Google`s Women Techmakers Lesotho and India in collaboration with Google Developers Group Maseru, Girls Coding Academy, Vodacom Lesotho, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Lesotho, Women in Tech India Chapter and Her Digital Academy held a Hack4Equality (Hackathon) web design virtual competition which ran from October 08th to 11th.
12 participants from Lesotho and 6 from India, out of an overall number of 24 youths aged 16 to 25 years, gave their best shot in developing websites for start-up companies in their countries.
They formed 6 groups named Team (T) 1 Code Breakers, T2 Code Monks, T3 Error 404, T4 No Gender Based Coders, T5 Hacnovation and T6 Stacko.
The winner for this competition is T2 Code Monks â€“ Thabo Maibi, Potso Mojau and Sri Bhuvana Vaishnavi Dasika.
All 12 participants in Lesotho were awarded with branded coffee mugs and smartphones from Vodacom Lesotho (VCL) as a partner. They also received T-shirts, notebooks and pens from UNDP Lesotho.
The Google Developer Group (GDG) Maseru Lead Organizer â€˜Maneo Mapharisa indicated that this is the first training she conducted together with Google. She said most of the participants who applied for the competition are at tertiary level while in India High school students applied more than those at tertiary institutions.
Google Developer Group Maseru Lead Organizer and Google`s Women Techmakers Ambassador Lesotho, Mapharisa revealed that she applied for the positions in August this year.
â€œGoogle`s Women Techmakers (WTM) ambassadors â€“ around the world â€“ were called for an online training due to the emergence of Covid-19 pandemic and that was when I met Anusha Mandalapu, WTM Ambassador India. We agreed to come up with an idea that would connect India and Lesotho,â€ she explained.
Mapharisa added that she informed Google in Africa about the initiative and Mandalapu also approached Google in India who supported the idea.
â€œI became a Google WTM Ambassador and GDG Maseru Leader. GDG Maseru is a free search engine with all Google resources,â€ she said.
She further indicated that Africa has Google Developers and experts who have been trained by Google and are mandated to educate and conduct meetings about Google resources.
â€œThere are only 21 Google Developer Experts around the African continent; Lesotho still has a chance to add more experts. There are a number of opportunities that come with becoming a GDG which include scholarships, entrepreneurial skills and opportunities as well as a chance for business grants, mentorship and internships,â€ Mapharisa encouraged.
The concept of Hackathon event was to bring budding bright minds together and to provide them with a real world business need, engage young boys and girls to compete in designing a website for early stage start-ups. The benefits for participants include accelerating knowledge on Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Database Management System (DBMS), scripting and showcasing their achievement to strengthen their portfolios and inculcate interpersonal skills such as decision-making, time-management with importance to diversity and inclusion.