TWO young Zimbabwean entrepreneurs won the Cybertech Africa Security and Blockchain Hackathon competition in Rwanda after developing a computer application that detects cancers with their ground-breaking AI cancer diagnosis system.
The duo bagged the first prize earning themselves US$5 000 after outshining 120 other competitors from different countries.
Software engineers Collins Jimu and Zvikomborero Claire Duri, who are both in their early 20s, developed Cancer360, which is a system for cancer diagnosis.
Jimu said the experience was surreal.
“It was a great experience indeed meeting with software engineers from all over the world and getting the chance to present amongst field gurus,” he said.
“The win to us means that we can push further developing the system and plan further as our wish is to see our solution app deployed all over African hospitals and clinics.”
Mr Jimu said the competition was tight as their competition was equally talented.
“The competition was hard as the competitors where very intelligent and experienced. But due to teamwork and dedication we managed to sail through,” he said.
“There was initial screening where out of 120, the number had to be trimmed to 60. From the 60, we sailed through to the top seven, then the top three.
“We then came out number one winning US$5000.”
He added: “The adjudicators said they were impressed by our problem-solving skills and uniqueness of our solution and also its impact towards our community.”
Jimu said they were still in the process of developing the software and raising the funds as the costs were a bit high.
“Over the years I have worked as a software engineer locally and in UAE so self-learning online and work experience has helped me a lot,” he said.
“The competition was a hackathon where we were given community problems and we decided to develop and pitch the cancer application.
“We are looking forward to expanding our team once we get funding.”
The other participant Duri said winning came as a shock to her.
“The experience was mind blowing and surreal, it was that moment when we attended thinking we had just gone there for exposure and to see how it’s done for next time,” she said.
“It was really a shock that we came first and it also made us proud as we managed to carry our country’s flag high.
“The experience helped us make our nation, families and community proud and we hope to create solutions that solve problems where we come from.
“We are still developing the software and raising funding to be able to complete it.”
Cybertech Africa is an Organisation that hosts global annual events that invite very big organisations to attend and exhibit about cybersecurity and Blockchain.