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AMH breaks new ground

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Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), publishers of NewsDay, The Standard and the Zimbabwe Independent launched the first ever Hackathon in Harare this week where web developers participated in a digital application development challenge.

A hackathon also known as a hack fest or hack day is an event where web, software, mobile developers and other players in the field collaborate on software-related projects.

Twenty five web developers were selected to participate and collaborate in building innovative news applications (apps) that would improve the dissemination of content and crowdsourcing in newsrooms, as well provide efficient access to commodity prices.

AMH chairman Trevor Ncube said the group ultimately sought to create a technology hub, offering a permanent place for developers to carry out work of this nature. He said AMH realised the importance of skills, technology and young people and hoped to show how technology was beneficial to the economy.

The purpose of the event is to identify people throughout the country interested in building applications to help Zimbabwe solve economic problems. The hackathon provides a space for collaboration, competition and problem solving, Trevor Ncube said.

Googles Policy Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Ory Okolloh, who was the guest speaker at the event, encouraged the web developers to broaden their skills.

Claim your space, she said. No one is going to give you anything for free. Ask yourself how you are positioning yourself for the future. You are in a unique place to take charge when things turn around in Zimbabwe.

Three promising developers, Prince Kaguda, Shaun Benjamin and Tonderai Shamuyarira emerged winners at the event.

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