“Silicon Mountain Conference”: Why now?

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The #Team237 Community hosts the  Silicon Mountain Conference and I will be the Master of Ceremony.

Nice huh? The event takes place tomorrow, June 20, at Eta Palace from 5 pm to 8pm with theme:

LET’S BUILD PRODUCTS.

Present at this gathering would be: entrepreneurs, startup founders, software engineering students, many mentors, product builders , users and a host of influencers.  The agenda includes keynote speeches from:

1. Churchill Mambe, CEO @ Njorku (A Story of Silicon Mountain)

2. Isaac Kamga GDG Mentor for Cameroon – (An Appraisal of efforts and participants)   and

3. Otto Akama, Community Manager at ACTIVspaces, Buea Chapter (Building Products – The next step of our journey)

Projects in progress will be presented as well as new platforms e.g. BITs by Benyella Njeko and the #MadeInBuea platform championed by Churchill.

The aim of the conference is to get the whole community on the same page, defining the journey ahead, while also celebrating the community’s success in 2014’s objective of building a ‘Community that Codes’Disrupt Africa Article by avid African tech sniffer-Tom Jackson.

The Buea area (Silicon Mountain) is the most attractive to tech startups in Cameroon. With conferences like this, we believe we can be the most attractive in Africa because in the Silicon Mountain, we do real things”– My Aunty Yefon on  her awesome blog. Read her full post here.

You see, the reason why this event interests me in particular is the fact that this #techosystem has been existing for a long time. A few successful products have emerged from Buea- Wasamundi, Fee Perfect and  Njorku include those which have made considerable progress( and #WebNoise).

Keyword: Successful

I don’t mean millions of Frs CFA valuation or IPOs. These are startups that have simply been able to survive the very harsh startup environment in Buea and Cameroon at large.

Wasamundi for example has been around since 2009. If not on the ground, then at least in the minds of Nara Lawrence and Quincy Kwende.

Platforms aimed towards building products for local (and global) communities using new technologies have been around Buea and Cameroon for a long time.

So, why is this the first time you are hearing about such a conference?

Some would say the time wasn’t ripe, or the idea and the synergy was inexistent.

I may not be a coder or one of the startup founders, but I have been in this ecosystem for 7 years. And I can comfortably say that I saw this “community” take shape with the actions of a small group of people.

Is that claim preposterous? Maybe. Should you believe me? Don’t.

Exhibit A: This link goes to the GDG Buea Community on Google +.

Exhibit B: This one, goes to one of the 12 (TWELVE) Google Summer of Code 2015 (GSOC2015) participants I discussed with on labour day.

Do you see a trend here?

Maybe not. What about this?

GSOC numbersWhat does that ’12’ in front of Cameroon means?

Star Witness

As you may have seen in recent posts, there are many students and mentors throughout Africa and all around the world working very hard to spread the word about GSoC to their communities. We are happy to announce that Cameroon quadrupled their number of accepted students in 2015 to 12!”- Read the full Google Open Source Post Here.

This same select group of people have been organizing events and making noise all over the internet about Buea and the tech community.

And, I think it is time they are fully recognized for their role in this movement.

I may not have the full story of why and how Isaac Kamga moved from Google Developer Group Manager for Buea to Google Developer Group Mentor for Cameroon.

Or how the Checks have taken Google Student Ambassadorship to a different level.

Or why Tah Teche’s work wasn’t felt( or was it just that it didn’t affect me directly?)

But as long as I have a mouth and a keyboard, I ask and rant.

You’re not going to climb this mountain alone 🙂

Stay tuned!

#KamgaOut

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