The United States Department of States (DOS) has chosen Entebbe to be among the 15 world cities to host the prestigious Zoohackathon competition.
According to a statement released by the State Department on Sunday evening, Entebbe, Cairo (Egypt) and Gaborone (Botswana) are the only 3 African cities set to host the competition meant to promote building of technology solutions to combat wildlife trafficking.
The DOS Zoohackathon project promotes technology solutions, builds cross-sector collaboration, raises awareness, and empowers communities to combat wildlife trafficking.
The 48-hour competitions are expected to attract teams of university students, software developers, coders, graphic designers, and wildlife enthusiasts use technology to tackle wildlife conservation problems.
At each local event are traditionally held at zoos, wildlife organizations, technology start-up facilities, and education centers around the world, where judges choose a winning solution.
DOS said it is proud to co-host the event in partnership with the 15 selected cities.
“This year, the Department of State is proud to co-host the annual Zoohackathon in 15 cities around the world,” said part of the statement.
The 15 cities include: Entebbe, Uganda; Bogotá, Colombia; Boston, Massachusetts; Cleveland, Ohio; Cairo, Egypt; Gaborone, Botswana; Geneva, Switzerland; Helsinki, Finland; Hong Kong SAR, China and Manila, Philippines.
Others include New Delhi and Kolkata, India; Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia; São Paulo, Brazil and Vienna, Austria.
The DOS statement said wildlife trafficking has become a global security threat.
“Wildlife trafficking is a serious transnational crime that threatens security, undermines the rule of law, fuels corruption, robs communities of legitimate economic livelihoods, and pushes species to the brink of extinction,” said DOS.
In February 2017, US President Trump signed an executive order which highlighted wildlife trafficking as one of four priority areas in the effort to dismantle organized crime syndicates.