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Barcamp Nairobi 2010: Day 2

Today is only a half day at Barcamp Nairobi 2010. We’re getting underway, and there are 5 talks so far:

  • 9 colloquial Kenyan languages in Whive.com by John Karanja
  • Live mapping using OpenStreetMap and GPS units by @mikel
  • “Build a Drupal site in 20-minutes” by @batje
  • “Geek girls in Nairobi” by the Akirachix
  • Explaining the Kenya ICT Board $3m grant by @Kaburo
  • Google Geo API

The $4 Million Kenya ICT Board Grant

“US$ 4 Million of the proceeds for Grant Applications for the development of digital content and software applications.”

It was announced 10 days ago, and there are already 500+ applications. Final applications are due by July 19, 2010.

$10k for individuals and $50k for organizations. That is a Kenyan citizen and above 18 years old, for companies, you have to be registered in Kenya. You have to show your resume/CV for the leadership team.

The application can be done online.

Two main areas of the grant:

  1. Government services and applications (5 ministries)
  2. Any innovative ideas around digital content and software

The first 46 grants will be handed out to both private and public sector ideas and applications. More grants will be given out to companies (30) than private individuals (16), but there will be an equal split between the two groupings.

Grants announced on August 15th, 2010, at which point they will be working on contracts. The grant will be given out in 3-4 tranches, starting in October 2010. The funds have to be spent within 12 months. There will only be 46 grants given out this year (2010).

A single company can apply in multiple rounds for a grant, but will only be given one grant per round.

What protection will your idea be given? The team looking at and reviewing/judging the applications will be signing NDAs. There are 9 judges who will decide the winning proposals, and they do plan on sharing the names of those individuals.

Some people are worried that if they have a new idea, and they’re working for a company, that that company will own it and not them. Kaburo Kobia is suggesting that if they believe that is really the case, then the individuals should break away before then.

If you have any questions, make use of their website, send them an email at grants@ict.co.ke, call them at +254-020-2211960 or visit them on the 12th floor of Teleposta towers.

Google Maps API

IMG_0978

Mano is one of the top engineers from the Google Maps team and he was flown out to Kenya specifically for Barcamp Nairobi. He’s giving an overview of what can be done using their API, well beyond the normal pointal use that we see all the time.

I asked him what they’re doing about offline mapping, especially for those of us in Africa who don’t have the same access to connectivity. Mano says that they’re concerned about offline maps as well, which they don’t offer, but not for the reason I suggested. Instead, they see most of the people in the world accessing maps via mobiles, so they need to be able to let that happen when data capability is not within range.

Barcamp Nairobi this Weekend

It’s that time of year again, so I hope all of you Nairobian techies, bloggers and programmers are ready for Barcamp Nairobi. [Twitter: @BarcampNairobi]

Barcamp Nairobi will take place at the iHub and NaiLab, starting at 9am on Saturday June 12th and going late into the night. It keeps going on Sunday with WhereCamp Africa, so all you geo/mapping geeks get ready.

As usual, those who get in early will get a Barcamp t-shirt, until they’re all gone.

Register here. There are already about 300 planning to attend.

A Barcamp Primer

Barcamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from participants who are the main actors of the event.”

Those who haven’t been to a Barcamp need to understand something: You make the event. It’s a very democratic event, it doesn’t matter if you’re the Permanent Secretary of a university student, if you have something people want to hear, you’ll have a chance to sign up for a time and room to talk in, and people will vote with their feet on whether or not they like your topic.

We start the morning off with a session where everyone gets a chance to put forward their topic and then sign up for a time and room. The day then begins, and it’s a madhouse of great talks and even better people and connections. Food and snacks are provided, and the new iHub coffee shop is open for you to buy your caffeinated drinks all day long. 🙂

Potential Topcis

  • Using my (GPS Enabled) cell phone to avoid traffic
  • Cloud Computing Applications in Kenya
  • Business Skills for Techies
  • Rural ICT
  • ICT initiatives for youth
  • Mobile Application Development
  • Using Google Fusion Tables
  • Web design, and why it’s not as good as it should be in Kenya
  • Hardware hacking
  • Tips and tricks for internet connectivity around Nairobi
  • Merging mobile and electronic commerce concepts
  • Walking-papers.org: openstreetmapping without a GPS
  • Drupal, WordPress, Joomla and other CMS hacks

Get your talk ready!

Map & Directions

The iHub is on the 4th floor of the Bishop Magua Centre, directly opposite Uchumi Hyper on Ngong Road.


View iHub – Nairobi’s Innovation Hub in a larger map

It’s hard to believe it’s been 2 years since we last did this, letting 2009 slip by us… I’m really glad we’re doing this in 2010 and happy that Ushahidi is sponsoring it, as well as the iHub providing the space!

Barcamp Nairobi ’08 – Final Recap

Barcamp Nairobi ended up being quite an event, with 228 attendees and an overwhelming amount of good conversations. The list included bloggers, web and mobile developers, government officials and students. We had people from all over Kenya, as well as a couple who came in from Tanzania. It was truly eclectic and exactly what we were hoping it would be. Josiah Mugambi has the full run-down of topics covered in each room.

Pictures
Can be found on Picasa, Flickr and Facebook (you’ll have to friend John Wesonga for the Facebook ones).

Videos
I’m working on uploading a couple videos from Barcamp Nairobi. There were some really good conversations started, not all of which I was able to get on video, or even be in the room for. Hopefully, we’ll get some blog posts and videos from others who were there as well.

I’ll continue uploading additional videos throughout the week on YouTube.

Barcamp Nairobi Bloggers (let me know if I missed you):

O’Reilly Radar
(Programming Languages Survey)
Al Kags (gov’t perspective)
Rob Rooker
The Deeper Meaning of Life (Liz)
John Wesonga
Wilfred Mworia
Josiah Mugambi
Clement “Omesa” Ongera
Peperuka
Frontline Interactive
69mb (poster) (post #2)
Louder than Swahili (post #2)
Startup Africa
Notes from the Road (on Ndemo)
SportsKenya
Tech Talk (NY Times columnist)
Girl in the Meadow
The Gitts Zone
Brian Longwe
Kenyan Poet
Open Source Africa
Do Good Well
Business in Focus
Odyssean
Network World

Barcamp Nairobi Pictures

I’m totally abusing the great (relative term) wifi connection left over at the Jacaranda Hotel after Barcamp Nairobi. Getting images loaded up as fast as possible…

Barcamp Nairobi ’08 pictures can be found on Flickr using the search tag, “barcampnairobi“.

My images are going up on this set.

Barcamp Nairobi

Barcamp Nairobi

Below, NY Times journalist G. Pascal Zachary, showed up and we had a great chat on the local tech makeup, opportunities and economy. Steve Mutinda tells his story of making mobile phone applications.

Post-Barcamp Nairobi Hanging out

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