Safaricom recently held a two-day summit for industry and other related stakeholders to showcase new technology and emerging trends while bringing together a community for Kenyan engineers. The summit was informed by the fast-changing fintech landscape, emerging technology trends and the need for homegrown software engineering talent. “Safaricom intends to ensure that about 70% to 80% of the technology we use is built in-house. Indeed, the Safaricom app and M-Pesa app were developed and continue to be improved by our internal teams. Therefore, to ensure sustainability and even achieve more milestones, we must create a training ground and grow a big community of software engineers,” said Mr. Peter Ndegwa, Chief Executive Officer, Safaricom.
The summit was the first of its kind. It brought together three hundred innovators and disrupters from small businesses, large industry, academia and government realms in the software engineering field to explore the latest research, build connections and spark innovation to meet Kenya’s future challenges. “Kenya has long been known as Africa’s Silicon Savannah. Living up to this expectation, we intend to form a vibrant community of tech enthusiasts willing to find real solutions to real challenges,” added Mr. Ndegwa.
The summit treated participants to a showcase of the country and Safaricom’s engineering practices and products, especially in fintech, such as the Daraja API and other innovations from partners and sponsors. Speaking on behalf of Mozilla, one of the summit’s platinum sponsors, Alice Munyua, director, Africa Mradi – Mozilla lauded Safaricom for organizing the summit and encouraged Kenyans in the technology space to create products and solutions that are meaningful and impactful to society. “At Mozilla, we build products that advocate for a safe internet, as privacy is key in everything we do. We just launched Common Voice, our initiative to teach machines to learn how humans worldwide speak, including Swahili,” she said.