US embassy Cape Town hackathon to seek tech solutions for gender-based violence

Featured image: via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The US Embassy in South Africa will on 23 and 24 November hold a hackathon in Cape Town focused on create innovative digital solutions to the problem of gender-based violence.

The winning team at the hackathon, which will be held at the EY offices at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, will walk away with R25 000.

The runner up will receive R15 000 and there will be R5000 in spot prizes up for grabs. The hackathon is open to emerging software developers, IT professionals, trainers, civil society organisations, students, academics and professionals.

The event is the first of four that will be held in Cape Town and Johannesburg over the next 12 months

It is the first of four hackathons that will be held in Cape Town and Johannesburg over the next 12 months as part of the embassy’s Hackathons for South Africa: Digital Solutions for Real World Challenges initiative.

During the hackathon, attendees will explore what can be done to make communities safer, investigate how best to respond to threats, and produce tech that could save lives.

Implementing partner Silicon Cape will connect the winner with accelerators, mentors and other relevant community members such as developers, angel investors and venture capitalists that can help bring their solution to life.

Amazon Web Services will also give the winning team access to the low cost, easy-to-use infrastructure needed to scale and grow via the AWS Activate programme.

The programme includes benefits like $10 000 worth of AWS Promotional Credits, which are valid for two years, AWS Business Support valued at $5 000 which is valid for up to one year and a solution architect technical whiteboarding session.

Deputy consul general at the US consulate in Cape Town Will Stevens said in a statement on Monday (4 November) that the scourge of gender-based violence is something that affects communities in both South Africa and the US.

“By bringing together South African and American civic activists, coders, and creatives, we believe that this hackathon will offer real solutions to help tackle the problem in both our societies,” added Stevens.

Silicon Cape chairperson Sumarie Roodt said through these hackathons, it hopes to bring to the fore real solutions that could help people to either change their reality or perception for the better.

“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.

“Most importantly, we want to build stronger communities and build a bridge between South Africa and the USA,” added Roodt.

Featured image: via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)



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