University Of Cape Town Team Wins GirlCode Hackathon By Creating Innovative Website

By Peter Pedroncelli Published: August 11, 2017, 5:44 am
The winning University of Cape Town team who won the GirlCode Hackathon. Photo - IOLThe winning University of Cape Town team who won the GirlCode Hackathon. Photo - IOL

An all-women team of students from the University of Cape Town have emerged from the GirlCode Hackathon as winners of the event in Johannesburg, which is staged every year in August.

Four female students from the university’s Information Systems department won the 48-hour challenge thanks to an innovative website called ‘Amava’, which means ‘experience’ in isiXhosa, that is designed to connect volunteers with non-governmental organizations, according to IOL.

The GirlCode Hackathon is a 48-hour non-stop programming challenge that is open to all women who wish to team up with other like-minded individuals to create an innovative website, app or game that aims to address a real world challenge.

August is women’s month in South Africa, and the GirlCode Hackathon has been held in Johannesburg for the last four years in the first week of the month in order to recognize the influence and ability of women in tech.

In winning the challenge, the honors students received the first prize of an all-expenses paid trip to Silicon Valley in the U.S., according to non-profit organization, Girl Code.

GirlCode Hackathon winners aim to solve unemployment

Lorna Nqodi, Fadzai Mupfunya, Kungela Mzuku and Valerie Tshiani formed the winning team, which they called ‘Ruby’. In choosing social welfare as their category, the team aimed to develop a site which would contribute a solution to unemployment for millennials.

Nqodi, one of the students within the winning team, explained that the website connects non-governmental organisations and volunteers in a way that benefits both parties.

“Amava is targeted at unemployed millennials and people who want to upskill themselves. It directly links volunteers with roles that are advertised in the workforce,” said Nqodi, according to ITNewsAfrica.

“These include posts for accounting, engineering and software development that are needed by NGOs that can’t afford to hire these skills. The benefit of using Amava for volunteers is to gain experience and get references that can be used to market themselves to potential employers,” she added.

Fellow team-mate Tshiani expressed her delight at winning, saying that it was an eye-opening victory.

“This experience has given us the confidence to show clearly that we have a lot to bring to the table. As women, we can rise to the top in the tech space,” said Tshiani, according to GoodThingsGuy.

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