UAE teams celebrates their win at the awards ceremony at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination

Abu Dhabi: The Global IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities 2023 (GITC 2023), taking place in the Middle East and North Africa region for the first time, concluded with the UAE team winning the first prize for eCreative IoT challenge.

After two days of competition at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi, the award ceremony recognised winners in six challenge categories celebrating 36 individuals, 12 teams, and five special winners.

Five special awards were presented, including the Global Technology Leader Award 2023, which was awarded to Muhammad Nazir Danesh from Malaysia.

Marian Sharifa from Kenya and Elias Bobe from Ethiopia were honored with the Super Challenger awards.

Participants from Malaysia won a total of 19 awards in various individual competition categories. Additionally, contribution awards were given to the Philippines and the Malaysia team.

During the awards ceremony, Asaad Hawas Al Sadid, director of the Project Management Office at the Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination, praised the Challenge that brought together 536 participants from 18 countries. Among them, 461 young men and women between the ages of 14 and 23 participated, alongside 75 dedicated supervisors, including government experts in the field of disabilities from the participating countries.

Asaad Hawas Al Sadid Image Credit: Supplied

In his speech during the award ceremony, he said: “We must recognise that people of determination possess unique abilities, talents, and goals that enable them to confront the challenges they face. We must support their rights to equal opportunities and privileges, just like everyone else.”

He also called for improvement, innovation, and collaborative efforts to enhance the usability and effectiveness of assistive technology.

What were the challenges?

The Grand Finale of GITC 2023 unfolded over two exhilarating days on October 25 and 26, featuring a series of competitions. The first day brought forth two contests: “eCreative Smart Car,” which assessed participants’ self-driving car programming skills using the Scratch program, and “eContent,” where participants displayed their creativity by creating and editing videos on specific topics.

The second day presented four more challenges: “eToolPpt” evaluated presentation slide creation and editing skills, “eTool Excel” assessed proficiency in data functions, calculations, and editing under specific conditions, “eLifeMap” measured the ability to use the internet to address everyday life challenges, and “eCreativeIOT” assessed the ability to improve the lives of people with disabilities through IT or innovative ideas.