Andela, Facebook, UNODC to Tackle Social Vices


By Emma Okonji

Andela, the engineering-as-a-service business that helps companies build teams quickly and cost-effectively, in partnership with UNODC and Facebook, recently hosted 50 students from selected Nigerian tertiary institutions in Lagos, to address the menace of social vices in the country.

The students were allowed to pitch their technology solutions that could best address the menace of social vices. The winning team, Predex, made up of students from Covenant University and University of Lagos, won an all-expense-paid trip to Kyoto, Japan for a UNODC conference having developed their deep learning model investigators’ solution that could be used to detect child predators prowling on their victims before they strike.

The solution specifically flags suspicious conversations between children and potential predators, thereby helping authorities and parents prevent cases early enough.

The runner up team, RecyclAI built a solution that is based on Object Classification using Artificial Intelligence to detect whether e-wastes are recyclable or not. The team added key features like educational blogs, newsletters, and conferences meetups, to sensitize users about the solutions to e-waste recycling on their web application. Team InsideLife VR came third in the competition with their solution, which employs the cardboard virtual reality SDK to implement an easily accessible interactive experience that is highly educative on some of the more subtle aspects of the rule of law. These second and third-placed teams won Oculus Go devices and Sure Gift Coupons respectively.

Partner Engineering Manager at Andela Omogbolahan Alli, said: “It was a pleasure hosting Hackathon4Justice for the second year running at Andela. The energy that radiated from these young students as they focussed on their projects was incredible. Andela is known for being the home of and for celebrating technical excellence; seeing how this group of students tackled the problems they were given, their approach to teamwork, the focus that they had in order to meet the deadlines, was fantastic, and demonstrates that we should be very proud of the future technical talent Nigeria has to offer”.

Alli added: “This is the second year of Hackathon4Justice and we are grateful to our partners, UNDOC and Facebook, as well as all the students who participated – we hope to make this a regular on the Andela calendar, as we continue to build a community for the incredible engineering talent on the continent.”

Through the UNODC’s Education for Justice Initiative, students from universities across Nigeria came together with the purpose of building prototype solutions that can help tackle crime, uphold justice and promote the rule of law. Participants were split into teams to build prototype solutions that addressed an array of social challenges including the disposing of e-waste, trafficking illegal products, child abuse, and trafficking, supporting the authorities to eliminate animal poaching, increase awareness for proactive crime awareness and tackling corruption in institutions such as the law enforcement.