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Booking.com, iamtheCODE.org partner to tackle Human Trafficking in Africa with technology

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  • Chowberry Inc. also highlights need to curtail food waste

In their quest to finding lasting solution to challenges in the tourism sector such as human trafficking and related vices in the Africa and across the world, Booking.com, IamtheCode.org, the first African led organisation to mobilise government, private sector and philanthropic foundations to invest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education, and Chowberry Inc., organised a hackaton event in Lagos.

Organisers, mentors and coders rise in support of SDGs at the Booking.com, iamtheCODE and Chowberry Inc., hackaton event in Lagos recently.

Seventy application developers participated at the ‘women-focused hackaton’, with intent to create meaningful work opportunities for younger women and girls.

Through that opportunity they will be empowered; they can access jobs, which reduces the risk of them been trafficked.

The developers were meant to ideate and develop technological solutions that will assist in tracking human traffickers.

Senior Account Manager, Booking.com (Nigeria & West Africa), Yimika Fagbenro, said he was confident that applications from the coders will meet world standards and scalable to solve societal problems.  “We are really excited about the knowledge and skills of Nigerians.

In search of solutions

“I am happy to be part of this Hackaton in developing talents in Nigeria with special focus on the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Truly, Nigeria has fantastic talents. We are recruiting people for Nigeria to grow our operations in this economy and really contribute to the country and the world at large, especially with regards putting to an end the issue of human tracking. It is a sin against humanity and technology is what will enable us tackle the issue urgently”, he said.

On her part, Founder of iamtheCODE.org, Marieme Jamme, said hackaton was part of the Initiative’s plans to grow one million women and girls coders around the world, but for Nigeria they are focused on addressing sustainable tourism.  Jamme continues to say that Artificial intelligence can stop girls being trafficked as we now have the data”

“We are in Nigeria to organise a Hackaton with Booking.com on Sustainable Tourism.. I Am The Code is on the mission to grow one million women and girls coders- around the world by year 2030 and Nigeria should be part of the global data. So, we are here to engage with coders- to look into the  back/front ends coders, test their skills on JAVA, Python; to be part of this global network where we are building Africa’s largest database of coders. The plan is to fill the skills deficit we have across Africa. A pioneer in Tech in Africa, Marieme Jamme is a coder herself, having not gone to school but learnt 7 coding languages in under 2 years”

“We are focusing on all the UN Sustainable Development Goals because they are totally interlinked. However, we want to educate on all goals, from zero hunger to goal number five and eight which dwells on gender equality and ending human trafficking. We want to address human trafficking that is hurting young girls across the world.,”, Marieme Jamme said.

Nodding in agreement, Founder/CEO of Chowberry Inc., Oscar Ekponimo, said that a social enterprise that does two things: reducing food waste and providing affordable nutrition to underserved communities in Nigeria, they are on a mission to foster sustainable tourism by including women and girls.

“Human trafficking is a big problem in the country and the continent at large. So, we must be able to do two major things- create meaningful work opportunities for younger women and girls. Through that opportunity they will be empowered; they can access jobs, which reduces the risk if them been trafficked. Also, we must find a way to track human traffickers. Those are areas we hope the developers should ideate and develop solutions to them via technology”, Ekponimo said.

He further explained that to curtail the trend, technology industry must leverage machine learning, artificial intelligence, data mining to create solutions for the tourism sector to reduce human trafficking (girls trafficking) and all kinds of challenges associated with travel and tourism.

 

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