In a first, tech giant Safaricom has brught together developers and other related stakeholders to showcase new technology and emerging trends to help build a community for Kenyan engineers.
The two-day summit held last week was informed by the fast-changing fintech landscape, emerging technology trends and the need for homegrown software engineering talent.
“Safaricom intends to ensure that about 70 percent to 80 percent of the technology we use is built in-house. Indeed, the Safaricom app and M-PESA app were developed and continue to be improved by our internal teams. Therefore, to ensure sustainability and even achieve more milestones, we must create a training ground and grow a big community of software engineers. I believe this summit will not only be a platform for collaboration in terms of tapping into fresh talent, but also, it will create an opportunity for us to showcase our technology capabilities on the global stage, making us a powerhouse for software engineering in the Silicon Savannah, not just as Safaricom but really as Kenya,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.
The Safaricom Engineering Summit is the first of its kind. A total of 300 innovators and disrupters from small businesses, large industry, academia and government realms in the software engineering field explored the latest research, build connections, and spark innovation to meet Kenya’s future challenges.
“Kenya has long been known as Africa’s Silicon Savannah. Living up to this expectation, we intend to form a vibrant community of tech enthusiasts willing to find real solutions to real challenges,” concluded Mr Ndegwa.
The summit treated participants to a showcase of the country and Safaricom’s engineering practices and products, especially in Fintech, such as the Daraja API and other innovations from partners and sponsors.
There were also quick networking sessions with opportunities to meet the who-is-who in the industry and coding challenges with prizes to be won.
Speaking on behalf of Mozilla, one of the summit’s platinum sponsor, Alice Munyua, Director, Africa Mradi – Mozilla lauded Safaricom for the summit and encouraged Kenyans in the technology space to create products and solutions that are meaningful and impactful to society.
“At Mozilla, we build products that advocate for a safe internet, as privacy is key in everything we do. We just launched Common Voice, our initiative to teach machines to learn how humans worldwide speak, including Swahili,” she said.
AWS and Huawei were also sponsoring the Inaugural Safaricom Engineering Summit.