Women entrepreneurs, designers, developers and technology enthusiasts in Mombasa came together this past weekend as the Women Techmakers Mombasa event held at Jaffery Institute on 28th March. The event was powered by Google Developer Groups (GDG) Mombasa whose theme for Women Techmakers””2015 is “Connect.Create.Celebrate” .
Women Techmakers is a Google initiative for women leaders in technology and hopes to inspire others to join the field. Women Techmakers hopes to provide women in Mombasa with visibility, community, and resources to drive innovation and participation in the field. Women Tech makers events are held worldwide and having one event in Mombasa should be a big plus for the coast tech community.
The primary objective of this event was to grow, and celebrate women developers, designers, and technology entrepreneurs. GDG Mombasa plans to do this by improving programs and increasing women GDG members by collaborations and raising awareness through social media.
The event was organised by Mombasa Tech, a community based organisation that addresses the challenges faced by communities in Mombasa through effective and practical use of technology. The 500 member community also works to promote, nurture and encourage more girls and women into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Mombasa.
The event points at a growing Tech community with Mombasa Tech and Swahili Box emerging as the two rival tech hubs in Mombasa. Both are community based organisations that offer co-working space. Both have a shared history as Ahmed Maawy, Swahili Box’s founder was also one of the founders at Mombasa Tech four years ago.
Mombasa’s tech scene has come alive as these two hubs are buzzing with activities. Hackathons, talks, events, workshops are the order of the day. The convergence of so many Institutions of higher learning in the Island is also another big factor with University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Kenyatta University leading the way. Others are Moi University, Methodist and Mount Kenya University.
All these institutions are less than 2km apart. As a result Mombasa Island is teeming with youth who need spaces to create, innovate and collaborate. These two hubs will continue to see numbers grow as more join institutions of higher learning and others graduate.
The Women Techmakers event had an all women panel that included an entrepreneur, a trainer, a director and a cancer survivor. There were talks by invited speakers, a social hour, team building activities among other activities. It was an interesting time to interact with thought leaders, network and talk some tech stuff.