App for teenagers giving answers to tough life questions wins Namibia women’s hackathon


Hot on the heels of other female-exclusive hackathons this publication has covered, the African country of Namibia is getting in on the act with a successful women’s hackathon at the Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII).

The object for the 20 participants, who met up on July 1, was to design a prototype of an application which would “solve local societal challenges” through the NBII Mobile Lab. For the organisers, it was to bring about a forum for women who had been “outnumbered” by their male counterparts during previous hackathons.

The winning team, known as “Be Wise”, developed an application which could be used by teenagers to seek answers to questions they felt uncomfortable asking their parents about, such as sex education, depression, and teenage pregnancy.

Other apps developed included ‘KOKO’, which was a directory of scholarships, grants and job opportunities, as well as the ‘Save a Life’ application, which enables users involved in an accident and who need urgent attention to get in touch with the emergency staff at one push of a button on their phones.

The participants, through sponsors Telecom Namibia, each received various internet facilities and prepaid data bundles. The event, which organiser Leonard Imene expects to run annually, was supported by a coding session offering entry level Android training.

Previous women-only hackathons include Chimehack, which is run by the Gucci-powered Chime for Change and aims to give women a platform to make a difference in education, health, and justice matters, while the Anita Borg Institute (ABI) is teaming up female coders with women from various technology and computer backgrounds across five Indian cities during the month of August.

You can find out more about the NBII hackathon results here.

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