The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa hosted the Fifth Hackathon as part of its Ethiopia Hacks! Program. Participants were challenged to develop technological solutions to support the Addis Ababa river basin restoration project.
To help participants get started, the U.S. Embassy brought U.S. expert Dr. Melinda Laturi, Professor of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability Director at Colorado State University to share her experience using technological solutions to clean rivers and keep them clean, According to a statement from US Embassy.
Addis Ababa Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Protection and Green Development Commission- Gutama Moroda also addressed participants.
At the end of the program, each team presented their concepts to a panel four judges to compete for first, second, and third place prizes. The first place team was Team Blue, a group from HiLCoE- School of Computer Science and Technology.
Team Blue’s solution would use web-based data collection with the Telegram application, which can share GPS information from where the data/information about a river is sent. The application accepts text and pictures about the river, which could be used to help target interventions and protect the river from pollution.
Ethiopia Hacks! Is conducted in partnership with the Google Developers Group (GDG- Addis) and the Centre for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment (CAWEE). Each hackathon invites ten teams of five young coders to invent technological solutions to challenges in Ethiopia.
By supporting and developing an eco-system that promotes innovation, and technology, the U.S. Embassy is investing in the capacity of Ethiopians to shape their future, reads the statement.
In total, the Ethiopia Hacks! Program will invest in the capacity of 600 tech-savvy youth, over the course of 12 Hackathons. Funding is provided jointly by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).