The ICT-4MRPQ Project successfully concluded the Mobile App Hackathon on the 26th August 2023 at the Makerere University Business School Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Incubation Centre. The Hackathon process started with a call to all current students and recent graduates with a background of information technology, design, communication, programming, database design from participating universities. These are; Makerere University Business School, Makerere University and Mbarara University of Science and Technology.
The mobile app hackathon is an activity under the “strengthening Uganda’s Higher Education Institutions
(HEIs) capacity to use ICT in Masters’ research journey quality management processes and devise Policy reforms for relevant high-quality research outputs” – ICT-4MRPQ project. The project has already developed the master supervision portal which is currently under testing at MUBS. The App enhance its usage and access by allowing users access the system with their smart phones.
The hackathon started on Thursday 24th, August 2023 with arrival of teams from Mbarara. The next day August 25th, 2023 at 9am teams took positions and the hackathon commenced at 11am. The teams were briefed about the outcomes and expectations of the hackathon. Teams worked through the night with their mentors until the final hour where they had to pitch to a panel of judges. The judges at the ICT-4MRPQ mobile app hackathon were Prof. Laura Orobia from Makerere University Business School, Dr Godfrey Mayende from Makerere University, Dr Deborah Naturinda of Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Joshua Akandwanaho from NITA-U and George Ebine from the National
Council for Higher Education.
The “Scholatrack” team emerged winners of the mobile app hackathon and comprised members from MUST and from MUBS who were awarded with 4,000,000 shs (€1,000), certificates and a contract to implement the prototype to an actual app. After its full development, the MobileApp will be used by MUST, MAK and MUST with hope of scaling it up to other universities in Uganda with the help and policy guidance of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), and I.T. infrastructure support of NITA-U. The first runners up from MUST were awarded with 2,000,000 shs, the third team with members from MAK, MUBS and MUST as its team members walked away with 1,000,000 shs, the third runners up all from MAK were awarded with 500,000 shs.
The project coordinator, Prof. David Katamba, emphasized the importance involving of all stakeholders
such as students because they are the focal users of the app and thus getting ideas from them paves way for a system that is inclusive, intuitive and fulfills user requirements and expectations. He thanked all the participating teams for their efforts in the hackathon and said that all teams are winners.
“all of you participating teams are winners, no one is walking away with nothing. We as organisers appreciate your time and efforts towards this activity. We will continue to support you and build your capacity so that you can tackle these challenges through ICT to enable us reach the desired sustainable development goals”
The closing and award ceremony were officiated by the Acting Principle of Makerere University Business school, Professor Moses Muhwezi commended all stakeholders for their efforts in organising the event. He encouraged students to continue engaging in innovative ventures though ICT as they are the way to impact the education sector and other areas of the economy for development. He congratulated the winning team; “Scholartrack” and thanked the overall project coordinator, Prof David Katamba for the steady progress. He urged him to to implement the app so that the University can benefit from the ideas showcased.