Samsung and the United Nations launch a regional hackathon to support efforts to combat climate change on the sidelines of COP28

Samsung Electronics Middle East and North Africa, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, announced the organization of a regional hackathon titled “ACT28 AI for Climate” to support efforts to combat climate change and promote sustainable development.

This initiative aims to leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning, mobile phones, and other leading technologies to provide innovative solutions to climate change challenges.

The event was announced during a high-level dialogue session that brought together officials from Samsung and the United Nations Development Programme as part of their participation in the Conference of the Parties (COP28).

Participants in the session included Omar Sahab, Chief Executive Officer of Marketing at Samsung Middle East and North Africa; Alessandro Fracassetti, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in the Arab Republic of Egypt; and Nora Altuwayjri, a young leader in the UNDP/Samsung “Generation 17” program from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

During the session, participants discussed the challenges and opportunities faced by young entrepreneurs in the climate technology sector, as well as the role of the sector in creating job opportunities for youth.

They also delved into Samsung’s initiatives in developing green and sustainable technology and investing in these areas.

Alessandro Fracassetti, the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in the Arab Republic of Egypt, stated, “The UNDP supports innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives led by youth in the climate technology sector, which is essential for achieving sustainable development goals.

We believe in the role and importance of youth in providing solutions to support climate efforts, given their finely honed creative skills in the technology field.

Today, ACT28 AI for Climate, the joint activity with Samsung, serves as an excellent platform for the youth in the Middle East and North Africa to showcase their creativity and skills in creating advanced solutions for addressing one of the most significant challenges of our time.”

Omar Sahab, Chief Executive Officer of Marketing at Samsung Middle East and North Africa, emphasized Samsung’s commitment to protecting the planet and the climate. He expressed pleasure in collaborating with the United Nations Development Programme to inspire the next generation of enthusiastic leaders to support environmental causes.

The hackathon and Samsung’s participation in COP28 were seen as supporting the youth in the region and encouraging them to acquire technological knowledge to explore sustainable solutions for global issues.

The “ACT28 AI for Climate” hackathon follows the success of the climate hackathon announced during COP27 held in Egypt in 2022. The event presents a challenge for emerging data scientists, artificial intelligence engineers, and AI researchers from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey to collaborate, exchange ideas, and develop advanced solutions in three areas: climate action, life underwater, and life on land.

Participants in the hackathon can employ various advanced technologies in their prototypes, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning for data-driven solutions, real-time monitoring using the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain technology for transparent climate finance systems, data analysis and visualization for actionable insights, and geospatial technologies for location-based applications.

The hackathon will also encourage participants to develop mobile-based solutions to enhance communication and user-friendliness.

This technology-driven approach aims to support transformative solutions that are central to addressing climate change and promoting sustainable practices.

The teams will benefit from guidance and support from mentors such as Nora Altuwayjri and Uğur Ergen, another young leader in the “Generation 17” program from Turkey, who have expertise in various areas, including artificial intelligence, mobile phone technologies, climate change, and sustainable development. Workshops on artificial intelligence, climate change, and mobile phone technologies will also be organized to provide participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to develop effective solutions.

The hackathon will conclude with a demo day, where the top 10 teams will present their solutions and innovations to a broader audience, including sector experts, investors, and policymakers.

The top three teams will be invited to Samsung’s headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to attend the award ceremony in person.

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