Having conceptualized the idea of one-of-a-kind, ICT-based conference a few months ago, Techweez, a leading technology blog set the wheels in motion with a Nairobi launch of Tech Tamasha that still purposes to promote technology as one of the key drivers of innovation and combating challenges that the region faces.
To strike curiosity and conversations on the impact of adopting tech-based practices, as well as the potential of taking such an approach in driving the African economy, Tech Tamasha staged the festival in Kisumu’s LakeHub. Similar to Mombasa’s SwahiliBox, the lakeside city’s tech spot has been instrumental in driving innovation by providing space for tech entrepreneurs, investors, and creatives to fine-tune their trade.
“It’s intriguing to come across young Africans away from from the capital going out of their comfort zones to learn how to build locally relevant solutions and that’s why we have Tech Tamasha that will interface them to relevant stakeholders to scale,” said Tech Tamasha Producer Victor Mutua.
The Kisumu event was graced by four key speakers: Eric Muthuuri, Finserve’s Sales and Distribution Representative; Africa’s Talking’s Developer Success Associates Anthony Limo and Roina Ochieng’ and lastly, June Okal, a legal professional in technology, media, and telecoms law. The exercise, which primarily explored how Kenyan tech institutions are creating awareness and an enabling environment for developers to be in their best was moderated by Techweez Features Editor, Saruni Maina.
Eric mentioned the role Finserve’s flagship product, Equitel, has played in its journey to use technology to serve Kenyans from all walks of life. Finserve, a 72-team of developers and additional staff that is mostly associated with the aforementioned MVNO, has been around since 2014. At the moment, Finserve is targeting to digitize corporate financial services. This adds to its robust system of online financial services that are neatly packed in Eazzy App that includes far-reaching payments, loan services, deposits. Eric lauded Finserve’s Eazzycheckout solution for a number of e-commerce services that can be leveraged by developers in many ways.
“Our products are demonstrably profound based on the number of things they are able to achieve. These services have also been used by prominent businesses in the Kenyan market, including Jamii Telecom that has integrated Finserve APIs in its systems. We are also looking forward to driving more engagements in the industry by taking part in conferences like Tech Tamasha. Further engagements are also targeting learning institutions for talent, as well as our goal of promoting open banking,” noted Mr. Muthuuri.
Similar to issues raised at SwahiliBox, LakeHub’s developers wanted to know the safety of their ideas in the hand of people that want to invest in those projects. June Okal insisted the impossibility of stealing ideas from creators, especially if they are registered by relevant authorities such as the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) and the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO).
“KIPI and KECOBO have been put in charge of ensuring that the expression of a unique idea is tied to the creator. However, it is unfortunate that some developers have failed to acknowledge the existence of these bodies in their pursuit to create something for themselves and by extension, the region. It is prudent to make a visit to the said institutions and legally own your project,” said June Okal.
The final presentation was done by associate developers from one of Kenya’s top startups that has since found its niche in building SMS, USSD, payment and airtime applications – Africa’s Talking. Roina highlighted that some of the local developers fail to say more about their technical skills, which should cut across programming languages, systems, and platforms. Some groups do not even mention the projects they have applied their knowledge to.
“If you have taken any technical course, make sure that you mention extra modules that are most relevant to the job you are applying. Furthermore, refrain from overselling your skills because you will be asked to prove your abilities in a technical interview,” said Roina.
Finally, Anthony Limo announced the launch of Africa’s Talking’s developer competition that will pick the best group(s), which will demonstrate admirable artistry in building information systems in offering excellent alternatives to traditional approaches to obtaining specific information via direct or indirect communication.
The final and main conference will be conducted at Strathmore University on August 21 and will focus on Blockchain, Security, Privacy and Policy, Digital Consumer and Entrepreneurship, with keynotes from reputable speakers in relevant industries.