Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition)

Virtual hackathon to boost township economies

- KESHIA AFRICA keshia.africa@inl.co.za

COULD the next Bill Gates who has the tech savvy to drive township economies be right on our shores?

Tech NPO Silicon Cape and the US Embassy in South Africa sure hope so. The organisati­ons will host a virtual hackathon, a bootcamp series and a competitio­n later this month.

The event aims to find digital solutions that will assist in accelerati­ng inclusive economic growth for local businesses in the township economy.

The virtual hackathon will take place over the weekend of June 19 and June 20. Emerging software developers, IT profession­als, students and academics are invited to partake in finding a digital solution to these problem.

Silicon Cape co-chairperso­n Dr Sumarie Roodt said hackathons like these could help bring solutions that could advocate for real change.

She said: “We want to instil hope and would like to upskill all participan­ts with new mental models and frameworks that they could apply to other areas of their working or personal lives. We want to build stronger communitie­s and build a bridge between South Africa and the US.”

The virtual hackathon forms part

We want to instill hope and would like to upskill all participan­ts

for’ of the series Hackathons

South Africa: Digital Solutions for Real World Challenges.

A virtual bootcamp series will be hosted from June 21 to 25. At the series, experts will be sharing advice on how to bring township tech solutions to life.

The bootcamp series will be held on the US consulate Cape Town’s Facebook page between 1pm and 2pm each day. Some of the topics that will be covered include rapid prototypin­g, how to pitch your winning idea and commercial­ising and monetising your prototype, among others. Will Stevens, acting consul-general at the US Consulate in Cape Town, said the hackathon aimed to connect local entreprene­urs in township economies with the skills they need to drive growth, innovation and digital competitiv­eness.

He added: “As South Africa’s top economic partner, the United States is proud to support the incredible economic innovation that is driving South Africa’s post-Covid recovery."

The finale will take place online on Sunday, June 27, where all teams will pitch their ideas to the judges and the best solution will win R25 000. The runners-up will receive R15 000 and R5000.

To sign up, or for more informatio­n see https://www.buildcommu­nityhackat­hons.co.za

 ??  ?? LOCAL tech enthusiast­s are being encouraged to take part in a virtual hackathon.
LOCAL tech enthusiast­s are being encouraged to take part in a virtual hackathon.

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