Students of the Centre of Excellence in Logistics and Transport (CEALT) hosted by the University of Djibouti once again emerged winners in the 2023 Hackathon organized by the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF). Represented by a team of five- Mr Aboubaker Yassin Cheik-Frah (MSc Civil Engineering), Mr Kadar Youssouf Ahmed (MSc Civil Engineering), Mr Mohamed Saïd Mahamoud (MSc Electrical and Energy Engineering), Mr Abdi Omar Obsieh (MSc Electrical and Energy Engineering)
Ms Oumoukaltoum Youssouf Ahmed (DUT- Commerce, Option marketing technology), CEALT competed against Universities of Alexandria and Cairo in Egypt, and other universities in Lebanon.
Noting the existing timing and scheduling challenges in the Djibouti public transport system, the CEALT team developed Baskaagi – an AI powered application that tracks and provides real-time bus routes, schedules and delays, while providing tailored planning features.
Baskaagi aims to make life easier for citizens by giving them access to real-time information on bus services and optimising their routes to save users time, while improving their travel experience. In the long term, Baskaagi could be a widely used application across East Africa, benched on cutting-edge technologies to help improve transport infrastructure and create new economic opportunities for the local people.
Baskaagi represents a promising initiative to solve public transport problems in Djibouti and across East Africa, using technological innovation and artificial intelligence to improve the accessibility and efficiency of public transport services.
The Hackathon provided a unique opportunity for the teams to create innovative projects that explored possibilities offered by Artificial Intelligence to respond to key challenges in the priority areas of Logistics and Transport, Health, Economy and Education. The teams were selected following a competitive and rigorous selection process including idea pitching. The selected teams also benefited from training and coaching sessions held to nurture their ideas and potential.
CEALT’s sterling performance at the Hackathon is worthy of note since it is not the centre’s first win. In 2022, the centre’s EcoLAIR project was announced as the winner at the AUF Hackathon. Aimed at promoting waste recycling, the EcoLAIR- an air conditioning system was created from recycled bottles.
CEALT continues provides quality training relevant to producing the next generation of engineers and IT specialists needed to bridge developmental gaps through research and innovations.