Attacks on Nairobi shopping mall

We are shocked and deeply sorry about what happened and still happens in Nairobi. We’d like to send our sincere condolences to those who lost their loved ones, and wish everyone who was injured a quick recovery.

Gregor is already in the city since a few days and was even in the Westgate area when the attacks started. Fortunately, he’s alright and he already donated blood.

Our trip will officially start in three days (25 Sep) in Nairobi and our plans haven’t changed. We are worried and we take things seriously but we are still very excited to finally be there. Let’s kick off more collaboration!


Gregor‘s video message:

AfricaHackTrip meets Nairobi Hack Scene

AfricaHackTrip Nairobi
Wheee! Only a week till our trip starts in Nairobi – super excited!!On Thursday 26 and Friday 27 September 2013, we will host events at iHub Nairobi: a Barcamp on the first day, and a Hackathon on the second. The events (and catering) are sponsored by GitHub and Geeksphone is giving us devices to play around with and test apps on (which will be developed during the event?).

We are looking forward to meeting our peers in Nairobi! To make things easier for us, our friends at iHub and the caterer, please let us know if you attend via Lanyrd.

And here is our official invite text with some more infos:

AfricaHackTrip is a group of developers and designers from Europe visiting East Africa in September/October 2013. We have been coworking with people from all over the world, but not yet with creatives from the growing African tech scene. We want to meet, connect and share with our peers in East Africa. The goal is to kick off continuous exchange and establish networks.

We want to meet you and get to know you! To get in touch with the developer & designer community of Nairobi, we organize a 2-day event. On the first day, the focus will be on getting to know each other, discussions and community bonding. On the second day, we will collaborate and work together on projects which are important to the participants.

Our main interests and skills are UX design, web technology, open source community and mobile devices, so we chose these as umbrella topics for the events. We are also fans of Firefox OS, which is why we will present it and bring phones.

The events will have free catering sponsored by GitHub, so we can focus on our topics. The Firefox OS devices are generously donated by Geeksphone. They can be used for testing and developing apps. We intend on giving them to the local community after the events.

We are super happy to have iHub on board as host of our events in Nairobi on Thursday 26 September and Friday 27 September.

Thursday 26 September, 10.00-18.00: Barcamp / Unconference

We want to know and share how people work, connect and exchange:

  • What do people work on?
  • Which projects/problems are relevant?
  • How can we collaborate?

The first hour is reserved for a quick word on what AfricaHackTrip is, an introductory round so we can get to know each other, coming up with ideas for topics and then vote for a few that can be discussed and worked on in groups. We think defining topics together instead of defining something upfront makes more sense so bring your ideas!

Friday 27 September, 10.00-18.00: Hackathon

We want to speak code and work together on interesting projects. We’re hackers and like to create solutions for real problems.

Usually at a hackathon you start from scratch to build something small in a short amount of time. But we think the results could be more sustainable if we work on existing, real-world projects. That’s why we encourage everyone to present projects they’re working on and look for others to join their efforts. Starting from scratch is of course also fine.

Before or during the hackathon we can also have short talks or workshops to learn together. This depends on what we will all come up with together during the Barcamp. So bring your ideas and let’s work on them together!

Connect with

Will Mutua: Reflections on the ‘Silicon Savannah’

Will Mutua from Afrinnovator has written a very interesting piece on “The Past, Present and Future of Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Kenya”.  He sums up the developments in Kenya from the launch of undersea fiber optic cables, via Ushahidi, iHub and M-Pesa as examples of how entrepreneurs shaped Kenya’s tech boom, to the recent debate on the “Silicon Savannah”.

As an outlook to the future, he compares government plans and organic developments that grew from the Kenyan tech community, and concludes:

“Today the government has come up with another strategy and another plan. However, there’s also a vibrant tech community that can and should also determine its future. If the Silicon Savannah wants to grow fast and deliver on its promise, it has to be an intentional (and shared) progression. And in 5-years’ time questions and criticisms can be raised, but at least against a standard of expectation.”

Read the whole article here: