4th Industrial Revolution technologies – such as 3D printing, IoT development, bit data, Machine Learning, and artificial intelligence – first-hand and embrace design thinking skills and iterative prototyping to create next-generation hardware solutions and connected devices.
  2. To transform the mindset of young Africans from “Aid to Africa” to a “Made in Africa” narrative by encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.
  3. To provide a platform for young technologists, creatives, and students to gain feedback from industry experts and develop relationships with mentors and prospective employers while gaining the in-demand skills that private sector employers need.


The theme for HackForGood 2019 will be Transforming the Narrative from “Aid to Africa” to “Made in Africa”.  Participants will include university age students, recent graduates, and early-stage entrepreneurs from all regions of Nigeria who will work in teams to address some of the world’s most urgent problems in the areas of payments, transportation, healthcare, agriculture, and security.  The technology solutions that the HackForGood 2019 cohort will develop will directly address the Sustainable Development Goals.


Why Do We HackForGood?

Africa’s workforce is expected to be the largest in the world by 2040. While 10 million young people enter the workforce in Africa every year, only 3 million formal jobs are created. This leads to a lot of competition for every job and a large percentage of unemployed and underemployed youth.  To compound this issue, some estimates suggest that two thirds of the jobs that currently exist in developing nations will be wiped out by technological innovations like automation and robotics.

By 2050 as many as 47% of jobs will be automated, including yours. As innovations in artificial intelligence, robotics, and machine learning bring us virtual assistants, wearable health technology, autonomous vehicles, and many more we haven’t yet conceived of, industries and economy are being transformed at a rapid pace. While these new technologies have brought unimaginable benefits, they also are disrupting many industries and changing the way we work.

The goal of this challenge is to create mock-ups or prototypes of products, services and ideas that are able to generate social and economic value for the community by hacking common objects and using open data, public APIs, frameworks for fast prototyping and software development, micro-controllers, sensors, and 3D Printers.

Industry 4.0 Technologies

The Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies that will be leveraged by the HackForGood 2019 cohort will include:

3D Prinitng
3D Printing
Machine Learning icon
Machine Learning
Augmented/Virtual Reality

Industry Domains

Participants will use emerging technologies in creative and innovative ways to benefit people and the environment with a view to offering solutions in a range of fields including:

Banking Finance
Banking Finance

Some Details from Previous Years’ Contests

HackForGood 2018, held on August 2nd through the 4th at University of Lagos (UniLag), attracted over 200 participants including students, university graduates, technology entrepreneurs, innovation leaders, intrapreneurs, and industry professionals from around the world.

Demographics of our Past Cohorts

      Visit the 2018 Photo Gallery     

     2018 Program and Agenda      

     2018 Student Ambassadors    

Read: “Transforming the Continent’s Narrative from Aid to Africa to Made in Africa”

Would you like to nominate a Nigerian university to become a 3D Africa HackforGood academic partner in future?
Click here to learn more.


How Does It Work?
Over a 24 hour period, you’ll work in a team of 3-5 hackers to make anything your heart desires! We will provide you with a bunch of prototyping resources. At the end of day 3, we’ll have a judging period to choose the winners of 3D Africa HackForGood.
Who Can Attend?
All undergraduate and graduate students are welcome. We also welcome recent graduates and early-stage entrepreneurs. You simply have to apply and be accepted into the program. We are also looking for volunteers to participate over the course of 3 days. If you’d like to volunteer, email us to get involved.
I Have Never Participated in a Hackathon. Can I Still Apply?
Ofcourse! We love newbies. We encourage makers and innovators of all skill levels to come build and learn with us! There will be mentors on site, and we will be sure to help you out as much as we can by providing hands-on instruction as well as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) to help you learn while doing.
How Much Does It Cost?
There is no cost to participate. We will provide you with food and drinks and all of the materials and tools you’ll need to bring your idea to life. Join us, and let’s make something together.
Are you providing travel reimbursements?
We have a limited number of travel subsidies available for individuals facing difficult circumstances who are unable to fund their own transportation to the venue. If you believe you fall in this category, please send us an email explaining your circumstance and why you should be considered.
How Do I Apply?
You simply have to apply and be accepted into the program. Acceptance is granted on a rolling basis. Once you are notified that you have been accepted, you have one week to accept your spot.
What Hardware Will be Available?
There will be 3D printers, laser cutters, Arduino single-board micro-controllers, Raspberry Pi single-board computers, and other gadgets provided. If there is a specific hardware you want to hack, feel free to send us an email and we will see if we can make it happen!
What Should I Bring?
You will need an ID card to register, and we recommend you bring a laptop for hacking. Student IDs are accepted.
What Size Should Teams Be?
Teams will be made up of 3 to 5 people. You will have an opportunity to form a team on the first evening when you have had the chance to meet other participants.
What Should I Make?
Whatever you want provided the product solution addresses a real need in your community and context. We prefer you come with an open mind and ask that you do not start building or coding anything before the event actually starts. Whatever you choose to make, it will be your responsibility to ‘sell’ your invention to the judges.
How Does Judging Work?
Our judges will base their evaluations on three criteria: user interface (functionality), real world potential (creativity) and execution (awesomeness)! All teams will be invited to present their inventions at the end of the hackathon and prizes will be awarded to the 1st and 2nd place winners.
Can I Nominate My University to Host?
Yes! If you would like to nominate a Nigerian university to become a 3D Africa HackforGood academic partner in future, please
email us the name of your university.
Other Questions?
Do you have a question that was not listed? Send us an email. We’d be delighted to help answer any of your questions.


Intellectual property rights
All submissions to 3D Africa HackforGood remain the intellectual property of the individuals or organizations that developed them. By registering, consenting to the terms of the Hackathon, and entering a Submission, however, the Participant agrees that the organizers and technology partners reserve an irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free license to use, distribute to the public, and publicly display and perform a Submission for a period of one year starting on the date of the announcement of contest winners as an example of work. We require participants to open source their projects to both share their hacks with the greater community and promote innovation in this space.

Protection of intellectual property
By submitting a 3D Africa HackforGood Entry or accepting any prize, you represent and warrant the following: (a) you will not submit content that is copyrighted, protected by trade secret or otherwise subject to third party intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights, including privacy and publicity rights, unless you are the owner of such rights or have permission from their rightful owner to post the content and to grant 3D Africa HackforGood all of the rights granted herein; (b) you will not publish falsehoods or misrepresentations that could damage 3D Africa HackforGood , Sponsors, or any third party; (c) you will not submit content that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, libelous, threatening, pornographic, harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive, or encourages conduct that would be considered a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, violate any law, or is otherwise inappropriate or destructive to 3D Africa HackforGood ’s or Sponsors’ brand image or goodwill; (d) you will not post advertisements or solicitations of business; (e) 3D Africa HackforGood will not be obligated to pay any compensation to, or permit any participation by, any third party in connection with the use, reproduction, modification, publication, display or other exploitation of any of the content that you submit; and (f) the content submitted by you does not contain any viruses, Trojan horses, worms or other disabling devices or harmful code.
By posting or submitting a 3D Africa HackforGood Entry to the Contest (regardless of the form or medium of such content), you hereby grant 3D Africa HackforGood , Sponsors, their respective affiliates, and their affiliates’ agents and third party contractors, without additional consideration, a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, non- exclusive right and license, with the right to sublicense, to discuss, publicize, market and otherwise display content derived from or relating to the 3D Africa HackforGood Entry (“Marketing Content”), and to distribute and use such Marketing Content for promotional and marketing purposes (either in the form submitted or in the form of a derivative or adapted work). You understand that you will not receive any compensation or credit for use of your 3D Africa HackforGood Entry, other than what is described in these Official Contest Rules.
Participant represents and warrants that he or she is the sole author and copyright owner of the Submission, and that the Submission is an original work of the Participant, or if the Submission is a work based on an existing application, that the Participant has acquired sufficient rights to use and to authorize others, including the 3D Africa HackforGood , to use the Submission, as specified in the “Intellectual Property Rights” section of the Rules; and that the Submission does not infringe upon any copyright or upon any other third party rights of which the Participant is aware, and that the Submission is free of malware.

3D Africa HackforGood organizers will have the right at their sole discretion to determine whether an entrant is eligible for the Contest. 3D Africa HackforGood may disqualify, at organizers’ sole discretion, 3D Africa HackforGood entries (including, without limitation, content submitted in connection therewith) that (a) are in violation of third party rights or law or regulation, (b) use inappropriate or explicit language or images, or display content that 3D Africa HackforGood or Sponsors otherwise finds objectionable or inconsistent with 3D Africa HackforGood or Sponsors’ brand image or goodwill.

3D Africa HackforGood can accept only those 3D Africa HackforGood Hackathon Entries that are completed and submitted as described above and that conform to any technical requirements specified as part of the entry process. 3D Africa HackforGood Hackathon entries that do not comply with the provisions of these Official Contest Rules will be deemed ineligible and will not be considered.

Winner selection/Judging criteria
The Contest winners will be selected by a panel of judges (“Judges”).
By submitting any 3D Africa HackforGood Entry, entrants release 3D Africa HackforGood Sponsors, their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents, and advisors from any and all liability for any claims, costs, injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the decisions of the Judges.

Contest prizes are non-transferable by the winner. If you accept a prize, you will be solely responsible for all applicable taxes related to accepting such prize.

By entering this Contest, you agree to be bound by these Official Contest Rules. To the maximum extent permitted by law, 3D Africa HackforGood reserves the right to change these Official Contest Rules at any time. You further agree to be bound by the decisions of 3D Africa HackforGood and the judges which shall be final and binding in all respects. 3D Africa HackforGood reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual that tampers or attempts to tamper with the 3D Africa HackforGood Entry process or the operation of the Contest or web site; violates the Official Contest Rules; or acts in a manner that goes against our Code of Conduct.


Judging Process

Each 3D Africa HackforGood 2019 prototype will be judged using 4 key criteria:

  1. IMPACT:  Innovation / Ambition /Creativity
  2. TECHNOLOGY:  User Interface / User Experience /Ingenuity
  3. MARKETABILITY:  Overall Quality
  4. COLLABORATION:  Quality of Pitch/Impact

Innovation / Ambition/Creativity

  • Is the idea unique, or a different take on an existing problem?
  • What was added to the prototype that made it special or more useful?
  • Is the idea behind the prototype ambitious? Creative?
  • Did the prototype execute upon the theme/category chosen?


Ingenuity/User Interface / User Experience

  • Does the prototype look professional or is it sloppy?
  • Apart from the end product, did the team use a particularly elegant or interesting construction technique?
  • Is the workflow intuitive?
  • Is the prototype easy to use?
  • How clever or innovative was the approach the team used to build the project?

Overall Quality

  • Does the prototype work completely from start to finish?
  •  How many and how severe were any flaws or bugs encountered?
  •  Is there anything in the product that wasn’t fully implemented?
  • Did the team scope their prototype features well given the time frame of the hackathon?

Quality of Pitch / Impact

  • Is the team able to leverage their backgrounds and strengths to collaboratively solve the challenge?
  • Is the team able to explain their idea coherently and within the 6 minute timeframe allotted?

Each judge will assign a score between 10 and 50 inclusively for each of the four criteria, with 10 being unexceptional and 50 being exceptional.  Total Number of Points Achievable is 200.  

Stay Tuned for Announcements of the 2019 Judges’ Panel.

Judges Portal

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