Africa Teen Geeks & United Nations partner to reduce crime

Under the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative of UNODC, the Office and Africa Teen Geeks have established a partnership to host a Hackathon at the end of July: #Hack4Justice.

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 will in particular challenge African youth at the secondary level to develop mobile and online games and apps dealing with these crime issues in South Africa. The young participants 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.

Africa Teen Geeks hosted its last Hackathon #Hack4Health in June, where youth involved in Africa Teen Geeks’ weekend coding class developed 14 app prototypes. These included automated public hospitals admission/discharge systems, for emergency calls and other bottlenecks aimed at reducing the amount of laborious red tape patients and staff routinely endure. The Hackathon was attended by Buti Manamela, Deputy Minister of the Presidency, Ndaba Mandela, National Planning Commission and Africa Teen Geeks Ambassador, highlighting the important work of the learners and the bright futures that await them if they keep developing their coding and computer science abilities. “Technology is the key to the future. It is therefore imperative that our kids from the great continent of Africa are equipped and can stand tall and contribute to the global discussion now taking humanity further in the evolutionary process than ever before,” said Mr. Mandela.

Africa Teen Geeks focuses on developing South Africa’s children from underprivileged backgrounds into coding and technology experts. “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. In his letter of support, Seliki Tlhabane, Chief Director of the Department of Basic Education wrote that “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.”

Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime