The National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (NEMISA) recently held its second data science hackathon. Over 72 hours, data science enthusiasts from across the country were tasked with mining data and using it to build solutions to help government make more informed policy decisions.
Nemisa is a digital skills training entity of the Department of Communications and Digital
Technologies. The hackathon was held in partnership with provincial governments and took the format of an inter-provincial competition. Participants initially competed with each other provincially before each province’s winners competed nationally. The datathon’s top three solutions came from KZN (1st place), Gauteng (2nd) and the Western Cape (3rd).
Part of Ndemera’s research involved finding a correlation between the likelihood of a business succeeding and its owner’s level of education.
KZN chemical engineering Master’s student Tinashe Ndemera developed the winning solution a model meant to help government allocate resources to alleviate youth unemployment.
“Unemployment is ubiquitous but the resources available to deal with it are finite, so I asked myself how best those resources can be allocated to reduce unemployment,” says Ndemera. “The model will use factors such as the country’s education and entrepreneurship levels to calculate the likelihood of citizens finding jobs and then determine where resources can be routed to create employment opportunities.”
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