Frequently Asked Questions


Hacking also refers to the work of writing computer code. When we refer to a hackathon, we mean a large community of people coming together in an endurance challenge of writing code for a beneficial purpose. The hackathon is focused on creating synergies between the skill sets of people from a wide variety of backgrounds, such as policy makers, developers, designers, data scientists, NGOs etc. In this case we will use these collaborative and creative methods to use geospatial data for agriculture issues.


We will create multi-skilled teams based on the different profiles who are present. We’re inviting engineers, developers, designers, students, civil society actors, agriculture entrepreneurs, academics and basically anyone who wants to use and re-use geospatial data to hack agriculture and development issues in Africa. If you feel this topic appeals to you then you are more than welcome.

I don’t know anything about computers, I just care about nutrition, food, and/or agriculture. Should I join?

Yes, we need you just like we need coders. The development of real solutions will not happen without the direct input of knowledgeable practitioners. We need diverse insight for data to truly be unleashed. You will not be expected to write code. We need you to be able explain the how, what, why, when and what-ifs of agricultural production. This is your chance to have software developed, on the spot, for your very own needs!

Can I participate even if I am new to coding?

Of course! We will pair you with experienced coders and developers to complement your skills.

THE DATA? What sort of data will be available for use at the hackathon?

We will providea catalogue of open datasets, which you can use to build your application. These cover many different aspects, including:

  • Administrative areas
  • Land cover and land use
  • OpenStreetMap
  • Population
  • Spatial imagery

What happens to my project after the event?

Our hope is that the event sparks some collaborations which lead to custom development, project winners will get a custom support program funded by the AFD.

How will teams be organized?

  • At the beginning of the hackathon, a team forming activity will be organized and each team will be made up of up to 6 attendees and based on a diversity of skills. We believe that diversity of backgrounds, personalities and ideas foster creativity, so we encourage you to work with new people.

  • But if you are a team already, you can register together as team (by naming the team name in the registration form).

Can we choose the challenge to work on?

Participants have the opportunity to choose the challenge that interests them the most during the registration. You can also submit your own challenge.

At what time does it start?

  • All participants are expected on Tuesday 22d at 14:00 pm

Is the event open to the public?

The hackathon is only open to participants confirmed by the organizers. The final pitch presentation might be open to a wider audience.

Who are the mentors?

Several experts / mentors will be present throughout the duration of the Hackathon in order to answer the questions of the participants, to guide them in their reflections and to help them in developing of their project. These will be either business, technical, data or project management experts.

Will food be provided?

We will be providing snacks, meals, water, and coffee. Meals include breakfast and lunch.

Is this a continuous 2 days event?

No, the hackathon will be held during the opening hours of the conference venue.

However, if you wish to continue working on your idea outside of the hackathon’s opening hours, you’re more than welcome!

What sort of material will be provided?

We will provide space to work, food and drinks, datasets from different organisations
(find out more about the data here!), and creative material (notebooks and pens, power strips, whiteboards, post-its and more.)

What should I bring?

You will be required to provide your own laptop, mobile device, and any necessary chargers.

What is the cancellation policy?

No policy, but we do ask for you to inform us if you can’t join us or want to drop after the 1st day.

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please send any questions/comments/concerns to cecile at