Aside from my classwork and side-hustle, as a tech blogger I get invites to some conferences and meetings among other events.
Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd: Mobile Web East Africa Conference
Though the title name of the conference had ‘mobile web’ in it, the focus was much wider than just mobile web applications; everyone knows the mobile phone is the next frontier of technology in Africa, and the question is how can we harness it to improve our lives. Conferences are great for bringing stakeholders in the industry together, so they can interact and perhaps come up with solutions for the current challenges.
Among the discussions was the role of women in technology, which was discussed on Day 2. Some organizations of women in tech in Kenya include AkiraChix and Divas4Tech. Societies where there is (near) gender-balance in all disciplines tend to be more developed than those where there are glaring gender disparities.
For more on the conference, see
John Karanja’s blog: Notes From Mobile Web East Africa
Afrinnovator’s live blogs
humanipo.com: Day 1 of Mobile Web East Africa
Saturday 25th: Microsoft’s Windows Azure Pre-Launch and MXit
On Saturday, I was at the iHub to do some work before the AFC Vs Oserian match (where AFC leopards won 2-0 propelling us to the top of the Kenya Premier League table); and also to attend an event where Microsoft guys from the Nairobi office explained to us about Windows Azure, a cloud platform from Microsoft that will be available locally. I will write more on cloud services later, but just so you know, that’s the future of data storage and other services.
On MXit (For Developers)
There are about 100,000 Kenyans registered on this mobile chatting platform. You can say it is the biggest social network in Africa with 12.5 Million active users, and by active users it means people who have logged on to Mxit in the last seven days, and stayed on the platform for 45min to an hour.
These guys were in Kenya (met them at iHub) to raise awareness on an API they have built where developers can make apps on the platform. Check on their site for more details.
Monday 27th: Safaricom and ICT Board Launch the Connected Kenya 2012 Conference
You notice the link is from last year’s conference? This conference is now in its 4th year running, and it’s huge! Takes place annually in coast. This year it will be take place from April 2nd-April 5th.
The conference was launched formally on Monday morning, where I got to meet CEO Bob Collymore (remember the Ideos?), ICT board CEO Paul Kukubo among other tech bloggers, IT journalists and officials from Safaricom/ICT board.
Tuesday 28th: Launch of the WEEE Center/Computer Aid Intl E-Waste Partnership
So this morning, I was at yet another breakfast meeting, where the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Center (WEEE center) was launching an E-waste partnership with the above said co (ok, tired of typing).
This is the only center in East Africa that manages E-waste, and with support from the government, they are now involving several universities and colleges.
During the meeting, Dr. Kate Getao was in attendance, and I figured, wouldn’t hurt to say hi to someone whom I’ve admired for a while- being the first woman PhD comp science holder in East Africa. Needless to say, I wish I hadn’t. Maybe she’s just not that social 😦