The ten-day event called on young innovators, tech-bodies, solution designers and service delivery experts to go head-to-head and compete in developing and presenting innovations and ideas that address challenges experienced by the government in service delivery.
“This our way of contributing to public service improvement through citizen-driven innovation. It allows the country to benefit from the creative energies of its young people,” said Ms Josephina Muntuumo, a Computer Science Lecturer in the Faculty of Computing and Informatics (FCI).
The winning teams were all led by female innovators, a remarkable achievement in an industry that is male-dominated. The prizes were as follows:
First Prize (US$5 000) Pro Food Challenge App - a team that developed a multi-stakeholder e-commerce platform
Second Prize (us$3 000) E-passport system - a team that showcased an e-Passport Service for the Ministry of Home Affairs
Third Prize (US$2 000) Traffic Tickets system - a team that created a Traffic Ticket Management System for the Ministry of Safety and Security. The innovators expressed their gratitude to the organisers for acknowledging their hard work. Their solutions will be incubated at a local IT company to provide support to reach sustainable levels of implementation before handing them over to the custodian government offices.
“Through the hackathon, we showcased the talent amidst our young Namibians in improving and digitalising services.
Providing such multi-stakeholder platforms between innovators, NGOs, government agencies and the private sector allows innovation to benefit all citizens,” remarked Ms Marly Samuel, Tech Innovation Coordinator, ICTechHub.
Recently, the Office of the Prime Minister launched the Namibian Public Sector Innovation Policy, which is part of the government’s mission to leverage ICT to solve socio-economic issues. According to Prof Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, a researcher in the FCI, inclusive innovation has been identified as a critical catalyst in the development of Namibia.
“If harnessed and supported, it can create immense value. Innovation will be a key determiner of how we improve the way we deliver services to all our citizens wherever they may be,” she said.