JOHANNESBURG – Software developers from South Africa and Zimbabwe clinched the top prize at the Empire Partner Foundation Africa Public Administration Virtual Hackathon held in Johannesburg recently.
The event brought together 200 programmers from across Africa to find solutions that enable efficient government administration.
The Empire Partner Foundation and the Africa Inculator Community (AIC) headquartered in Johannesburg hosted the event with the former providing the funding.
Mighty Pythons made up of participants from South and Zimbabwe emerged overall winners for their solution Engage – an open communication platform that connects the public with municipalities and local departments.
“It is different from an ordinary municipality website because it allows for real-time active citizen participation; citizens can ask questions, report corruption, follow projects, and numerous other functionalities,” said Itumeleng Langa, Mighty Pythons team leader.
She added, “My team and I are really appreciative to everyone who contributed to the success of this competition.
“We hope that our achievement will motivate and encourage more young people to take action.
“We, as the youth, have the ability and potential to develop and create solutions to today’s most pressing challenges.”
Empire Partner Foundation said ICT plays an important role in every sphere of government, whether in policy making or implementation, to provide citizens with services instantaneously.
Mighty Pythons will now join the Empire Partner Foundation Incubation Hub where it will receive support to become technopreneurs in bringing their solution to life.
The team also won R12,000 from its achievements.
TechSquad and Killer Crocs came second and third, collecting R8,000 and R5,000 respectively.
“It is a privilege to witness our youth being part of the solution to our most pressing socio-economic challenges.
“Africa has a wealth of young talent, let us continue to support them with the platforms to showcase their talents.
“Mighty Pythons are a strong and bright team of young men, let us support their tech solution to improve the living conditions of our communities within the sphere of transparent and effective public administration,” said Jasmine Mokwena, Empire Partner Foundation’s Hackathon and Marketing coordinator.
Pius Illah, founder of Africa Inculator Community, also said, “Technology brings that ability for leapfrogging to happen quickly. “
“It brings that ability for transparency and visibility and traceability in terms of how public resources are allocated.
“It also brings a different kind of enabler for a critical mass of people who are previously disenfranchised; people in the bottom of the pyramid economy to be able to contribute to the mainstream economy.”