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Gitcoin Virtual Hackathon

Eastern Africa Youth Online Blockchain Challenge

Oct 26, 2020 - Nov 23, 2020

This hackathon event had ended at Nov. 23, 2020, 11:59 p.m., please check the ongoing hackathons.


Corruption poses significant threats to countries around the world; it weakens institutions, erodes trust and threatens the economy by undermining fair competition and discouraging investment and trade.UNODC is the sole custodian of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and under the FTU project is set to support and build capacity of member states in Eastern Africa in four major thematic areas; i) public procurement ii) Whistleblower protection iii) Financial Investigations and iv) International cooperation.

Potential of Blockchain

Blockchain technology builds on traceability, transparency & accountability and has subsequently attracted academic and donor curiosity as a tool to support anti-corruption efforts. Transparency is an essential element of both a blockchain and any anti-corruption effort. Because of its transparent nature, blockchain holds a lot of promise.

Blockchain makes corruption more difficult because it is a distributed-ledger technology that can certify records and transactions – or “blocks” – without the use of a central database and in a way that cannot be erased, altered or tampered with. It provides an unprecedented level of integrity, security and reliability to the information it manages, reducing the risks associated with having a single point of failure. It eliminates the need for intermediaries, cuts red tape and reduces the risk of arbitrary discretion. It also makes it possible to track and trace transactions. The immutable trail of transactions can be used by law enforcement and government auditors.

Project Description

The East African Virtual Hackathon is a six-week virtual programming marathon for innovative young developers in Eastern Africa to design and implement block chain- based software applications in solving real world challenges on anti-corruption. The challenge will be focused on three major thematic areas i.e Whistle blower protection, Public Procurement and Financial Investigations.


The Block Chain Challenge is open to all youths up to the age of 35 that may or may not be in colleges and universities across Eastern Africa, including those in innovation hubs, entrepreneurship and in employment. Participants might be supported by partners abroad as well as professionals in research centers, innovation hubs, universities, and institutes as well as government and business leaders. The partners will serve as mentors during the competition.


  • UNODC 
  • Kenya ICT Ministry
  • IBM
  • Celo/cLabs
  • KotaniPay
  • Norad
  • Decoded


At the end of the hackathon, excellence awards will be offered to teams and individuals that exhibit extraordinary, innovative and entrepreneurial talent in their project concept and design and implementation in three major categories: i) novelty of the proposed application , b) potential economic impact, and c) potential social impact

Proposed prizes include:

  1. UNODC branded merchandise for all participants i.e. T-Shirts, Laptop bags, mouse pads e.t.c.
  2. Hardware for top individuals in the top three categories to support the development of their application (Laptops/inventor’s kit/ ipads)
  3. Research Grants for top three categories + people’s choice
  4. Top innovations will be profiled on the UNODC website and UNODC partners’ website

UNODC is looking to support winners with research grants and pilot implementation of their prototypes, with the goal of seeding a UN Tech Hub in Nairobi through the winners of the challenge. 

Workshop Links & Recordings

EA UNODC Hackathon AMA 

Hackathon Launch and Ideation with David Robinson

UNODC Blockchain Hackathon IBM Digital Nation Africa

Celo Technical session with Jarrell James and Josh Crites

UNODC Blockchain Hackathon - IBM Blockchain & Hyperledger Session

UNODC EA Hackathon - IBM Design Thinking Session

What is the schedule?

Oct 26 to Oct 31- Ideation Week

Nov 1 to Nov 23 - Coding weeks

Team Submission: 23rd November 2020 6pm (EAT)

Pitch Day: 26th November 2020

Submission judging: 27-29th November 2020

Winners Announced: 1st December 2020

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Check out the Prizes

Visit the Prize Explorer to check out the prizes posted by our hackathon sponsors. Click each prize to show important details, including the submission requirements, submission deadline, etc.

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Join the Hackathons Chat Workspace

Chat with other hackers, ask sponsors and the Gitcoin team questions, find or create a team, and communicate real-time. Click here to join the party!

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Start Work via Gitcoin

When your team is formed please have one of your teammates navigate to each prize page you plan to compete for and click the “Start Work” button.

express interest

Build your cool ideas and make your vision come true with your team!

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Submit Work via Gitcoin

When your project is completed, submit your work by clicking the “Submit Work” button on the prize page/