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Participants Discuss Mobile in Swaziland

Participants Discuss Mobile in Swaziland

The first BarCamp Swaziland was held 27 June 2009 at the generously donated venue of House on Fire in Malkerns, Swaziland.  We had sixty techies attend, including local engineers, internet service proviers, artists, music promoters, software developers, students, and non-profits.

On the day of the event, participants chose their own topics of discussion which included:

  • Building an Online Community
  • Mobile Applications
  • IT Security
  • E-commerce
  • Creating an online portal to distribute resources to those in need
  • Enterprise Resource Planning

|| Youth Involvement ||

Fiso and Winile at the computer

Fiso and Winile at the computer

YouthAssets hired nine youth from the rural areas of Swaziland to manage event logistics and serve as assistants to professional bloggers.  Youth gained skills and experience, experiemented with new technologies like Twitter and Flip video cameras, and were exposed to the IT community and careers.

|| Key TakeAways ||

  • There is a vibrant group of innovative technology professionals who value the opportunity to network and share ideas and want to carry the Barcamp torch forward.
  • Local developers appreciated the opportunity to demo their software for the local business market and receive feedback and support.
  • Participants were visionary and shared new technologies coming soon to Swaziland including WiMax, mobile banking, and local mobile search..
  • There is lots of interest in blogging tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and other online communities and interest in using social media to promote local artists and musicians.
  • There is a strong interest in using technology for social good – especially to help the many children orphaned because of HIV/AIDS.

|| Sponsors ||

Real Image Display

Real Image Display

Thanks to our sponsors Real Image Internet, envisionGood.tv, Shara Karasic, The Times of Swaziland, Swazis Rock, i.t. solutions, PoeTree, SangoNet from South Africa, and Comparatio USA that made it all possible.

|| Comments from Participants ||

Tibusiso

Tibusiso

“There is a community out here of especially young people interested or involved in IT – I need to network with these people.”

“There is a lot happening in the mobile development sector in Swaziland.”

“I learned how important technology is in our community and to the world at large.”

“There is more happening in technology than what meets the eye! Women in Swaziland or around the world can contribute in technology.”

“I learned that programming is not a joke and I’m into it!”

“The discussions were very informative, everyone giving input was great.”

“Next year, I will try to bring something that I have made myself – like my own software program.”

|| BarCamp Swaziland 2010!! ||

If you would like to help organize BarCamp Swaziland 2010, please join the BarCamp Swaziland Facebook page or contact Jennifer Sly, Jennifer@youthassets.org.

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