Monday, May 17, 2021

GovApp Hackathon invites you to compete

Botswana’s tech savvy youth are set to compete for a P100 000 grand prize at government mobile GovApp Hackathon challenge to develop a national mobile application to assist citizens to access services from their mobile phones.

The competition, which is set to begin next week Monday, is described as SmartBots – a government initiative under the Digital Implementation Strategy. 

The challenge targets citizens aged between 18 and 35 years to participate in teams made up of 3-5 people to create a mobile Gov App can run both on Android and IOS phones.

Implementation of the Digital Transformation/4IR Strategy or SmartBots was approved by cabinet in February 2020 and kick-started in October 2020. The strategy drives the digitization of the public sector and drives Botswana towards a knowledge-based economy.

It is aligned to the Presidential Transformation Agenda and using Information and Communications Technologies as the driver for economic development and diversification.

Registration for the mobile Gov App hackathon challenge opened on the 8th January and will close on the 15th of this month to pave way for the challenge which will run from the 18th -21st January 2021. The hackathon will be held virtual.

Upon completion, the mobile App should allow citizens to access government services online from their mobile phones. The hackathon will assist Botswana to be among world leaders in the development of digital services for the public sector as it enables innovative spaces for co-creation.

Recently the 2020 Affordability Report highlights that effective National Broadband Plans are essential to providing conditions for internet prices to decline and bringing down cost of internet access.

In the past five years data policy and prices are said to be trending in the right direction, mobile broadband has become more affordable, and Affordability Drivers Index (ADI) scores have risen in most countries across all three regions studied namely Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, and the Asia-Pacific region thus signalling improvement in broadband policies.

But progress remains too slow. As the world considers how to build back from the COVID crisis, the report calls for governments to prioritise meaningful connectivity and develop effective national broadband plans that drive investment and enhance internet affordability.

The Affordability Report is an annual report produced by the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), a 100+ member global coalition hosted by the Web Foundation.  It represents an ongoing effort to understand why some countries have succeeded in making internet access more affordable, accessible and universal, and what others can do to catch up quickly.

This year’s report examines the state of government policy to bring down broadband costs across 72 low- and middle-income countries. The report also assembled a catalogue of currently-enforced national broadband plans across the 72 countries in this year’s study with Botswana’s National Broadband Strategy being a part of it.

National broadband plans help set out roles and, through that clarity, can create new efficiencies and collaborations to accelerate greater access and affordability.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper