Context: The National Development Plan (NDP)
The South African government has developed the blueprint for the reconstruction and development of the country, the National Development Plan (NDP), through the National Planning Commission (NPC) – which is chaired by the President of the Republic. Immediately after its finalisation, the plan was further adopted by all political parties that were represented in parliament then.
In their review of “the economic progress towards the National Development Plan’s Vision 2030” in December 2020, the NPC identified seven critical factors contributing to South Africa’s poor economic performance. And these were eloquently tabulated as follows:
1. Sustainability in fiscal and financial resources to fuel transformation
2. Building the asset base: capital
3. Building the asset base: people
4. Digital readiness for the future
5. Dynamism in employment-generating industries
6. Public employment and public employment programmes
7. Building a capable state.
The NDP 2030 demands the country to develop a coherent and integrated education and skills system capable of addressing the critical challenges we are facing: effective inclusion or access to education opportunities; quality education and training outcomes; and development of requisite skills and technical expertise to promote entry into, meaningful participation, in the labour market.
Tackling the crisis
The Empire Partner Foundation is an NPO Tech Hub that is a youth-led foundation with a mission to solve ten key socio-economic challenges in South Africa using smart technology solutions.
The ten socio-economic challenges we have identified are shown below:
6. Rural Development
In order for EPF to address the ten key socio-economic challenges we have five products that will achieve our goal.
Hackathons: We have committed to hosting monthly hackathons for 2021 and 2022 to empower young software developers to come together to design innovative solutions that will address the 10 challenges we have listed above to date we have hosted 10 hackathons focusing on Socio-Economic Challenges within South Africa.
Young software developers from all over Gauteng come together to build innovative solutions that aim to solve one of the ten socio-economic challenges to win a cash prize and an opportunity to build a business. The winning team not only wins a cash prize but is also placed in our Incubation Hub, where we guide and mentor them to become successful tech start-ups. This is where we make their winning solution a reality.
The Incubation Hub is an opportunity we offer to every hackathon winning team, to assist them in building a business. We will assist the team between a 6-12 month period to grow their business and after the 6- 12 month period they will go to market where they can implement their solutions to have a deep impact in South Africa. So far we have incubated 12 winning teams who have won our previous hackathons.
The EPF Tech Hub: The Tech Hub will enable every South African to become digital citizens. One of the products we have within the tech hub, is the Afri-Tec alert application that can be used to alert family and emergency response services to the client in danger. We plan to deliver the app for free to every South African in order to have a nationwide impact, by the end of 2022 we hope to have 12 products within the EPF Tech hub. Please visit the tech hub website for more information- http://epftechhub.org
EPF Tech Hub
It was established in 2016. Young creative developers made up of students. Developing new opportunities using technology. Promoting tech innovation hub. Driving the creative economy.
We are also in the process of developing our Innovation campus that will give students an opportunity to build their tech skills as well as exposing them to the latest innovations within our office space.
The EPF Studio is our digital broadcasting pillar whereby we conduct interviews with industry experts, tech innovators, community leaders and anyone else that is making an impact in society. In addition to this the studio hosts podcasts, creates social media content as well as engaging the digital network through showcasing the work the foundation is involved in.
Finally we have our Workstreams. In our effort to address the 10 challenges we have taken each challenge and Identified what we aim to solve using innovative tech solutions. We will work closely with our partners to take our innovations to the market place in order to have an exponential impact within South Africa and soon in Africa.
I have attached our company profile along with media links where you will be able to see the work we have done so far.
A list of Youtube and IT-Web Links.
IT Web article regarding our agriculture hackathon- https://www.itweb.co.za/content/raYAyqodmk5vJ38N
IT Web article regarding our GBV collaboration with the Joe Slovo Foundation – https://www.itweb.co.za/content/KBpdg7pzLrgqLEew
EPF Youth Month Hackathon (SABC Coverage):
EPF Education Hackathon recap:
EPF Healthcare Hackathon (SABC coverage):
Interview with Tahir Sema, Head of Communications at the Gauteng Province’s Department of Human Settlements
Mikhial Mariemuthu is the Manager of Empire Partner Foundation, his available on firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit www.epftechhub.org;www.epftechfund.org; and www.empirepartnerfoundation.org.