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Hackathon challenge winners get bank's internship offer

Five Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) students have won internship offered by Exim Bank after emerging winners in the second corporate hackathon challenge in Dar es Salaam over the weekend.

The students had solved a challenge provided to increase Exim Bank’s mobile application usability in the challenge organised by a Dar es Salaam based digital technology start-up, Smart Lab in partnership with the lender and Vodacom Tanzania Foundation. The students also won smartphones each.

Smart Lab's Senior Program Associate, Sharron Nsule mentioned the students in a statement as Deogratius Gemini, Blessing Rweikiza, Charity Jonas, Erick Lwanda and Baruti Baruani.

She said the IT students worked in groups comprising of six teams and had pitched their ideas to a panel of judges, namely Stanley Kafu from Exim, Christina Murimi from Vodacom, Simon Mutabazi from Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) and Edwin Bruno from Smart Codes.

Exim was seeking solution in its mobile application usability to increase customer base as it leverages on mobile and other digital technology to drive growth in the rapidly changing banking industry, she said.

About 50 IT students are taking part in a training and mentorship programme organised by Smart Lab with support from UKAid, through HDIF where they combine their skills and develop innovative digital solutions.

The training and mentorship programme known as hackathon challenge helps students to cultivate their innovation through creating ground-breaking solutions for challenges posed by different corporates.

"Corporate hackathon programme is aimed at creating a linkage between learning institutions and corporates,” she explained.

Ms Nsule explained further that the programme was an initiative to get universities more involved in innovation and technology, entrepreneurship and building high-quality graduates with the necessary employability skills.

She said the students in the programme were empowered with real-world employability skills while linking them with rising corporations in Africa.

The Corporate Hackathons would continue in the coming weeks, with more challenges and partners participating in guiding them in their journey, she said.

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