Hackathon seeking out local talent

—Public Telecommunications Ministry anticipates taking Hackathon countrywide

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, November 30, 2019

The Hackathon competition has proved successful in providing digital solutions to societal problems since its birth in 2017.  Since then, scores of young people have benefited from Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training.

As Day 2 of this year’s competition unfolded Lance Hinds, Ministerial Advisor, Information Technology told the Department of Public Information that the event is part of a wider group of activities aimed at using ICT for the promotion of development in Guyana.

“We have been looking at how we can nurture the growth of ICT as a separate private sector component that would create jobs, revenue, wealth creation and also contribute to the economy,” he said.

Hinds added that training and identifying existing talent is at the forefront of the Ministry’s mandate to create a strong corps of ICT-learned youths who can be the movers and shapers of technology growth locally.

“The hackathons we’ve been hosting now…the objective of that is talent spotting, [to] see what talent is out there, [and] what kind of skills they bring to the table,” he noted.

Additionally, Hinds explained that a team usually picks a topical issue in need of a digital solution based on the trends in society. The Ministry, he said, will help the participants to take their skills and products and market them efficiently.

Their prototypes may be monetized after networking and identifying an agency who may have a particular need for the prototype created after the gruelling 48-hour software development battle.

Hinds further stated that expanding the hackathon into a national event by taking it to several Regions is something the Ministry is looking into as the event expands and progresses.

Hackathon 2019 places strong significance on citizen participation in reporting crime with special emphasis on Domestic Violence.

“How you get your average citizen involved in reporting things that don’t look right. [Violence or crime] that is seen anywhere should be reported. What the app is supposed to do is route [the report] to either r the police or the Ministry of Social Protection and there are going to be people there who are going to respond in some form,” Hinds explained.

As the Government continues to enhance Guyana’s technological capacity and infrastructure, the Ministry will continue to do its part to foster the use of ICT as a tool for national development, creativity, innovation.

Themed “Hack for a digital solution” this year’s competition runs from November 29 to December 1, 2019, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

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