Held in October, African Developers Conference or AfriDevCon was the first of what aims to be an annual gathering of developers and global industry experts in Ethiopia. The event among others featured an attendance from Harshdeep Vaghela from KaiOS, who were kind enough to share their views on the state of things in the continent. This is their reflection on the event.
Electric is the word that comes to mind when we think of the past weeks we spent connecting with the developer community in Africa.
We could feel it in the talks given by digital innovators at the African Developers Conference, in the questions people asked us during our workshops, in the conversations we had with developers and entrepreneurs: There’s momentum in the African digital landscape.
While we knew that Africa was ripe for digital innovation, we hadn’t had a chance to connect with the developer community there until recently, when we took part in a series of events we either organized or attended in mid-October. Through these events, we got to know some of the creative, enterprising people already shaping the region’s digital landscape, as well as the young talents that will take the revolution even further.
We met fifty or so of them of these young talents at Moringa School, a multi-disciplinary coding school in Nairobi, Kenya. Moringa provides technical and professional training to high-potential students to help them compete in a digital economy. In the workshop we gave them, we got them stoked about building KaiOS apps and gave them the resources to get started, including an introduction to our developer portal.
Our second stop was the Africa Digital Media Institute, also in Nairobi, where we showed yet another group of students how coding for KaiOS is easy, profitable, and potentially transformative.
Next, we touched base with the AGD (Africa Game Developers) – Africa’s largest gaming community – in Kenya. It’s no secret that Kenya’s video games industry is soaring – the BBC recently reported that the video games market in the country, worth over $50m in 2016, was expected to double by 2021 – and the talks we had with some of the key players in the community just confirmed that.
For them, creating interactive content for and about Africa is about empowering people in the region. We are 100% behind that. As champions of locally meaningful apps, we can’t wait to see what Kenya’s gaming talents create for KaiOS.
To Kenya’s video game creators, producing interactive content for and about Africa is about more than entertaining. It’s about empowering people. We believe that too, and we can’t wait to see what they create for KaiOS.
We ended our tour with an appearance at AfriDevCon, in Ethiopia, where we welcomed KaiOS enthusiasts in our very own booth and ran, yes, another two workshops.
It was an exhausting but inspiring few days. We came back to our offices more inspired than ever.
If you have creative, inspiring content that would like to run on our platform, please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org.