Somalia this week was in the news when it plaid host to the first ever Tech Summit that ran over three days at the Sahal Terminal in Mogadishu with 30 CEO’s and founders in attendance, ten networking events, guest speakers and 40 startups competing to win the events USD 5,000 entrepreneur’s pitch prize. Various local SME’s and corporates in attendance that drew huge crowds. To underscore the importance of the forum in using technology to shape the emergence of a new Somalia, government representatives together with selected International media were also present to cover the event. The event is reported to have drawn over 5,000 people in attendance representing Somali innovators, techies,hackers, developers, experts, academics, students, entrepreneurs, startups, investors. Booths set up to display the startups at the event drew broad participation from Somalis in the diaspora who flew home to support this event. Somalia already enjoys high usage of mobile money with a heavy reliance on diaspora remittances that supports various payment platforms. The summit got UN backing as well as startup investment support from Premier Bank who announced the launch the USD 1 MN as reported by WeeTracker. The success that Abdihakim Ainte founder of iRise Hub received to make the event possible came from partner hubs K Lab, Afrilabs and iHub and Metta from Kenya together with strong corporate sponsorship.
In Uganda, Outbox held a two-day training workshop in Arua which is in Nothern Uganda. The aim of this training was helping participants interested in developing social enterprises by taking them through ways of identifying problem areas so that their solutions are found to address these pain points that customers face. The training was further geared towards helping the participants create a clear value proposition for their Social enterprises. This training ran under the #UpAccelerate co-creation workshop and was conducted by the Outbox team from Kampala.
Meanwhile, in Rwanda, a growing community of bloggers hosted by Impact Hub this weekend organised a WordPress WorldCamp boot camp in Kigali targeting the community of WordPress enthusiasts from beginner to advanced. With blogging forming a key chunk of content marketing, this event which was held at the rooftop of the Impact Club brought together WordPress Developers, bloggers, beginners and all CMS enthusiasts based in Kigali.
In Kenya, iHub held a series of events beginning with DevCraft on 25th and 26th Oct which was a 2 day event curated by the iHub Software Consulting team, with an audience of software engineers, project managers, product managers, quality assurance experts, data scientists, and UI/UX experts in Nairobi, Kenya. The goal was to bring together professionals involved in the field of software development space so that they address industry concerns that would lead to process improvement, collaboration and raise the quality of software craft in Kenya. This creates a community that champions good software design and development practices. Some of the areas that were tackled included Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Blockchain and its applications, User Experience and Design, Data Science together with Web and Mobile Development, Enterprise Software, Product Management. iHub also hosted Mr. Najib Balala who is Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary along with the team from Magical Kenya and representatives from Google who came in for a round-table discussion centered on innovation in the tourism field.
Nailab – Kenya, on the other hand, held a sensitisation forum dubbed: IAM Work-a-thon which was held as an event focused on collaboratively growing entrepreneurs with solutions addressing sexual reproductive health. The work-a-thon brought together different entrepreneurs in health and nutrition space to align their market activities and involve them in the initiative. Key among what was resolved was to help raise awareness about growing teenage pregnancies along with the consequences.
Image credit: Joao Scarpelini @joaoscarpelini