About 20 enthusiastic Facebook Messenger bot developers thronged the Moto Republik yesterday to participate at the Facebook Messenger Bot Challenge Zimbabwe Hackathon which will offer them a chance to win $20 000.
The hackathon to see how far Zimbabweans have progressed in the creation of the bots was graced by an official from Facebook Mrs Emilar Gandhi and Moto Republik co-founder Sam Monroe aka Comrade Fatso.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
Zimbabwe’s Facebook Messenger Bot lead developer Kuziva Muvezwa told TechnoMag that the event was a hackathon for Facebook Messenger bots.
“We are at Moto Republik hosting a hackathon for Facebook Messenger bots. I can see about 20 people who have come here to participate in this hackathon. My expectation as the person leading the technical side of things is to have a working bot by the end of the day from all of our teams. So we should see some working bots that are accomplishing some form of social good to some level at the end of the day,” he said.
“Well done. Im like super impressed by everything that you did. We had a very limited amount of time but some of you had already started like the kombi guys, they had to gather what they already had. Some of you learned from scratch you got pretty far from the amount of time you had,” he said.
The deadline for submission of Messenger Bots for the challenge is April 28, 2017.
“First thing is I like to remind you is to submit your bots for the challenge with the b
ig prizes by April 28. Give your app review before the 23rd (today) because it takes up to five working days for your app to be reviewed. So if you do it on the 24th and your app review does not come out, then sorry,” he said.
After the hackathon, Muvezwa said, “I think Zimbabwe is the best place to start a startup because it has this unique thing that it has almost all of the problems that we face in Africa. So it is the best place to figure out all al; the real world problems when you are doing a startup.
“So lets say if you are to start in South Africa, its better than most African countries almost ‘second world’, a lot of people have credit cards, they are banked. Some other parts of Africa they are using mobile money, so you find out that Zimbabwe has the right problems to solve and once solved here it will scale across Africa so quickly and so easily. So I don’t see why startups should not be started in Zimbabwe. In fact, you solve your problem in Zim, you can go to any other country in Africa.”
Umbrella Jobs, Kombi, Roadblock Alert, Utsanana, and Pollaz were some of the Messenger bots developed at the hackerthon.
Cde Fatso urged the developers to continue making bots that help solve challenges that Zimbabweans face, like roadblocks.