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    Friday, August 18, 2023

    SAS Reinforces Commitment to Youth Innovation at Campus Innov8 Hackathon

    The Campus Innov8 Hackathon, which took place on 11 and 12 August 2023 at the Kingsway Campus of the University of Johannesburg in conjunction with the National Youth ICT Council and the SA Local Government Association (SALGA), highlighted the indomitable spirit of Gauteng's youth. Global analytics leader SAS is proud to have supported this initiative designed to harness innovation and robotics skills for societal problem-solving.

    In line with the event's dual focus – a hackathon and a makeathon – the theme of ‘Infrastructure Security in Local Government’ underscored the necessity for robust security solutions within local government infrastructure. This choice, especially in the wake of the recent Bree Street explosion in the Johannesburg CBD, serves as a poignant reminder of the urgency and relevance of the challenge. The theme also aligns well with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 goal of building resilient infrastructure and which emphasises industries, innovation, and infrastructure.

    Essie Mokgonyana

    Essie Mokgonyana, Country Manager and Sales Director for SAS in South Africa praised the participants' efforts and ingenuity. "By focusing on real-world issues like infrastructure security, these young innovators are not just showcasing their technical prowess but also their deep understanding of the challenges our society faces today.”

    The Campus Innov8 Hackathon's goal is far-reaching. Beyond the immediate event, selected social innovators are expected to undergo entrepreneurship and innovation development training with stakeholders, further enriched with incubation and market support.

    The partnership with SAS saw the organisation assist with the provisioning of robotics kits, mentor fees for the winners, as well as contributing to the grand prize of the event.

    On the second day, which coincided with International Youth Day, the focus shifted to the crucial role of the youth in addressing infrastructure challenges using digital solutions and novel products. This segment concluded with the awards ceremony and product showcase from the hackathon's talented participants.

    "Our commitment goes beyond mere sponsorship. It is about championing innovation and supporting the visionaries of tomorrow. This event, in particular, was an ideal platform for the youth to shine and display their solutions to pressing societal issues,” says Mokgonyana.

    She added that SAS aims to bridge the gap between academia and industry.

    “By fostering platforms like the Campus Innov8 Hackathon, we aim to nurture a dynamic ecosystem for young talent to explore the vibrant world of technology and innovation."

    As the curtains fall on this year's event, SAS's unwavering commitment to education, skill development, and fostering innovation remains clear. With its consistent support for similar initiatives, the organisation sets a gold standard in nurturing the next generation of tech and societal leaders.

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