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Standard Bank UniHack inspires young developers

Lesley Moyo
By Lesley Moyo, Multimedia specialist, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 10 Jul 2024
Students from four universities in the Western Cape participated in a two-day hackathon or UniHack, hosted by Standard Bank in early July. #hackathon #unihack

Students from four universities in the Western Cape participated in a two-day hackathon, or UniHack, hosted by Standard Bank in early July.

In addition to networking with industry experts and potential employers, the students participated in coding sessions and competed against each other in a solution development competition.

Winners of the hackathon, Edu Elevators, impressed the judges with their AI-powered WhatsApp chatbot designed for personalised learning and tutoring.

The Edu Elevators chatbot integrates with the South African School Administration and Management System (SA SAMS) to track students’ academic progress. The solution also facilitates tutoring using practice examinations.

Winners of the Standard Bank UniHack, Andile Masela, Michael Maseko, Olerato Motaung and Nkuleko Nhlapo, together with organisers. (image by Lesley Moyo, ITWeb).
Winners of the Standard Bank UniHack, Andile Masela, Michael Maseko, Olerato Motaung and Nkuleko Nhlapo, together with organisers. (image by Lesley Moyo, ITWeb).

"We are thrilled to have won the hackathon," said Edu Elevators member Andile Masela. "The experience has been invaluable and we are excited about the potential impact of our solution."

Second place winners, Health Guardians, devised a digital platform to improve access to medical services using machine learning for patient diagnosis and care.

Team EduDev secured third place, with their solution to simplify the registration process for students and parents. The team’s application was developed using Power Apps and aims to streamline enrolment procedures.

According to Stats SA, as of May this year, the unemployment rate among young individuals (aged 15-34 years) was 45.5% – an increase from the national average of 32.9% in the first quarter of 2024.

Alistair Kennedy, Standard Bank’s head of youth development and employment, said: "Over the past 12 months, we've brought in about 380 graduates into various programmes across the countries we operate in, including an additional 400 learners and interns specifically in South Africa."

Paul van der Merwe, head of enterprise architecture at Standard Bank Group, added: "Last year was a major success and we even recruited or employed some of the students. Based on that, we decided to do it again this year."

Paul van der Merwe, head of enterprise architecture at Standard Bank Group. (image by Lesley Moyo, ITWeb).
Paul van der Merwe, head of enterprise architecture at Standard Bank Group. (image by Lesley Moyo, ITWeb).

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