The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Education for Justice (E4J) initiative has teamed up with local youth coding programme, Africa Teen Geeks,to host a youth hackathon to build solutions dealing with crime issues in South Africa.
E4J, part of the Doha Declaration Global Programme, works to raise awareness and to educate the public at primary, secondary and university levels about core UNODC-mandated areas: crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law.
As such, the #Hack4Justice hackathon, to be held at the end of July, will challenge African youth at the secondary level to develop mobile and online games and apps.
Participating youths will use their coding skills to teach people how to act as good citizens, steer clear of getting involved in criminal activities and avoid becoming victims of corruption or violence.
“We are showing our children the power they have to make a change in their communities and the country by learning about coding and computer science.” said Lindiwe Matlali, Founder of Africa Teen Geeks.
“Many of our best coders come from extremely poor families who never touched a computer before joining our programme, yet today they are changing their communities, our country and now the world,” she added.
#Hack4Justice Hackathon will follow Africa Teen Geeks largest annual programme, Computer Science Week, where they will host 12 000 of South Africa’s youth at UNISA campus computer labs across the country, introducing thousands of children to their first encounter with computers.
“Computing is a rich and deep discipline in its own right, like physics or mathematics. Like those subjects, computing explores foundational principles and ideas, rather than training students in skills related to particular artefacts,” Chief Director Mr Seliki Tlhabane of the Department of Basic Education wrote in a letter in support of the event.