The United States Embassy in Kampala has announced a call for participants for Zoohackathon 2021, a competition where technology and conservation enthusiasts come together to formulate innovative technological solutions to a critical wildlife conservation challenge.
Zoohackathon Uganda is co-organized by the U.S. Embassy and the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre (UWEC) in Entebbe with support from the Uganda Wildlife Authority as well as Simplifi Networks and Marsh Insurance.
“Zoohackathon is part of the United States’ commitment to help preserve Uganda’s biodiversity and identify innovative solutions to today’s pressing challenges. I encourage young Ugandan leaders to help protect Uganda’s amazing wildlife by participating in Zoohackathon,” Ambassador Natalie E. Brown said.
From November 12-14, university students, coders, scientists, and wildlife enthusiasts will collaborate to create software solutions for real wildlife conservation problems, such as wildlife trafficking or species extinction. Participants will also engage in a professional development Bootcamp, where they will learn the core skills necessary to succeed in the competition, such as pitching, creative problem solving, and effective teamwork.
Professional mentors with expertise in coding, technological innovation, and wildlife conservation will support participants in the development of their solutions.
A panel of expert judges will determine the competition’s first, second, and third place winners on November 14, each of whom will receive a cash prize and the chance for their solution to be entered in the global Zoohackathon competition. The event is limited to 50 participants and registration will close on November 2nd or when capacity is reached. For more information and to register for Zoohackthan 2021, go to ugzoohackathon2021.eventbrite.com.
This year, a total of nine virtual and in-person Zoohackathon events will take place across the world in October and November. Four of those events will be held in Africa: Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of the Congo, and Uganda. The 2020 global Zoohackathon winner was BioUp, an app for enforcement officials that uses blockchain technology to verify whether animals come from legal breeding sites based on a license or band number.