#eSkills4Girls Hackathon and Challenge in Berlin

To foster local innovation and to support initiatives that empower women and girls in tech, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development organised a hackathon (combination of hack + marathon) to develop new solutions that address the gender digital divide. The challenge started with exploration workshops that took place on 4 different continents in 4 different cities (Accra, Manila, Odessa and Sao Paulo) in March 2017. Around 50 young professionals (mostly females) were gathered to discuss how women and girls can be actively supported to overcome the barriers in the digital world.

On 22 April 2017, the eight teams from Brazil, Ghana, the Philippines and Ukraine travelled to Berlin to collaboratively develop new and innovative ideas and solutions. Being a Start-up, individuals or an NGO, these eight teams brought in their creativity, experiences and ideas and developed together with different experts new ideas to improve digital

Foto: Impact Hub Odessa

skills and employment perspectives for girls and women in their countries. The teams presented their ideas on 24 April in front of an international jury including representatives from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Google, South Africa, Argentina, Impact Hub Berlin.

Members of the jury:

  • Sabine Frank, Policy Council, Google, Germany
  • Birgit Frank, Policy Officer Digitalisation, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany
  • Dr Mmaki E. Jantjies, Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Information Systems, University of the   Western Cape, South Africa
  • Gimena de León & Social Protection Program Main Researcher, CIPPEC, Argentina
  • Nele Kapretz, Managing Director, Impact Hub Berlin, Germany

The Hackathon was organized by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and Impact Hub Global Network. Google supported the initiative by offering the winners financial support. Find out more about all the inspiring ideas of the eight teams here.

Winning teams:

  • 1st place: Developers in Vogue from Accra
  • 2nd place: Jeepneed Tiny Labs from Manila
  • 3rd place (shared): Empodera Marta and Infopreta from São Paulo

After presenting their ideas on world stage at the Women20 Summit 2017 on 26 April, the teams were awarded by the Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Silberhorn (his speech) and Google.org president Jacquelline Fuller awarded the three winners with prize money and also mentoring by Google .

The winning team of the 2017 #eSkills4Girls Challenge is “Developers in Vogue” from Ghana (picture). Their approach is to organise coding boot camps where young women are trained in web and mobile apps development, data management and digital marketing. Through close partnerships with local IT companies, graduates get into direct contact with the practice and with potential employers.

During the Women20 Summit the Hackathon participants had the chance to be on a picture with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other Women20 participants. Something they all agreed in was, that they are all winners.





Foto: Simone Conrad, GIZ


Watch the official #eSkills4Girls Hackathon Video here