Driving the digitization agenda: the Ayoba Hackathon 2021 journey

Driving the digitization agenda: the Ayoba Hackathon 2021 journey
Judges and winners of Ayoba Hackathon

As part of effort to intensify and push the digitization agenda while remaining relevant in the telecommunication sector, MTN Ghana early this year gave local app developers, start-ups and businesses the opportunity to develop micro-apps fit for Ayoba a super App of MTN.

The move is considered as an opportunity given to the app developers to get creative, launch their services through micro-apps and find solutions that could solve a problem in the society as well as enabling the society to enjoy the benefits of a modern connected life.

Driving the digitization agenda: the Ayoba Hackathon 2021 journey
Ayoba Hackthon judges in a pose with Digital transformation lead of MTN, Dario Bianchi

MTN Digital Transformation Lead, Dario Bianchi explained that “with the right digital solutions, we can drive Africa and Ghana’s Progress through meaningful and sustained partnerships. At MTN, we strive to give opportunities to all to be a part of our business growth through innovation. We have been engaging persons within the app development community to think widely about how they could use apps to solve problems in our society,” he added.

He also pointed out that, this is in line with MTN’s Ambition 2025 which seeks to make MTN the leading digital solutions for Africa’s Progress. “How do we do this? We want to build the largest and the most valuable platforms,” he stressed.

The competition saw over 200 applicants submitting their apps for consideration, however seeing three groups, App – Academy’ come top as the winner, Ameliya- Ameylia in second place and Stride in third place.

After dreams came to fruition, the winner for the hackathon took home an amount of GH¢20,000.00, second place received GH¢10,000 whiles the third-place winner received GH¢8,000.00. Beyond the financial gain, the developers of the winning apps will be given the opportunity to work with a team at MTN from now till December 2021, where they will be given the opportunity to further enhance their apps to fit onto the Ayoba platform.

Ensuring financial Inclusion with Ayoba and MoMo Micro-App

Ayoba is one of the main platforms MTN is using to drive its digital transformation agenda.

It is an advanced communication application localized for African and Middle East consumer needs, under an independent Over the Top (OTT) brand with unique features for MTN customers. The app supports many languages spoken across the MTN markets including isiZulu, isiXhosa, Pidgin, Yoruba, Swahili, Hausa, French,English, Hausa, French, and Twi.

It is available to customers on all networks in Ghana however MTN customers can use Ayoba services at no data cost.

Early this year MTN announced the activation of the MoMo Micro-App on the Ayoba platform to allow users to do every day MoMo transactions without having to switch between apps.

The inclusion of the MoMo micro-app on the Ayoba platform synchronizes the host of the MTN services on Ayoba and also provide an alternative access to MoMo services which is currently available on USSD *170# and on myMTN app.

According to Mr. Dario Bianchi, the move positions Ayoba as an important tool to drive financial inclusion and also facilitate ecommerce activities.

“Ayoba and MoMo customers can now enjoy the convenience of chatting with friends in their preferred language, get access to the latest news, play games and most importantly access digital financial services. This is an example of the ‘modern connected life’ we are working towards to ensure that all our customers remain digitally connected,” he added.

Also, Ms. Winnie Dzidonu, the Applications and Partnerships Manager of MTN noted that Ayoba is ready to launch more microapps through which developers, start-ups and businesses can reach over 1 million users who can enjoy their services without using their data bundles on MTN.

Driving the digitization agenda: the Ayoba Hackathon 2021 journey
Winners and their Apps

The overall winner, Prince Owusu developed ‘Academy’, an e-learning platform that would help users to learn variety of courses and concepts through interactive checkpoints, lessons, and videos with certificates awarded automatically after a course is completed.

In the second place, Edward Morgan and Pierre Barrad Amoyaw came up with ‘Ameliya- Ameylia’ a crowdsourcing app that allows users to recommend vendors and earn rewards, in turn empowering Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and local vendors to gain more reach and access a wider market.

Emmanuel Fache, Eyram Amedzor, Amanda Dzegblor and Vanessa Leonie-Mensah came third with an application called ‘Stride’. It is a service that helps customers deliver packages anywhere within Ghana on the same day or the next.

Judges and Mentors’ Profile

Kelvin Tyron

Kelvin Tyron is the Co-founder & CEO of Nvoicia/Growth Factor Technologies. An entrepreneur with a background in the information technology and services industry. Kelvin is an expert in graphic communications media and a Web UI/UX Specialist.

He is also skilled in negotiation software and product development as well as Team lead at Altavia – an end-to-end digital product development agency with a focus on delivering usable product that solve problem.

Olufemi Adewumi

Olufemi Adewumi is the Director of Training at Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology. He has designed and effectively launched two entrepreneurial training programmes funded by the Master Card Foundation to train and help over 700 Ghanaians get employment and create and grow over 300 startups.

Olufemi is noted for his deep technical skills in Artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Blockchain, Big Data Analytics Hybrid Cloud and IOT and other emerging technologies. In 2009, as the ‘Acting Director IT Infrastructure’ he supported over 2500 users, 40 office locations and three major data centers, over 40 equipment rooms and a Network spanning over 70 locations in Nigeria.

Regina Honu

Regina Honu is a Ghanaian social Entrepreneur, software developer, founder of Soronko Solutions- a software development company in Ghana, and a Board Member of the American Field Service (AFS) Intercultural Programs.

Not only has Regina trained over 20,000 Ghanaian women and girls in ICT, she is also a part of the advisory board on a project to amend the United Nations Convention on Rights of Child to include Digital rights of a child.

Regina developed a website for Enterprise Insurance Company, WHO Ghana and CHRAJ Ghana in addition to developing an SMS and email notification system for Delta Airlines e-ticketing. She was recently profiled on CNN and BBC as one of Africa’s young and enterprising Chief Executive Officers (CEOs).

Mentors’ Profile

Emmanuel O. Hinneh

Emmanuel O. Hinneh has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical/Electronic Engineering, KNUST. Lead Frontend Engineer, Stanbic Bank Ghana, Software Engineer. He collaborated on the development of dashboard applications at Skkiper Inc and is an ICT Volunteer at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology.

Emmanuel has worked with diverse team to generate technological solutions to global challenges, using human centered design coupled with solid edge.

Emmanuel Sarpong

Emmanuel Sarpong is a Backend Engineer at Stanbic Bank Ghana with a BSc Mechanical Engineer from KNUST. He is also the Lead Developer at GoClev Tech Solutions where he is in charge of developments and developer management.

Emmanuel has expertise in Mobile App Development, Robotic Process Automation, Data Analytics, Frontend Development and Backend Development.


Leave a Reply