The journey to set up the technology sector in Mombasa. Explained
Recently I had moved to Doha from Mombasa after a long period of time in Mombasa doing amazing things. This may have come as a surprise to many. And there has been talk, although mostly, I believe, based on twisted opinion as to my involvement, as well as other parties involvement in the technology sector in Mombasa.
This is as honest as the story gets.
Let me explain how Mombasa has worked out in my close to 5 years of concrete involvement in the technology sector. This blog post is my attempt to put some history into some of the messages coming to me or going to other people around my personal involvement in the tech scene in Mombasa. I am going to be brief and to the point. There are many things to talk about but here is a summary…
Close to 6 years back I decided to become a responsible Mombasa citizen. To put things into perspective, I was working in Nairobi in the technology sector, and had been composing the team for what was then the Nairobi GTUG — Or Google Technology User Groups. Which scaled into the rest of Nairobi with fellows like Antony Nandaa (prof Nandaa) who took over from me and others. In as far as Nairobi GTUG had gone on after myself involved I was more than happy to say that was fantastic. To be honest they did a better job than myself at that.
That is when I decided we should send GTUG to Mombasa. That is when we set up Mombasa GTUG. In some years after that it became known as what then became GDG Mombasa. We did our first events (which we had done a blog post about on Feb 9, 2011) in conjunction with players like CAMARA at the MITC (Mombasa Industrial Training Center) in Bombolulu. Arthur Simiyu was the 1st lead we had set up to run the GTUG (to be GDG) chapter in Mombasa.
The success of this venture then gave me the inspiration to push for a tech community setup known as the Mombasa Tech Community, something that TechMtaa blogged about on April the 24th 2011. So the truth of the matter is that our GTUG involvement brought into perspective the formation of the Mombasa Tech Community. So GTUG brought in the seeds that set up momentum for Mombasa Tech Community.
In between, momentum got lost and I set sail back to Mombasa to revive The Mombasa Tech Community again after some few months out of the tech scene in Mombasa. In the process, recruited new players, set up a new strategy, and put things in motion again. This time, with Mombasa Tech Community as the focal point. Majorly, setup the eco-system to have Google and Mozilla do GTUG (GDG) and Mozilla events in Mombasa as the starting point.
Years later after a good amount of success in the efforts I had pushed out for, I did a blog post about the work we had set out to do in Mombasa. We put up a blog post about the efforts in the iHub blog about this — On March the 14th 2013. I moved back in the December of 2013 to set sail for the setup of a technology hub in Mombasa via the Mombasa Tech Community. We then in the process did the most impressive tech event on record in Mombasa on March the 29th, 2014, The Barcamp Mombasa in conjunction with players like the iHub, Angani and Intel.
Up around the same year there due to a number of circumstances facing me, I left the Mombasa Tech Community (despite being the key founder). And embarked on the journey of setting up the Technology hub with an entity known as the M-Power CBO. With a new team.
And we did succeed. M-Power received support to setup SwahiliBox by players such as the Indigo Trust, Hivos and Stichting Doen. There are various blog posts that were done around this time about this exciting new venture that we brought up to life, including by CIO East Africa, Kenya Monitor, and the Indigo Trust itself among other players. We completed the setup of the technology hub toward the end of 2015.
In the early months of 2016, The SwahiliBox space that took 2 years of tears, blood and sweat then became SwahiliPot. For reasons beyond my control and that I can not to this date understand.
Few months later, after some soul searching, I decided to make a move to Doha…