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The National Commission on Research, Science, and Technology (NCRST), in conjunction with the Namibian University of Technology (NUST), is hosting a hackathon event. 

The event brought together local and international innovators, researchers, students, and developers with the shared goal of reducing road accidents through technological advancements.

Namibia, like other countries, is faced with a public health concern over road accidents that rob nations of productive citizens.

The crash fatality rate in Namibia was recently estimated to be 23,9 per 100,000 population. 

Such a high rate of road deaths exacts serious social and economic stress, hence the need to critically examine and find solutions to this. 

Despite the statistics, Namibia, however, is known to have the best road infrastructure in Africa.
The hackathon aims to foster collaboration in research and development to devise solutions aimed at curbing the alarming rate of traffic accidents.

The Head Researcher at NCRST, Bethino Mbirimujo, gave alarming statistics on road accidents in Namibia and the challenges the road safety council faces.

"There was a study that was done by the NSA and the Ministry of Home Affairs called Causes of Death. The latest one I could find is the one from 2017. As you can see on the left, road accidents contribute, say, about 10% at the age of 5–15, which is a concerning number. Those are school-going learners. How do we reduce this number?"

The Strategy and Project Officer at the Road Fund Administration, Jonas Kafidi, emphasises that road safety is a matter of universal concern, and he suggests that technology could potentially offer a solution to this pressing issue.

"And this is why we are hearing about being with a team of hackers. I know it has a different connotation, but it means you are trying to find another way. That is, your task is to find solutions to this problem and create a technology that can curb it, and you can also send some of the technology to the rest of the world."

Computer scientist Malakia Jeremiah, an enthusiast, expressed excitement about the integration of smart technologies into vehicles to reduce road accidents in Namibia.

Participants such as Lazarus Rachel will be dedicating their efforts to creatively conceptualising and developing prototypes of innovative solutions that have the potential to bring about a significant transformation in road safety.

Throughout the two-day event, participants will engage in intense brainstorming sessions, prototype development, and presentations aimed at showcasing their innovative solutions.

Stakeholders remain hopeful that such initiatives will pave the way for a safer and more sustainable future on Namibia's roads.

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Photo Credits
National Commission on Research, Science and Technology

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Johanna !Uri#khos