Events

“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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#cmrbloggershangout: A Recap of The Second Edition

Five months ago, on Saturday 14th June, 2014 Fabafriq Magazine organized a bloggers’ meet up, dubbed #cmrbloggershangout in Douala. The event, first of its kind was  sponsored by Ethiopian Airlines. It took place in the Bonapriso neighborhood in White House Restaurant.

LR Yours truly, Adeline Sede, a young exec, Bessong Bessem, Ngahane Desire

LR Yours truly, Adeline Sede, a young exec, Bessong Bessem, Ngahane Desire

 

This Saturday 15th November, 2014, the 2nd Edition of the hangout took place still in the economic capital of our nation. This time, it was was co-sponsored by Fabafriq, Ethiopian Airlines, DHL,Wasamundi and by our host Vivindi Consulting SARL.

Seated at the table, our hosts.

Seated at the table, our hosts.

It took place besides the beautiful pool of Hotel Le Meridien in the classy Akwa environ. Mme Adeline Sede K. is the publisher of FabAfriq Magazine and she is the driving force behind this soon-to-be-traditional meetup of bloggers, online reporters, media personalities, designers, photojournalists,media sympathizers, investors and business owners.

Hotel Le Meridien has a beautiful pool

Hotel Le Meridien has a beautiful pool

Traditional media doesn’t  advertise as  it used to. What business owners need to  understand is that bloggers are these passionate individuals with an online clout. They are  the current best bet for effective product and service promotion. This forum is to let the investors see the opportunities they have in ‘using’ these bloggers and for the bloggers to get a chance to  be paid so as  keep doing what they are good at“- Publisher of FabAfriq.

Mme Adeline Sede K. Founder and Publisher at FabAfriq Magazine

Mme Adeline Sede K. Founder and Publisher at FabAfriq Magazine

This hangout saw a slight lower attendance than the previous mostly because of the short notice. But the benefit was that the quality of engagement was significantly better than the previous.

We had the  the C.E.O -Mme Mangoua- and the Managing Director of Vivindi Consulting Sarl– Miss Marie Cecile Nguekam.

Our beautiful hosts L-R Mme Mangoua- CEO of Vivindi Consulting , holding the booklets is Managing Director of Vivindi- Marie Cecile Nguekam

Our beautiful hosts L-R Mme Mangoua- CEO of Vivindi Consulting , holding the booklets is Managing Director of Vivindi- Marie Cecile Nguekam

 

As for the ‘floor members’ we had(for those attending for the second time):

Our chair person-Mme Irene Azong-Wara of Febmart,

Mme Azong-Wara of FebMart

Mme Azong-Wara of FebMart

Chantal Edie of Chantal Edie Photography

The pictures are courtesy of her professional eye.

Thanks Chantal.

(R) Chantal in her dazzling red (L) Marie Cecile

(R) Chantal in her dazzling red (L) Marie Cecile

Clifford Ako C.M.O of Wasamundi

Clifford Ako, CMO of Wasamundi.com

Clifford Ako, CMO of Wasamundi.com

Brian Njotsa,

Who wears dark glasses better than Brian?

Who wears dark glasses better than Brian?

Simo Jandie C.E.O of  Jandie Multimedia Concepts(JMC),

Simo Jandie of Jandie Multimedia Concepts

Simo Jandie of Jandie Multimedia Concepts

Gilbert ‘Gilly’ Zamani- Web and graphics designer,

Gilbert 'Gilly' Zamani web and graphics designer

Gilbert ‘Gilly’ Zamani web and graphics designer

and Miss J.J Nshom , TV host( On7) and TIPTOPSTARS editor,

The TV host and TIPTOPSTARS editor

The TV host and TIPTOPSTARS editor holding some of Marion’s creations

The relatively new faces included Miss Marion ( she made a very special…Miss’s day),

Miss Cameroon 2014 proudly wearing one of Marion's handmade necklaces.

Miss Cameroon 2104 proudly wearing one of Marion’s handmade necklaces.

Miss Binta,

Miss Binta, Journalisma and Mass Communication graduate.

Miss Binta, Journalisma and Mass Communication graduate.

Herbert Budi- Aviation student and entertainment adept  and Njeukwa Bounkeu-a Vlogger and guitar virtuoso,

L-R Yours truly, pensive Njeukwa and welcoming Herbert

L-R Yourstruly, pensive Njeukwa and  Herbert

Roy from Ernst & Young( Roy and I  had a short ‘discussion’ on Photography. He’s very passionate about photos and prefers them natural and unaltered. He abhors Photoshop).

The amateur photographer and expert auditor.

The amateur photographer and expert auditor.

Because my brain loves playing tricks on me, I would plead with the attendees to please draw my attention to anyone I INADVERTENTLY missed or whose name I could have spelt poorly.

We started with an introductory note from Mme Sede K. and Mme Azong-wara later took us through our purpose for the afternoon which was to engage the Vivindi staff thoroughly.  We all introduced ourselves individually with yours truly doing the translation when necessary. At the end of the exchange, we had achieved a preliminary consultancy for Vivindi bundled with suggestions and clarifications. Especially on how we were supposed to assist in the Business Forum International  of the 3rd of next month.

Vivindi Consluting is Local Network for a Global business and in my next blog post, I will go deeply into the mission of the company and the activities of the 3rd.

Hotel Le Meridien is a beautiful and well built location. I did not pay attention to the number of storeys but two things struck me:

  1. The aesthetics: The ‘out-house’ design – beautiful sky blue water filled pool surrounded by well made wooden tables all in an airy environment under either large stylish umbrellas or a cozy shaded large veranda.
  2. The toilets: I love clean toilets. I hope this is not too weird but…when I flushed the scent was sweet. I was tempted to press the button again. I resisted.

We had a table to ourselves and the afternoon sped away. When all the main points had been trashed, we were treated to king’s quality meat and seafood fest-all with mustard and pepper. Crowned with natural…I repeat NATURAL guava and pineapple( or was it orange?) juice.

Le repas

And good wine.

French Style.

 

 

 

This gave us the opportunity to relax and talk informally at length. We  exchanged addresses  during this time.

 

This is the best part of hangouts. The chitchat. The laughs and the jokes. The real bonds are made in this way. Especially the lasting ones.

It is during this period that smart bloggers pitch  to business owners in a very private way.

'Private' sessions with the hosts.

‘Private’ sessions with the hosts.

And those who know they game usually earn great deals.

You know yourselves.

As the evening drew close,I was genuinely satisfied with the assembly.

I had tasted sea food for the first time and had met new,vibrant and enthusiastic individuals. But guess what? The universe decided that this was not enough.

That Kamga will meet with a celebrity. That his childhood dream( which he never had) would come true and that he would touch …a Miss.

Miss Cameroon 2014 and the #cmrbloggers

Miss Cameroon 2014 and the #cmrbloggers

Goodnight and thanks for reading.

Please, “Like” and “Share”.

Spoilers for next two  posts:

  1. Vivindi Consulting Sarl intends express the impact Ebola plays in the Cameroonian economy.
  2. Up-close (but not very personal) with Miss Cameroon 2014. The interview proper. I would be glad to hear your thoughts.Miss FabAfriq and Miss Cameroon 2014.Miss FabAfriq and Miss Cameroon 2014.