Innovative app developers to create digital solutions to some of SA’s unique challenges

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Hundreds of local app developers will participate in the annual MTN Business Hackathon from 6-8 October, with the objective of designing app solutions to solve some of South Africa’s unique social challenges.

From solutions to assist communities in locating critical services from the palm of their hands to developing energy efficiency awareness apps, this 60-hour hackathon hopes to bring a myriad of solutions through the talents and innovation of South Africa’s novice app developers.

In their efforts to develop solutions that will contribute to the future sustainability of the country’s energy and water sectors, the Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA) partners with MTN Business as one of the key sponsors of this year’s MTN Business Hackathon and the MTN Business App of the Year Awards taking place on 9 November.

“There is tremendous potential for digital solutions to address a variety of challenges across a broad range of industries, and EWSETA want to lead the charge in this prestigious annual event that attracts some of the brightest app development minds in the country to create solutions capable of transforming the energy and water sectors,” says Candice Moodley, Corporate Services Executive for EWSETA: “We see the opportunities in South Africa’s energy and water sustainability challenges and aim to find unique solutions to address the socio-economic context. We strive to cultivate and deliver a culture of innovation in the sectors we serve.”

This Hackathon comes at the culmination of the MTN Business App Academy, a 6-week virtual coding programme that takes place annually and sees hundreds of budding developers being tutored by experts on every aspect of app development.

The virtual learning platform drives digital education and innovation across South Africa and prepares future game changers for a career in app development. Encouraging and empowering tech-savvy entrepreneurs around South Africa comes at a time when upskilling the entrepreneurs of tomorrow has never been more important.

MTN Business is no stranger to championing app development in South Africa. 2023 will be the 11th consecutive year of the MTN Business App of the Year Awards, an app development competition celebrating talent and out-of-the-box thinking.

The MTN Business App Academy, Hackathon and annual App of the Year Awards all play a vital role in elevating local entrepreneurs and showcasing exciting new innovations within the ICT industry in South Africa. Enabling future entrepreneurs within the digital space helps in some way to alleviate what has become one of the worst youthunemployment rates in the world and also contributes to an economy that has taken an enormous knock.

“By encouraging young minds to think beyond limitations and supporting them through workshops, mentorship programmes, collaborative engagement, and training programmes, we firmly believe that ideas will come to fruition, innovation will thrive, and solutions will flourish,” adds Moodley.

Hackathon participants will include MTN Business App Academy graduates, budding champions in app development from around the country and talented out-of-the-box thinkers with a passion for creating digital solutions.

Solutions developed will stand a chance of being entered into the annual MTN Business App of the Year Awards for a share R 1 million in prize money.

“As part of the many innovative apps we hope to see, our focus is on solutions to water challenges which will mobilise South Africans and create a generation of ‘water warriors’ that address the preservation, usage and management of this precious resource,” Moodley adds. “We cannot wait to see what innovative genius is hatched at this year’s MTN Business Hackathon in October”.

The 2022 Best Hackathon Solution at the MTN Business App of the Year Awards went to YabiSaba, an innovative booking platform that helps digital nomads discover live-and-work yacht co-working spaces around the world.

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