Wema Bank has launched the fifth edition of its flagship youth and startup-focused tech competition, Hackaholics

The launch of the competition was announced at a press conference held at the bank’s Head Office in Lagos on Thursday.

Hackaholics is an annual tech and innovation competition birthed by Wema Bank in 2019 to provide a platform for young Nigerians with tech-driven ideas to bring their ideas to life, scale their ventures and access a wider market for these tech-enabled solutions.

The fifth edition of the competition is themed ‘Meta-Idea: DigiTech Solutions for Africa’s Prosperity.’

The bank has pledged a total cash prize of over N70m for top innovators across Africa.

Reaffirming the bank’s commitment to championing innovation and empowering innovators, Wema Bank’s Executive Director of Retail and Digital Business, Tunde Mabawonku, emphasised the role of Hackaholics in bridging the gaps in Africa’s macroeconomic landscape through innovation.

He said, “Our mission as a bank is very clear, ‘Empowering Lives Through Innovation’ and this is the exact purpose behind Hackaholics. Within the bank, we have transformed the status quo and redefined the standards with cutting-edge solutions and technology, hence our position as Nigeria’s most innovative bank, but we didn’t end there. With Hackaholics, we have taken our innovation drive outside the bank, empowering youth for success and facilitating the development of transformative solutions tailored to the needs of diverse Nigerians and even the African populace.

“By embracing innovation, fostering a culture of collaboration, and prioritising customer-centricity, we have and will continue to transform and position Wema Bank as a digital leader, in action, products and services. Our aspirations are not merely about implementing new technologies; they are about fundamentally transforming how we operate.”

He added, “Hackaholics aligns with the sustainability vision of the bank of developing digital solutions for societal impact. Over the years, we have been privileged to not only peek into some very insightful ideas, life-changing products and companies that have been created via this platform but also drive sustainable growth in every vertical of the Nigerian economy. This year, we aspire to expand into Pan-African frontiers, taking the magic from the Hackaholics train beyond Nigeria.”

Providing details of Hackaholics 5.0, Wema Bank’s Head of Innovation, Solomon Ayodele added, “The theme for this year is anchored on two principal factors, the Meta Idea and African Prosperity. We are challenging the youth to develop extraordinary ideas that will proffer practical solutions to our local problems as Africans. This year, we are widening our scope across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria, and we are also touching Africa. As you may know, we launched the Hackaholics Digital Summit last year, culminating the Hackaholics 4.0 journey in grand style. This year, you’re going to experience the Coachella of the tech industry at our Hackaholics 5.0 grand finale tech festival, and the journey begins today.”

For this year’s Hackaholics, we are not limiting entries to any specific verticals. Any verticals you can think of will be accepted. Our focus for Hackaholics 5.0 is the brilliance of your mind so we leave it to you to discover a problem area that matters and develop an innovative solution that will drive a positive impact. Our goal is to birth solutions that address diverse aspects of real-world challenges, and you have the opportunity to be a part of this transformative journey.”