Close the Gap, together with Soulco Kenya (a technology firm) and the Kenya Ports Authority, will sponsor and support the first port/maritime hackathon in Kenya. This hackathon will take place during the IAME (International Association of Maritime Economists) conference 2018 in Mombasa, Kenya. The IAME is the largest organisation of scholars active in the field of shipping, ports, and maritime logistics. The annual conference will host the mini-hackathon on September 12th.
A hackathon is essentially solving problems in a creative way. During a hackathon, people with different professional backgrounds come together and brainstorm around an issue for which they try to find a solution. This solution is often supported by the use of technology. This particular hackathon in Kenya was born out of the need to accelerate and innovate technology in the field of sustainability and logistics technology. The challenge for the participants is to work on innovations around stakeholders within a port and maritime environment.
This hackathon focused on maritime solutions closely fits Close the Gap’s aim to support local (tech) entrepreneurship. It is namely through local innovative ideas that societal issues can be tackled. Besides this hackathon, Close the Gap’s own Leap² Innovation Challenges (link to Leap² page) are also an example of this idea.