Over the weekend of 3 and 4 October 2020, Silicon Cape and the US Embassy in South Africa will be hosting a virtual hackathon aimed at finding digital solutions to prevent and  combat GBV in South Africa. Additionally, between Monday, the 5th and Friday, the 9th of October, a bootcamp will be held daily on the Embassy’s Facebook page, comprised of lunchtime talks given by experts in an array of fields. They will be sharing advice on how to bring such solutions to life. The hackathon and bootcamp form part of a year-long initiative by the US Embassy in South Africa called Hackathons for South Africa: Digital Solutions for Real World Challenges.

Emerging software developers, IT professionals, trainers, civil society organisations, students, academics and professionals with expertise relevant to the theme are all invited to attend the hackathon during which they will explore what can be done to make communities safer, investigate how best to respond to threats, and produce tech ideas that could save lives. The winning team will walk away with R25,000, the runner up will receive R15,000 and there will be R5,000 in spot prizes up for grabs.

Anyone can join the bootcamp taking place daily between 13:00 and 14:00 to learn more about topics such as Design ThinkingRapid Prototyping and Taking Your App to Market. Speakers will include Alex Nana-Sinkam, Portfolio Lead, Global Equity at IDEO; Nonhlanhla Mokwena, Executive Director of People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA); and Lathika Pai, Country Head, Microsoft for Startups. On the Friday, all teams taking part in the hackathon will pitch their ideas to the audience and judges. Sunday, the 11th of October will see them delivering their final presentations, after which the winning solution will be selected and a prize giving ceremony will be held.

Silicon Cape Chairperson, Dr Sumarie Roodt says: “Tech has the power to change lives, so why shouldn’t it be applied to solving one of the biggest challenges plaguing South Africa?”