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Press Release.

Tamkeen announced on December 5, 2020 that it is hosting a region-wide MENA Hackathon from the 5th to 7th of January 2021, in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and with the support of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and Etijah Coaching and Consulting Services.

The virtual hackathon invites high school students ages 14-18, and university students and fresh graduates ages 18-25, to innovate cloud-based solutions for challenges in the health care, tourism, and smart cities sectors. Applications are already open and can be submitted through, for teams of 3-5 people. 

With the support of mentors, shortlisted teams will be tasked with delivering prototypes on AWS over a period of 48 hours, leveraging AWS’s advanced cloud technologies to come up with solutions to some of the most pressing challenges faced by the health care, tourism, and smart cities sectors in the Middle East. Upon the conclusion of the hackathon, each team will present their prototypes to a panel of judges, comprised of representatives from both the public and private sectors.

The winning teams from each sector will be announced on the same day, and will receive a range of exciting AWS sponsored prizes, including mentoring sessions, award plaques, and certificates. The provision of all resources including prototype and application development support is facilitated by the AWS Cloud Innovation Centers in Bahrain.

To prepare the teams for the hackathon, two online training days will be held on the 3rd and 4th of January 2021, giving participants the opportunity to better understand the requirements of the hackathon, and have their questions answered through workshops and informal meetings. 

On the occasion of this collaborative initiative, Mr. Esam Hammad, Partnership and Customer Engagement Director at Tamkeen, said “The regional hackathon provides a unique opportunity for participants to exercise their innovative and creative skills while putting them into action, especially since the Kingdom’s direction is heading towards digital transformation. The hackathon will enable participants to pitch their ideas and creative solutions to help develop Bahrain’s sectors in tourism, urban infrastructure, and health care, which this year has proven its necessity for innovation and flexibility. This also goes in line with our objectives at Tamkeen of empowering aspiring entrepreneurs and supporting their sustainable ideas.” 

This uniquely interactive event was also praised by Dr Khalid Al Mutawah Director of Governance and Enterprise Architecture at the Bahrain’s Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) who said, “Visionary events such as the MENA Hackathon will encourage the youth across the MENA region to overcome challenges and come up with solutions that have the potential to improve the quality of life of citizens and promote sustainability in Bahrain and the region.”

Nidal Al Basha, Digital Innovation Leader, Cloud Innovation Centers, AWS, Middle East and North Africa, said, “We are excited to be collaborating with Tamkeen in launching this hackathon and engaging young talent to solve some of the region’s challenges with AWS cloud technologies. By extending the resources of the Cloud Innovation Centers, participants will get expert mentoring, acquire new skills, and learn about the limitless opportunities to innovate on the cloud.” 

Registration for the MENA Hackathon is now open, and will close on December 26, 2020.