Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Skunkworks Kenya

I arrived in from South Africa in time to make it to the regular “Skunkworks” meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. This is where many of the brightest tech minds in Kenya get together to discuss ideas and pertinent issues within the Kenyan ICT sector.

Skunkworks Kenya - May 29, 2007

Among those present were Riyaz Bachani and Josiah Mugambi, two of the BarCamp Kenya organizers. I also had the chance to meet Mugambi Kimathi, creator of Jahazi (covered earlier). Jean-Antoine Bord, behind Pajama Nation, was also present. So, it was fun to talk to some of these guys who are at the “center of the storm” of web development in Kenya.

Riyaz BachaniThe topic for last evening’s discussion was the creation of a Linux Professional’s Association of Kenya, the positioning of Linux within the public and private sectors, and discussions on how to educate people about the benefits of open source operating systems and software. After having a long discussion with Heather Ford, Director of iCommons, which is based in South Africa, I can’t help but think that there is so much that can be done between these two groups.

At the end of the meeting, the consensus seemed to be that people in government, SME’s and even big business don’t really care about what the operating system is, so long as it works. If they can save money and run their business more profitably because of the decisions that their IT consultants make, then that’s a big extra. Having a local open source association that can provide success stories of companies and parastatals that have successfully implemented open source software will be a big help for further growth in this area.

Overall it was a great meeting that I really enjoyed sitting in on. The tech community in Nairobi was well represented and you can tell how passionate everyone is about creating a better tech sector in Kenya.

Evans Ikua - Linux professionals association of kenya


  1. Hash:

    That sounds very major. I am glad you have been able to capture so much of what is going on in both South Africa and Kenya.

    Please give my regards!

  2. Ok I know this is completly OT, but: someone should sue this guy who sells these office furnitures. Especially those chairs are a ***** in the ****. rrrrrr 🙂

  3. Wow! This sounds like an awesome group to get to know, Erik! Hoping you do lots more connections in your travels – this is *most* helpful 🙂

  4. Heather, I agree. This is a great group to tap into.

  5. Hey Erik,

    Glad to hear you arrived safely in Kenya. I hope the rest of your trip goes well and I look forward to reading what progress you make with other bloggers ;-0

  6. Hi Erik,
    It was good to see you also, I hope to see you again, about other ideas.
    Thank you to Skunkworks community for this meeting, you are so dynamic and enthusiastic!

    About Pajamanation, it is a world wide market place for micro jobs, such as Graphic Designing, IT developing and Web Site Designing… And it’s free! Take a look at http://www.pajamanation.com

  7. SITT-Is a new initiative by Strathmore university to launch an IT based business incubation at Strathmore University.The program is in the process of recruiting persons /innovators and IT entrepreneurs.Interested persons to contact me at:pwalela@strathmore.edu or visit the strath university webpage. Also check groups on face book (Strathmore innovation technology transfer program).

  8. I’d be at tonight’s event. Nairobi is bubbling with IT. 🙂

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