The University Geek (UniGeek) Challenge, a technology and digital-based academic competition among Universities in Ghana have been launched.
The event which took place on February 28, 2020, at the MTN House, Ridge, Accra was initiated by Leann Consult, a brand and marketing management consultancy with Sponsorship from MTN Pulse and cooperation from universities across the country and other partners.
The UniGeek Challenge is about channelling the mental energies and attention of the youth, particularly those at the tertiary level to the benefits of technology and how that can be used to change the world around them and make a positive impact as such. The Challenge comes with 8 weeks of contest, coaching and a DigiFair culminating in a change in mind-sets and attitudes towards technology and digital opportunities going forward.
The maiden edition of the UniGeek Challenge has brought together contestants who have been drawn in 5 teams comprising 3 from the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and 2 from non-ICT fields from 9 universities namely: Ashesi University, Ghana Technology University College (GTUC), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Central University College.
The rest are University of Cape Coast (UCC), University of Development Studies (UDS), University of Ghana (UG), University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) and All Nations University which became possible with the help of university faculty members and the Student Representative Council (SRC) leadership from the universities.
The contest which will be in 5 stages including the knockout, 4 combat sessions before the ultimate combat will have the contestants coached and groomed with the help of mentors to shape their delivery during the contest and beyond over the next 6 – 8 weeks. And some of the contestants will be dropped during the 5 stages until the overall winner emerges on the 25th of April, 2020.
The UniGeek Challenge is not a winner takes all contest although the ultimate winner will receive the highest support. There is going to be the ultimate Cash Prize of GH₵50,000 which will be presented to the University Geek Challenge winning university. And the GH₵50.000 cash prize is earmarked for undertaking any project relating to Information Technology within the University; with the view of empowering the University to compete globally and within the digital space.
As a means of empowering them, the winning team from the University Geek Challenge will be awarded with cash prizes of GH₵ 5,000 and technological devices (laptops & handsets).
A cash prize of GH₵2,000.00, products and branded souvenirs will be given to the 1st runner up while the 2nd runner up will receive GH₵1,000.00, products and branded souvenirs. There will also be a special prize for the winners of the project task and each contesting university will go away with some packages from MTN Pulse, including products and branded souvenirs.
Spokesperson for Leann Consult, Doris Ahiati in her submission indicated that they have identified the opportunities that the digital economy offers. And statistics suggest that beyond 2020, economic growth is supposed to leapfrog on the back of technology and that is exactly what they are doing in terms of promoting and creating a platform and the opportunity for students at the tertiary level to begin to dream around business opportunities, things they can do, solutions they can provide to problems that abound in our part of the world.
Senior Manager for Consumer Marketing, MTN, Nana Asantewaa Amegashie noted that the UniGeek Challenge is meant to empower the youth to be able to come out with their own solutions and in the long wrong, employ themselves which will help in job creation.
In his speech, the Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh indicated that it is known that the youth of our country are becoming increasingly powerful and they are empowered by their familiarity with technology. “The benefits of the UniGeek Challenge will both challenge and channel the skills, knowledge and interest of our youth into positive ventures,” he posited.
Any youth can join the contest by courtesy of MTN Pulse beside the contesting universities. They can participate in the MTN HotSeat Challenge where they can answer simple ICT related questions with an access to a mobile phone or internet.
As a requirement, they will have to take screenshots of their scores and post on the UniGeek Social media handles which are Twitter, Facebook or Instagram at @UnigeekOfficial. The Geek with the highest score each week wins a surprise package from MTN Pulse and will get a chance to support one of the finalists at the main UniGeek Challenge.