Guest post by 2016 fellows of Tunisia
Editor’s note: The 2016 fellows of Tunisia were one of five country cohorts to receive a $2,500 seed grant to support the implementation of their action plan that was developed during the 2016 TechWomen program. In addition to mentorship and cultural activities, TechWomen participants collaboratively work to develop an action plan to address a socioeconomic issue in their community alongside Impact Coaches.
Waktech started as a dream – a dream of a smart Tunisia where people live comfortable lives, as a result of the widespread use of technology and smart devices. This vision started transforming into a concrete idea during the 2016 Techwomen program in San Francisco, where transportation access around the city was smooth and time efficient thanks to real-time, accurate information that appears at train stations, bus stops and in the Google Maps app.
However, we quickly realized that a notification system of this kind required massive infrastructure and financial investments and would require partnerships between government agencies and private companies to implement at every station. This is the reason we decided to build Waktech, a mobile application based on a crowdsourced data model that enables users to share information about public transit, like departure and arrival times or possible incidents that can effect commute times. Aggregating this data would mean that users, at any given moment, could access accurate information for their trip and have the opportunity to better schedule their trip, be on time and save money.
With the help of our TechWomen mentors who strongly believed in our idea, we worked hard to develop a financial and technical plan for Waktech. Since returning to Tunis, the team has been working on making the idea a reality, constantly working with our mentors in Silicon Valley. The Waktech team successfully organized a hackathon in April to design the Waktech logo and marketing content for the app. Meanwhile, the team is forging ahead on the technical design and development of the software app for the project. We hired a senior developer experienced in mobile app development to work on the front-end and back-end software development.
The beta version is expected to be ready for testing by July 30, 2017. The project is progressing, and we are certain that Waktech is not only a mobile application, but a community project that will greatly impact the quality of life for Tunisian citizens. Building Waktech will help create the groundwork for a smart city in Tunis, where technology serves the citizens to lead better connected lives and creates an engaged community of citizens.