Developing technology to improve life in Africa

A free Botswana-wide hackathon in Gaborone on March 19-20, 2024

Hosted by Botho University in collaboration with

Clemson University and the U.S. National Science Foundation. Registration is open through March 17th!
Sign up Here!

what's BothoHacks?

BothoHacks is a nationwide hackathon for students in Botswana! It will be a 2-day creative marathon where students come together in teams and use their skills to take on real-world technical challenges and projects. In groups of 2 to 4, students will come up with an idea, and over the course of the hackathon, work together to make it a reality. In the meantime, they'll be competing for over P30,000 worth in prizes!

No matter your level of experience or field of study, we hope to see you at BothoHacks!

why should I come?

  • FREE Admission - There's no cost to come to BothoHacks! Just bring your team, your idea, and your laptop.
  • Win Prizes - Over P30,000 in prizes will be awarded at BothoHacks!
  • Earn a certificate - All participants at BothoHacks will be able to download an AfricaHacks x BothoHacks Certificate of Achievement from!
  • Gain Exposure - Show off your skills to local businesses and government officials!
  • Beginner and Advanced Categories - You'll fit in and have a chance to compete regardless of your skill level
  • Learn New Skills - Use our in-event workshops to learn marketable new skills (Python, Arduino)
  • Join an Incubator Program - Winners of the advanced categories will have a chance to join AfricaHacks' business incubator

what should I bring?

  • Teammates - To take part in BothoHacks, you'll need a team of 2-4 students. No teams of 1 will be accepted.
  • An Idea - At BothoHacks, what you create is totally up to you. If you need help coming up with an idea, check out our FAQs.
  • Your Laptop - If you're going to be coding, you'll probably want something to do it on :). Make sure to bring your charger too!
  • Travel Accomodations - Please make sure you have booked travel and a place to stay overnight.

what's provided?

  • Food - Breakfast and lunch will be provided on both days
  • Hacking Space - Tables will be set up for you and your team to tackle your project together
  • WiFi - The hacking space will have WiFi for participants to connect to the internet


A schedule of the event will be available soon!

frequently asked questions

We've gotten a lot of questions about hackathons in the past, but below are some of the most common.

A hackathon is a 2-day-long event where teams of programmers, designers, and innovators get together to create impactful projects, learn from their peers, and interact with the wider tech community in their region.

The event is open to tertiary and secondary students, including students who have completed Form 5, but have not yet entered university. Please come to the hackathon with some form of current school/educational identification.

Yes. Familiarity with programming and some programming experience is helpful and encouraged, but this event is as much about learning, growing, and having fun as it is about competing.

We’ll have a small hardware lab with Arduinos and enough electronic components to help you make your hardware idea come to life! We’ll also have mentors available to help you overcome any obstacles.

It doesn’t! In this case, a “hack” is a project that you and your team work to build over the course of the event. No cybersecurity required.

In the past, we've seen groups make new devices or robots that automate everyday tasks, websites and games that educate or teach new skills, and data visualization websites that help us better understand our world. You might want to improve healthcare, transportation, or agriculture. You could help people live more sustainable lives or adapt to the realities of climate change. Feel free to take inspiration from these, but don't be afraid to try something new!

Yes! Over P30,000 worth in prizes will be awarded in categories like “Most Creative Hack”, “Best Hardware Hack”, and “Best Hack for Good”.

Yes. Everyone on each team must register individually prior to the application deadline. Once you have registered, you will choose a team name and link your applications.

Not too much! Just you, your laptop (plus charger), and a good attitude. If you’d like to bring your own hardware, that’s fine too.

Join us as a mentor! We’re always looking for people to help spread our passion for computer science! Apply to be a mentor here.

Yes! Breakfast and lunch will be provided both days.

What technologies can I use?

You can use any programming languages, technologies, or tools that you want. Java, C/C++, C#, Javascript, Python, Ruby, Perl, HTML, PHP, Arduino, and more! The event is open. Pick your favorite programming tools or pick up something new. It’s completely up to you.

We will also hold workshops at the event to teach new skills; however, we recommend that you come to the event with some tools you already know, in case the new things you learn don't end up fitting well with your project.

What's the judging criteria?

We plan to judge projects on the following criteria:

  • Potential Impact - Does the hack attempt to address an important societal problem? Does it have the potential to make life better?
  • Creativity - Is the hack interesting? Did the team think outside the box?
  • Difficulty - Not everyone will have the same skill level coming in, so how much did your hack challenge your team?
  • Presentation - How effectively, clearly, and convincingly did the team present their hack?

How can I prepare for the event?

Between now and the event, you can do the following:

  • Brainstorm project ideas with your team. The best ideas are creative, innovative, and beneficial to society, but also doable. If your idea is too big to build in two days, you might try to build just a piece of it, or a proof of concept.
  • Practice programming with your team. Learn a new programming language, tool, or concept. Or practice with the tools you already know.
  • Install the tools you are going to need on your laptop beforehand. We will have WiFi, but you don’t want to waste time downloading and installing stuff, if you can help it. Come ready to hit the ground running.

Our Partners

This wouldn't be possible without our amazing partners!