As an Agency established to drive innovation in Botswana, Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) is proud to continue to use its expertise in organising hackathons. BIH partnered with the Kalahari Conservation Society and the Embassy of the United States of America to deliver a ZooHackathon on the 8-9 November 2019.
Zoohackathon is a computer coding and technology intensive event that brings together a sizeable number of creative experts from the technology community to develop innovative solutions software applications, systems and other technology tools to help combat national and international poaching and wildlife trafficking.
BIH is instrumental in the Zoohackathon activity by providing technical expertise including setting up digital registration, developing terms of reference for the participants, mentorship of the teams during and after the event. As a centre for Innovation, BIH also played host to the Zoohackathon activity. BIH regards hackathons as part of a comprehensive innovation process. At the end of the activity, participants would have built a platform for addressing the recurrent illegal wildlife trade issues. This is an apt way to harness the power of information communication technology to develop usable solutions to problems in relation to Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT).
ICT is one of the BIH focus sectors underpinning its mandate as it is a key driver in the transformation of Botswana towards a digital economy and the creation of job opportunities. “We are happy to offer our expertise because it is aligned to our purpose of driving the innovation agenda in Botswana through provision of technical guidance and provision of conducive environment for innovative initiatives such as hackathons. We are happy to continue to be a linkage between problem solvers “innovators” and the industry” said BIH CEO, Alan Boshwaen.
The winning pitch by team Hangers was awarded USD 3,500.00 prize money and stand in line to compete with other Zoohackathon solutions in Washington, D.C. The second prize of USD 1, 000.00 was scooped by team Strawberry and the third prize of USD 500 went to team Omniscient Eye. The prototype developed by team Hangers will further be developed and be adopted for use hence empowering our communities to combat wildlife trafficking.