The Commonwealth has announced a new digital trade initiative designed to address the need for paperless solutions across member states and support young generations’ involvement in shaping the future of the organisation.
The Commonwealth Digital Trade Hackathon was launched on 21 June, at the end of the Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF) held in Kigali, Rwanda alongside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2022.
The initiative aims to develop innovative solutions that increase the adoption of digital technology in the Commonwealth and beyond – an essential resource especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hackathon is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Connectivity Agenda (CCA) and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) which will take place in October.
“I am delighted that we are officially launching another important project for young people,” said Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland QC.
“We are asking you to lead the future charge in building resilient, sustainable and interconnected digital economies across the Commonwealth, we are asking you to take part in a unique hackathon.”
The hackathon – she added – will scout, select, and support impact-driven teams with game-changing solutions, designed to harness the shift to digitalisation across the Commonwealth and beyond. The project aims to engage young generations to come up with innovative ideas to facilitate cross border paperless trade.
“There is no returning to December 2019 and while trade is recovering, there are many more opportunities for fostering digital trade,” said Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General of the CTO. Lewis added that the hackathon will challenge youth to examine the existing barriers to digital trade and develop software solutions to overcome them.
The solutions the hackathon seek to come up with include increasing accessibility to reduce barriers to trade through efficient digital infrastructure; and promoting inclusive growth, including experience sharing, digital skills development and industrial up-skilling improving agricultural and fisheries connectivity.
The project is set to bring together finance and technology innovators and major technology institutions. The winner of the Commonwealth Digital Trade Hackathon will receive a cash prize as well as entrepreneurial support.
Learn more: The Commonwealth Secretariat