Pangaea X Cote d Ivoire Hackathon | MSC Foundation

03 JUNE 2024

Pangaea X Côte d'Ivoire Hackathon kick-starts young champions of sustainable innovation

The first Pangaea X Hackathon promoting sustainable innovation announced its three prize-winners in Assinie, Côte d'Ivoire on 1 June 2024. The success of this collaborative initiative by MSC Foundation, Africa Global Logistics (AGL) and the Horn Foundation sets a significant new milestone for sustainable innovation in the blue and green economic sectors in Africa, spotlighting young Ivorians' talent and creativity.

Focus Area: Environmental Conservation & Education


An Enthusiastic Response and Rigorous Selection Process

The Pangaea X Côte d'Ivoire Hackathon attracted 314 participants in 91 teams, each of two to four young Ivorians dedicated to sustainable innovation in the green or blue economic sectors. Impressively, the participant pool was 54% women and 46% men, demonstrating the balance and inclusivity of Ivorian youth’s commitment to environmental challenges.

The rigorous evaluation and selection process by a panel of experts from AGL, the Horn Foundation and the MSC Foundation was designed to ensure the most promising, innovative but also feasible projects received the recognition and support they deserve. The three partners jointly announced the 10 Hackathon finalists on 24 May 2024. Here they are in alphabetical order:

  • GrennCulturaTech: Information on climate change
  • Impact Ladies: Recycling and sustainable rewards
  • Ivoiregreengenius: Advanced recycling centre
  • Ivoire Straw: Biodegradable straw packaging
  • J2K: VR mangrove conservation game
  • MEDEV: Flood crisis management
  • PLANT-AIR: Organic urban agriculture
  • READY: Composting food waste
  • Siboré: Banana fibres for aesthetics
  • TANEBITO: PET recycling and recovery

The Grand Finale

The Hackathon Grand Finale took place in Assinie, Côte d'Ivoire from 30 May to 1 June 2024. Over these three days, the finalists worked intensively to refine their project ideas before the event culminated in a series of pitches to the distinguished jury, made up of:

  • Annika Horn, Founder of Horn Foundation
  • Asta-Rosa Cissé, Regional Director of AGL (Côte d'Ivoire-Burkina Faso)
  • Fabrice Sawegnon, CEO of Voodoo Group and Hackathon Ambassador
  • Florence Tahiri Fadika, Technical Advisor to the Ivorian Ministry of Digital Transition and Digitalisation
  • Marina Anselme, Secretary General of MSC Foundation
  • Pauline Mocchi, Head of Partnerships at UNICEF Côte d'Ivoire

And the Winner Is...

The innovative Ivoire Straw project spearheaded by Marcelle You and Leteneminni Fofana emerged victorious. Their project focuses on creating biodegradable packaging from rice straw, a novel approach based on the circular economy (from the collection of rice waste, to the rice-bags available in supermarkets and shops) to reducing environmental impact. The jury unanimously recognised the ingenuity and potential of their solution.

As winners, Marcelle and Leteneminni will benefit from an incubation programme at Pangaea X in Europe, together with an  two training-trips to Lausanne in Switzerland and to Paris, in France, and the opportunity to receive a €20,000 grant to further develop their project (equivalent to approximately 13 million Francs of the Financial Community of Africa).

Special Prizes Scale the Impact

The Hackathon also awarded two special prizes.

Siboré team, led by two motivated young women, transforms banana fibers into aesthetic products using a circular economy approach. Their project, offering high-quality, eco-friendly alternatives to synthetic hair extensions and wigs, won the MSC Foundation Special Prize with a grant for further training and to implement its project.

AGL presented its "Coup de Coeur" prize to the MEDEV team for their flood crisis management app. This brings them access to the incubation programme at Yiri, AGL’s innovation centre in Abidjan, where MEDEV will receive tailored support to create  and test their business plan and turn  into a viable enterprise.

Empowering Young Talent and Sustainability

The Pangaea X Côte d'Ivoire Hackathon implemented by Horn Foundation, and supported by MSC Foundation and AGL , aims to spotlight and support young Ivorian talent eager to develop innovative projects that contribute to environmental protection while allowing them to make a decent living. The initiative has been designed not only to focus attention on the importance of sustainable innovation but also to foster a community of young entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills to make a significant impact. The success of this first Hackathon highlights the critical role of collaborative institutional efforts in driving local sustainable development led by young people.

The MSC Foundation is committed to supporting this and similar initiatives that empower young innovators and promote environmental sustainability.