The West and Central African Research and Education Network WACREN collaborated with Eko-Konnect, Sci-GaIA, the Lagos State University and AfricaConnect2 to organize a 10­day WACREN eResearch Hackfest in Lagos, Nigeria from 21-30 November 2016.

The objective was to develop capacity in the region’s researchers and developers to promote open and reproducible science. Using tools that are typically utilised in developing Science Gateways, the hackfest brought researchers and software developers together for 10 days to develop prototype applications and integrate to science gateways to allow the respective communities of practice of the researchers to benefit by having easier access to the research applications and enhance collaborative research. Of the 23 selected applicants, 21 participated in the event.

The training sessions were very interactive with remote training facilitation support from Roberto Barbara of the University of Catania via skype. The event was unique in that participants were given the opportunity to immediately apply the knowledge and skills acquired. On days 1&2 of the hackfest, the training facilitators introduced the technologies to the participants. On day 3, participants introduced their use cases and the tools they would use for implementation. From days 4 to 10, participants implemented their uses cases with guidance from the training facilitators.

The hackfest was an outstanding success! All 13 use case prototypes were implemented. Participants created github and federated identity accounts to allow continued development of their use case applications and communications with each other and trainers beyond the hackfest. The fully developed use case applications will finally be hosted by the WACREN and Eko-Konnect cloud pilot infrastructure currently being developed to be available by the end of March 2017.