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Toronto and Nairobi team up to hack poverty in Kenya

Twin hackathon between Nairobi and Toronto to help tackle poverty issues

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Toronto and Nairobi are teaming up to hack poverty.

Hundreds of software developers from the two cities will put their heads – and their keyboards – together this weekend as they take part in a joint international development hackathon.

Taking place simultaneously over Skype, the exercise is looking to get coders two continents to build mobile apps that will help improve life for rural Kenyans, whether it’s health, access to education or even farming.

“The skills of these developers can have a really big impact on rural people’s lives,” said Danielle Thé, founder of Devs Without Borders, a Toronto-based mobile tech startup that prepared the hackathon.

Participants from Toronto will spend part of the weekend learning about real issues on the ground from their counterparts in Kenya. The East African nation has made strides in technology, and residents in rural areas can now benefit from well-tailored apps, Thé said.

Some of the apps on deck could help residents measure prices of their agricultural products or monitor maternal health.

“The number one goal is increasing access to information,” Thé said.

The winning app will partner with Free the Children and assist in the group’s humanitarian efforts in some of Kenya’s most remote areas. 

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