The Mombasa Tech Community - Guest Post by Ahmed Maawy

By Rachel Gichinga
  Published 14 Mar 2013
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The Mombasa Tech Community - Guest Post by Ahmed Maawy
The Mombasa Tech Community is the brainchild of Ahmed Maawy, Alifya Ganijee and Said Fuad Said. The major objective behind the formation of this community was to bridge the knowledge and exposure gap that exists between Nairobi and Mombasa, and ultimately Kenya's coastal region on the whole. The region has a massive amount of tech talent, but has no direction or roadmap for the utilization of this talent. This tech talent faces tons of challenges when it comes to career growth and exposure. The Mombasa Tech Community therefore seeks to link this talent to the global village in order to have access to opportunities. Ahmed came up with the idea of putting this group together when he initially moved to the Coast and did the first Ushahidi community meetup, after he had also done a Google Technology User Group meetup earlier that year. Together with his friends Said and Alifya, they charted a roadmap on how to create a technology community at the coast. It has been a challenging journey, one that many other people had undertaken and had not managed to gain much traction. The team has therefore had to be unique and innovative in their approach. Having worked with the iHub before, Ahmed had seen how communities can be engaged and the value tech could add to the community. What works in Nairobi will not work in Mombasa, and it takes local people to understand the local values and cultures to get around getting things done in very innovative ways. With this in mind the team set out to carry out a very challanging task ahead of them. One year after the conception of the idea, the team has worked with Mozilla, Wikipedia and Google to launch local events and contests within Mombasa, with the help of organizations such as CAMARA. This is only just the beginning, with more to come. There is still a lot of work to be done before we create a massive technology innovation center and community, and engage more and more partners, which is why the Mombasa Tech Community gives special thanks to the iHub in offering the community support in building the structure even further. The community envisions greater things to come through collaboration, and the sky shall be the limit. Here comes technology and innovation to the coast, in a blend that is tropical – and most important, in a blend that marches to the beat of the coastal people.
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