25 April 2024

The Namibia Public Sector Innovation Hackathon: A Showcase of Youth Talent and Potential

Namibia is a country with immense potential for innovation and development, especially in the digital sphere. However, it also faces many challenges, such as improving its public infrastructure, attracting more tourists, and promoting its digital nomad visa program. To address these issues, the Namibia Public Sector Innovation Hackathon was organized by the Co-Creation Hub of Namibia.

The hackathon took place from Thursday the 11th of April 2024 to Saturday the 13th of April 2024, and brought together six groups of young and talented innovators, who had to choose from three themes/tracks: Digital Public Infrastructure in Namibia, Tech-Enabled Tourism for Namibia, and Marketing the Namibia Digital Nomad Visa. The hackathon was a platform for the participants to showcase their creativity, skills, and passion for solving real-world problems, and to receive feedback and mentorship from experts and judges.

The judges for the hackathon were Nrupesh Soni, the founder and owner of Facilit8, a leading innovation and digital transformation consultancy; Professor Attlee Gamundani, the Associate Professor of Cybersecurity at the Namibia University of Science and Technology; and Sonja Coetzer, the Managing Director of Salt Essential Information Technology a technology house that humanizes technology. The judges were given a clear criterion for the judging process, which consisted of six aspects: innovation and creativity, quality and functionality of the solution, impact of the solution, presentation and pitching, feasibility and scalability, and relevance to the theme/track. The judges were impressed by the quality and diversity of the solutions presented by the groups and had a difficult time selecting the winners.

The winners of the hackathon were announced on Saturday the 13th of April 2024, after a rigorous and exciting pitching session.

For the Public Sector track, Guardian AI, presented a machine learning algorithm that classifies structured and unstructured data from documents, i.e. government application forms, by using a data-capturing system that uses optical character recognition (OCR) to streamline data processing. With GuardianAI, organizations can expedite their document processing workflows, optimize resource utilization, and make data-driven decisions with confidence and reliability.

The Guardian AI team: Brito Kandombe, Sherleyn Kandombo, Anna Amon, Tyrone Nashandi

Nam Tours created their solution focused on a Tech-Enabled Tourism industry. They develop a dynamic mobile application designed to offer travelers seamless access to real-time maps and detailed insights into local tourist attractions, accommodations, activities, and small businesses. This app aims to enhance the travel experience by providing comprehensive information and fostering connections between tourists and hidden local gems. Additionally, the platform serves as a valuable showcase for small businesses to promote their offerings and engage with potential customers, thereby contributing to the growth of local economies.

The Nam Tours team: Flavia Shaghala, Thangeni Mathew, Hekima Muhuka, Natalia Hamata

Nomad Visa Marketing was addressed by team, Namad and offered a platform that will streamline the nomad visa application process through digitalization, ensuring ease of access and enhancing transparency. By leveraging innovative strategies, the platform aims to provide comprehensive information about Namibia, seamlessly integrating with existing nomad visa strategies. With user-friendly interfaces and efficient workflows, travelers can navigate the visa application process effortlessly while gaining valuable insights into our country's offerings and attractions.

The Nam Tours team: Andreas Akuumba, Rosalia Helao, Andreas Mbundu

The other three groups also delivered impressive and innovative solutions, which deserve recognition and appreciation.

The Namibia Public Sector Innovation Hackathon was a successful and inspiring event, that demonstrated the talent and potential of Namibia's youth, and their ability to create solutions that can make a positive difference in the country's development and future. The hackathon also provided a valuable opportunity for the participants to network with each other, and with the mentors, judges, and partners, who offered their guidance, support, and feedback. The hackathon was not the end, but the beginning, of a journey of innovation and collaboration, that will hopefully continue and grow. As the author of this blog, and as a judge and a partner of the hackathon, I would like to congratulate and thank all the participants, mentors, judges, and partners, who made this event possible and memorable. I would also like to encourage the Namibian business community, to recognize and appreciate the potential of these young innovators, and to offer them internships and opportunities, where they can further develop their skills, and contribute to the country's digital transformation and prosperity.


Fltr: Prof. Attlee Gamundani (NUST), Jude Adejuwon (CCHUB Nigeria), Sonja Coetzer (Salt), Oluwaseun Adepoju (CCHUB Nigeria), Nrupesh Soni (Facilit8), Efraim Vilho (CCHUB Namibia)

Nam Tours



#TopTechnologyChangingNamibia #Hackathon

Sonja Coetzer - Managing Director



Based in Windhoek, Namibia, Salt Essential IT is one of Africa’s most awarded Microsoft Direct Cloud Solution providers, enabling and supporting clients ranging from small and medium to enterprise.
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