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Gauteng’s e-government readies for virtual hackathon

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Gauteng’s Department of e-Government, in partnership with Microsoft, is gearing up to host hackers and developers that will participate in its social good virtual hackathon.

The artificial intelligence (AI) hackathon for social good, also known as GovHack, will take place online on 10 and 11 February.

The department says GovHack aims to facilitate the creation of innovative prototypes to leverage AI and machine learning services in Microsoft’s Azure cloud to assist government to deliver smart services as well as promote the advancement of youth, women, people with disabilities and SMMEs

According to the department, it is looking for ideas that will help solve challenges in communities, high-tech or low-tech solutions, as well as ideas that capture solutions of the future.

Head of department Cyril Baloyi, a former developer, says the initiative will provide youth with the opportunity to showcase their skills, with government paving the direction for citizens in the future of AI and advancing the Gauteng provincial 4IR strategy.

Gauteng MEC of finance and e-government Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko says GovHack is an intensive competition of brainstorming, computer programming, engineering and innovative thinking that draws together the talent and creativity of people from different disciplines.

“It provides a unique environment for learning and experimentation,” says Nkomo-Ralehoko. “We know there are a lot of exciting innovators out there who can help government come up with great ideas to help us deliver our services better. We are therefore giving them a chance in a highly innovative platform to show us.”

The department states GovHack is a “great opportunity” for veterans and newcomers to the Azure cloud computing service to showcase their talents and build something innovative.

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