Ethiopia: Hackathon Workshop On 'Election' Challenge in Ethiopia

The U.S. Embassy in Addis Abeba conducted its latest hackathon on the topic - "A digital solution for individuals to electronically verify their voter registration information." This was the sixth hackathon conducted by the U.S. Embassy in a series of twelve under its Ethiopia Hacks! Program.

Subject matter and Technology experts met October 11-14, 2019 in the Colonel John C. Robinson American Center in Addis Abeba to brainstorm and generate an open-source, free, and easy-to-learn technology solution for the good of society.

The fifty participants were divided into teams. The winning team developed a phone-based system that would avoid the use of physical registration cards. Their solution envisioned a central database managed by National Electoral Board of Election (NEBE) that would classify voters into one of two groups, rural and urban voters. Voters would register in their respective Woreda or Kebele. The solution has utilizes several functionalities including the usage of individual PINs, and the ability to receive notification of voter registration status as verified or rejected.

Ethiopia Hacks! is conducted in partnership with the Google Developers Group (GDG- Addis) and the Centre for Accelerated Women's Economic Empowerment (CAWEE). Each hackathon challenges aspiring young tech developers to identify prototype solutions to community challenges in Ethiopia.

By supporting and developing an eco-system that promotes innovation and technology, the U.S. Embassy is investing the capacity of Ethiopians to shape their future. In total, the Ethiopia Hacks! Program will invest in the capacity of 600 tech-savvy youth, who will have the opportunity to participate and generate solutions for their communities. Funding is provided jointly by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

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