Yesterday’s first BarCampDar brought together some of the brightest, innovative and enthusiastic technologists in Tanzania all in one place. Vibrant presentations and discussions were held on a wide range of topics ranging from cloud computing to mobile app development and both organizers and attendees left with great expectations of bigger things to come.
For those that couldn’t make it, what did you miss?
The Saba Saba public holiday was no excuse as attendees started lining up 30mins before registration started at the Kilimanjaro Kempinski Hotel much to the surprise of organizers. Before we got started, we had a few technical hiccups with the internet and projectors, which is expected at a tech event. Though once those were sorted out things went smooth and the event was also broadcast live globally on the BarCampdar site. In true BarCamp style, attendees were encouraged to present and schedules were moved around on the fly (see picture above). We had a mix of presenters from students, tech entrepreneurs, developers, major tech companies and government representatives all sharing their expertise, view points, challenges and opportunities.
The Problem Solved Ltd team showcased a unique, integrated and completed accounting and tax reporting system for Tanzanian businesses. Although technically the system was superb with a captivating presentation, I have qualms about whether businesses would really want to report all of their transactions directly to the government. Microsoft’s BizSpark program as well as their Azure program were all great initiatives to learn about for developers and entrepreneurs. Some other notable presentations were Dar411 Mobile‘s integrated CRM platform for sms, voice and email as well as PAYU computing‘s pay per use thin client computer access service.
BarCampDar was a great event to get the Tanzanian tech community which has largely been dormant and segmented to come together and share and learn. It also paves the way for more tech events as well as larger initiatives such as a physical collaborative space and a tech business incubator. An online Tanzanian startup community was also launched that is hoped to bring all stakeholders together virtually as well as showcase local innovators and innovations.