Open Collaboration for African Techies
Some people still wonder what the point of a “barcamp” is… Cameroon’s campers think it’s great for the tech community to get together, share our experiences, promote each other, find avenues for collaboration and just network. But here are a few reasons why BarCamp Cameroon 2013, held last weekend on October 26th at UIDB, was probably Buea’s most memorable tech event till date.
Rebecca Enonchong’s Keynote: Having a patron of Cameroon’s tech community officially welcome participants to “Silicon Mountain” is like a mark of approval on the work that’s been going on and motivation for newcomers in this space. Will Buea actually become Cameroon’s indisputable technology hub? The story is as yet untold, but having the CEO of AppsTech cast her vote of confidence is a call to action and a reminder of the potential that resides within the small mountain town.
All Tech Everything: Disappointingly, professionals from industries that don’t appear to have a direct link with technology often fail to realize how technology can be leveraged to improve business. This notion was dispelled at multiple points throughout the day’s events but we thought the “Bamboo Man” expressed it best. Durable cell phone cases, laptop shells and even laptop bags add a jungle aesthetic to your hardware. But more importantly, Lekuama Ketuafor Godwin honed his craft to provide for a growing trend. Think tech, then think in all directions. Call him at +237 72 67 49 55 to order.
Lunch a.k.a Item 11: Our lunch was catered by Master Chef, a small restaurant in Buea’s Molyko area and Bonga Juice, a fresh juice startup that is all the rave in Buea. Bonga Juice in particular say they want to “keep the community’s entrepreneurs healthy”. Getting local food and drink fledglings to cater at #bccam13 was cool enough; especially when the juice cups have BarCamp Cameroon stickers on them. But here’s the scoop, both of these providers source several of their ingredients from Agro-Mart. Yes, our very own Agro-Hub‘s supermarket. Now you see why those juices deserve those stickers.
“Made In Cameroon” software: One of the highlights of #bccam13 was Feem, a LAN data sharing application developed by Fritz Ekwoge, CEO of FeePerfect. Feem itself witnessed a multitude of new users but it was amazing to see participants communicating and sharing over Feem the entire day. Hearing the Francophone attendees saying “je vais te Feem ça” (“I’ll Feem it to you”) was definitely a proud “Made In Cameroon” moment.
On behalf of the BarCamp Cameroon committee, ActivSpaces would like to say a big thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers, and participants that made it happen. We can’t wait till the next time we see you in Silicon Mountain!
PS. Contact us to find out more information about the BarCamp Cameroon 2013 CD. It contains all the presentations and software that featured during the event. If you’d like a copy please shoot us a mail and we’ll try and get one to you.
This blog is a resource for news, project updates, member profiles and community events at ActivSpaces, an open collaboration space, innovation hub and startup incubator for African techies. Based in Buea, Cameroon.