On the 15th of March Microsoft announced the official launch of Microsoft Africa Development Center (MicrosoftADC) offices in Nigeria and Kenya. This happened a few days before they announced the official start of Game of Learners (GOL) season 3.

MicrosoftADC is Microsoft’s first-ever software engineering office in Africa. Part of its mission is to solve Africa’s problems using Microsoft technology.

What is Game of Learners?

GOL is a gamified 5-week virtual hackathon developed by MicrosoftADC for undergraduate students. In 2021 it was only open to students from Nigeria and Kenya and in 2022 it is open to students from East Africa and South Africa.

The hackathon is comprised of weekly sessions and at the end of the 5th week, all participating teams submit their final projects for judging. They also get to ask the public to vote for their projects. The 2022 version is currently in its final phase with team members requesting their friends on social media to vote for them. This year’s theme revolved around creating solutions that reduce the effects of climate change.

What is the Aim of GOL?

The program’s main objective is to establish a fun experiential learning opportunity for undergraduate students. It is aimed at enhancing digital and coding skills amongst students. This project is one of Microsoft’s ongoing investments in Africa.

While announcing the 2021 winners during Africa Development Center’s (ADC’s) virtual Open Day, Jack Ngare, the ADC Kenya Managing Director congratulated all the participating teams and challenged them to continue improving on their different innovations until they can be commercially scalable. 

Ngare went on to explain, “ Mentorship plays a critical role in a student’s life and those who have access to them throughout their study often end up with an advantage over those who don’t. Mentors not only offer support, encouragement, wisdom and teaching, but they also provide knowledge from their experiences which students can learn from and apply in their studies and professional life afterwards. We are proud about the role we are playing as the ADC in preparing the next generation of coders and programmers for the African continent through initiatives such as the GOL.”