Hack for Earth challenge : Sea Turtle Rescue


Generally speaking, in Africa, we are facing numerous social and economic challenges that can be seen as opportunities to come up with innovative ideas and new solutions.

Technology is offering a great opportunity to contribute to developing countries we belong to and want to live in.

This event is the first action toward launching a data science academy that allows the participants to work on real-life challenges and develop end to end solutions for the common good.

For the past 3 months Sirine and I with the help of other peers, start to develop the curriculum for the academy. Yet, we are making progress but we still need to get more people with us to ensure a high-quality curriculum. Meanwhile, with the help of the ZINDI community, we have decided to start building an offline community so we can get more people involved (who may join the academy as participants or as team members).

About the event

The event aims to develop and strengthen the IA community in Tunisia we are organizing a one-day hackathon to solve a real environmental challenge in an African country.

The event will be held at the Higher School of Communication of Tunis Sup’com, a school of national elites.

The event is open to all university students and professionals that have a passion for solving environmental problems with technology.

The Challenge

The objective of this competition is to create a machine learning model to help non-profit organization Local Ocean Conservation to predict the number of turtles that will be captured at each site each day to help local Ocean prepare better and allocate their human and material resources more efficiently

The challenge will be hosted at the Zindi platform.

About Local Ocean Conservation (LOC) (localocean.co)

LOC is a private, not-for-profit organization committed to the protection of Kenya’s marine environment. LOC supports the communities and coastal areas in Watamu and Diani, Kilifi County with marine conservation and community development projects – centered around a holistic approach to conservation. LOC has been doing marine conservation for over 20yrs.

Event Agenda

Time Activity
08:30 Doors open &Regestration
09:00 Breakfast and networking
09:30 Welcome and Event Intro
10:00 Teams build & Start Competition ( coding)
12:00 Tips from our mentors
13:00 Lunch break
14:00 Tips from our mentors
14:30 Competition(coding)
16:30 Tips from our mentors
18:00 Uploading Final Submissions
19:00 Jury Decision and Awards
20:00 Goodbye drinks


The prizes will be announced soon on the Zindi platform

Number of participants

50 participants


Mentors, mainly data scientists will be available throughout the event for questions to make sure beginners and experts alike will have the help they need to successfully develop their solutions.


The event will be co-organized by

  • Zinidi Ambassadors in Tunis
  • IEEE students brunch sup’com
  • Edgeryders community members in Tunis



Hi and welcome @Meds.jedidi1 and @sirine_bouslama,

I have to say something about this idea really resonated with me. You guys are based in Tunis, right?
Am curious as to how/what support you would need help with in the run up to, during and after the hackathon.

Also - where does this come from, why did you start working on this issue as opposed to other ones?


Hello, @nadia thank you for your kind welcome!

I have been experiencing the old version of the community calls with Hazem and Zmorda last year when I was about to launch a crazy idea. Their inputs were super helpful for me to refine my career path at that time.

The challenge idea comes from our partner ZINDI. As you may know when it comes to data science fields, we have to check first the availability of the data.

Our main purpose is to showcase that it is possible to solve social-environmental problems using data science and we are looking for the best use-case. This why we have chosen to use the data collected by Ocean order to rescue sea turtles.

However, in Tunisia, we have useful available data but unfortunately it’s not public so we need to be a more structured community so government and NGOs can trust us and make their data available for next competitions or other uses.

For the data science academy, @Meds.jedidi1 and I have been participating as mentors on the ML study jam organized by Google and Instadeep. During the training sessions we had been in touch with young people and even professionals having a hunger for knowledge.

We have concluded that attending different online available courses is not enough to succeed in one’s professional transition or get an internship in this new field. Multiple reasons may cause that. first of all, having access to a high quality training courses is costly and most of the cases not affordable (you have to pay in USD, not in TND). Second, they need to practise with experts and coaches on real-word messy datasets and have the experience to solve different problems using AI.

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Hello Nadia! Nice to finally e meet you on the platform :slight_smile:
The curriculum we are developing will be open-source so anyone can contribute and being part of the Edgeryders community members may give us more exposure and meet like-minded people. ( AI is one of the fields you are showing interest to through Edgeryders annual festival, so potentially we can get introduced to other community members who share our vision).
@sirine_bouslama and I are planning to launch a spring camp on late March first April . The calendar is not set yet but the objective is quite clear: Allow young Tunisian engineers and talents to meet IA africain leader to break the stereotapes and to gain self confidence.
It would be great to make it open to the same target from Morroco or other african countries.
We start draft a proposal and we are curretly working to identify potential partenrs ,So if we can be part of one of the current projects you are working on , it will be great.

Hello @sirine_bouslama and @Meds.jedidi1 !
Thank you for interest and for this ambitious project and to all who have contributed to this great work.
We’re currently in the process of evaluating the proposals. Our community manager will get back to you in a few days. Keep up the good work!

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hello, I missed a really important point during our call due to connection problems so I want to make sure everything is clear concerning our next steps.

We already had the Zindi Approval to host the competition in their platform. Considering that the competition is public and anyone can participate, we have to commit that the prizes will be only attributed to the offline hackathon participants. In the next few days, we will meet the local organizers to discuss better the logistics within the IEEE sup com student brunch, which will be the local organizers.

From our side, @Meds.jedidi1 and I will inspect the data provided by the NGO and create the train and test data set as well as defining the evaluation metric / model baseline.
Then we will start our communication campaign.

@noemi :slight_smile: during ourlast online Lab @sirine_bouslama suggested to go green and organize an eco-friendly AI - Hackathon, end of November in Tunis.
According to your experimentations in the reef house, How could we reduce the plastic waste during an event ( Which is the best alternative to a plastic water bottle in this kind of event?)