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Zoohackathon 2020: Coding to End Wildlife Trafficking!
Competitions for Africa and the Middle East

Zoohackathon 2020 is a global competition run by the U.S. Department of State that harnesses the power of technological innovation and the raising of public awareness to combat wildlife trafficking. It brings together coders, university students, wildlife conservation experts, zoos, and other academic and nongovernmental organizations to develop wire-frame/demo technology solution ideas over 2.5 days. We aim to turn these solution ideas into real-world technologies that can help combat wildlife trafficking into the future. In prior years, this competition was held in-person, but as COVID-19 has made that infeasible for 2020, we have developed the Virtual Global Zoohackathon 2020.

Zoohackathon 2020 will divide the world into five regional, or single nation, virtual hackathons, all of which will take place the weekend of November 6-8 (and staggered across different time zones). These events focus on regional wildlife trafficking challenges -- including prevalent zoonotic disease vectors in each region -- and feature locally focused problem statements, prerecorded and live video presentations, fun and educational moments, partners and mentors, judging, and prizes. On this page, you can register for the Africa competition or Middle East competition, which will be organized and judged separately.

Over 2.5 days, thousands of participants develop creative and innovative ideas for software solutions for real wildlife conservation problems through the Virtual Global Zoohackathon. The top three winning teams from each regional, or single-nation, hackathon will virtually pitch their solution ideas to a panel of global judges during the Final Global Presentation Day. This Presentation Day takes place the weekend after the regional hackathons conclude and the judges will announce the 2020 global winner.

Why is this important?

The U.S. Department of State plays an important role in the fight against wildlife trafficking by strengthening global enforcement, reducing demand for illegal wildlife products, and expanding international commitments. Zoohackathon supports these efforts by engaging new audiences to develop new tech solutions to combat wildlife trafficking and building cross-sector partnerships across governments, the private sector, and intergovernmental stakeholders.