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Winners of #NamibiaHacksCovid19 hackathon announced

Winners of #NamibiaHacksCovid19 hackathon announced

StartUp Namibia’s 54-hour Hackathon was a success as it managed to host a total of 108 teams in the online event which focused on finding solutions to support the health system and businesses amid COVID-19.

Over 400 participants worked on solutions and submitted 52 prototypes for assessment to the judges. The judges included Kehad Snydelwel of Green Enterprise Solutions, Kirstin Wiedow of Greentec Capital, Daisry Mathias of the Office of the President and Anna Vambe of Germany’s GIZ, representing StartUp Namibia.

The teams were represented by people from the tech sector, interdisciplinary teams, developer communities, university students, health professionals and businesses. “The best and the brightest of Namibia have amply demonstrated that they have the talent and drive to create implementable solutions and that pleases us as Green,” Snydewel said.

In the Health Solutions category, the overall winner was the Onandete team with their ‘Covid-19 Self-Reporting Online Consulting Portal’ initiative. Onandete proposes a platform to speed up efforts to detect possible cases and assist the authorities in identifying persons who should be tested. They walked away with a cash prize of N$50,000. The second prize was taken by AwehDoctors from the Team Mad Engineers, who offer a solution to doctors to treat patients telephonically for minor issues. By doing so, the number of patients at public hospitals and clinics is reduced, and the risk of infection is decreased. The second prize was worth N$25,000. The third prize and N$15,000 went to Ergo Analytics, who offer a solution to improve contact tracing through technology, and therefore reducing the risk of new waves of Covid-19 infections after the Government lifts the lockdown.

In the Business Continuity Solution’s category, the overall winner was Namgo, a solution to improve goods deliveries during the time of Covid-19, winning N$50,000. The second prize went to Life Changers who developed a messenger mobile application called Run Me an Errand. Using an SMS line, it connects businesses with buyers. The second prize is worth N$25,000. The third prize went to HoverMarket, an e-commerce mall connecting informal vendors as well as taxi drivers to customers. The team walked away with a cash prize of N$15,000.

“Participating as a judge and a mentor I had no idea what to expect really, however the level of ingenuity and real commitment by the teams amazed me and made me proud of my fellow Namibians,” Daisry Mathias from the Office of the President said.

The winning teams will be given tools to develop their concepts and mentoring by companies like Green Enterprise Solutions and Dololo Namibia. Namibia should see implementation of the ideas and concepts into real tangible solutions within weeks.

“I am inspired by this initiative which brought together great minds from all walks of life to come up with innovative ideas to fight Covid-19 in Namibia. This is not a time to sit around and be idle, but to develop new solutions to address the challenge posed by the virus,” Ellen Gölz, Chargée d’ Affaires at the German Embassy noted.

The hackathon which ran from 17 to 19 April was created through a partnership by GIZ on behalf of the German Government and Namibia’s Ministry of Industrialization and Trade as well as the Ministry of Health, Green Enterprise Solutions and Dololo Namibia.

Caption: Participants of the COVID-19 Hackathon.


About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys