MTN invites innovators to participate in TADHack Johannesburg

Are you passionate about solving Africa’s pressing challenges using the latest, cutting-edge technologies? If you are an enthusiastic problem-solver, MTN is inviting you to register to participate in the Telecom Application Developer Hackathon (TADHack) challenge, which will take place from 13 to 14 October 2018 at MTN Head Office in Johannesburg.

TADHack is one of the world’s most exciting hackathons that helps people learn more about the latest Internet, IT, and Telecoms technologies, and how these technologies can be practically applied to solve problems.

 “As the host of TADHack Johannesburg, MTN is proud to host some of South Africa’s most promising creative talent in South Africa. The inaugural TADHack Johannesburg was held in 2016, in which over 100 participants participated, and this year’s event is expected to have a larger turnout due to an increase in public interest,” said Yusuf Kaka, General Manager: Digital Innovation at MTN.

The winner of this year’s TADHack will walk away with US$1000 in prize money and participants can enter as a team or individuals. TADHack Johannesburg forms part of TADHack Global, which will run across 20 to 30 cities around the world on 13 and 14October 2018.

 “The essence of the challenge is about bringing people together over a weekend to collaborate on solving real-world problems. TADHack Johannesburg is open to everyone - from web developers, coders, to non-coders (students, graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, product managers, IT managers, and other interested individuals).

Past hackathons brought up impressive ideas and solutions in various tech spaces, including programmable telecoms (voice, video, messaging), internet of things (IoT), cloud computing and robotics. This year we hope to add more exponential technologies into the mix including AI, Blockchain and VR.

Over the years, most of collaborations at TADHack Global were software-related, but occasionally participants have come up with hardware hacks, the most noteworthy of which was a dancing robot.

“The biggest takeout from TADHack Johannesburg 2016 was that the South African developer community is well versed in the latest technologies and leading the way to a brighter digital world for ordinary South Africans by applying these to real-world challenges. This indicates that we don’t always have to import ideas from other countries. We have the ability to produce local ideas that can be monetised and exported internationally. Since the challenge is global, South African participants will receive global exposure, which could help them break into international markets,” said Kaka.

The overall winner of TADHack Johannesburg 2016 was the Mobi Moola app, which aimed to assist cellphone users to pay for public transport using airtime instead of cash. Mobi Moola’s developers, Bertin Jacobs, Sydney Chadwick, Jonathan Pearl and Stefan Scriba, developed the app to overcome a problem faced by many public transport users in South Africa, whereby, in many instances, commuters often find they don’t have cash on them to pay fares or minibus drivers don’t have the exact change to return to commuters. Mobi Moola solved a problem which is a daily occurrence in South Africa - more than 17 million people use minibus taxis to commute.

The inaugural event also catered for young talent. Thirteen-year-old Naledi Phafane, won the GirlCode’s TADHack Girl Coder of the Weekend award.

She created Pandora, a geolocation app that sought to address the lack of formal residential addresses. This is a big problem for dwellers in informal settlements and rural areas. The app uses cellphone tower signal triangulation to establish a person’s place of residence. Pandora could serve as proof of residence for many South Africans who cannot secure jobs or credit because they do not have formal street addresses.

Entries for TADHack Johannesburg 2018 are open, and interested participants can go to the link below to register:

http://tadhack.mtn.co.za

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