A HACKATHON – Great Tool for Solving the Housing Gaps in Tanzania

With October 2 closing in to mark the World Habitat Day, TAMFI as a member of the Just City Platform (JCP) and member of the steering committee for the Hackathon, participated in the collaborative problem-solving event titled “Just City Hackathon” and co-hosted by Ardhi University (ARU) and FES Tanzania.  This was a three-day Hackathon event organised in Dar and took place from 28-30 September 2023.  The Hackathon brought together 18 young professionals to think critically about the housing sector in Tanzania.  The Hackathon’s main aim was to provide a platform for the young professionals to innovate and develop solutions to combat the ever-rising urban housing crisis in Tanzania.  The eighteen were put into teams of 2-5.

The Just City partner organizations include JUST CITY, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Habitat for Humanity, UN-Habitat, Center for Urbanism & Built Environment Studies (CUBES), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg – School of Architecture and Planning, Tanzania Women Architects for Humanity (TAWAH) and Tanzania Association of Microfinance Institutions (TAMFI).  Together, it was believed that a Hackathon, though not common in Tanzania, would be a great tool for coming up with new ideas geared towards providing real solutions to the urban human settlements challenges that emanate from rapid urbanization.  

Before the hackathon started, TAMFI’s Chief Executive Officer participated in a very interesting panel debate where the urban housing problem was addressed.  This was followed by teams listening to the mentors (from the community) to identify real issues to be addressed by them and provide appropriate solutions.   The hackathon was culminated by each team pitching their idea to a jury and the winner was chosen based on impact, applicability, innovation, scalability and gender justice.  The solutions that were pitched fell into the following categories:

a. Smart City Solutions

b. Financiers

c.  Access to Information

d. Flexible Building Materials

e. Utilization of public spaces

The Smart City Solutions’ team took the winning spot.  This idea of a Hackathon was such a great learning event for the TAMFI team that was experiencing this for the very first time.  So, thanks to FES!  TAMFI has been catapulted to a new way of seeking innovative ideas for bringing financial solutions to the community and eventually improving their livelihoods.

Source : FES