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CMS Africa Goes to Nairobi, Kenya

Written by | Saturday, 01 February 2014 00:00 | Published in 2014 February
CMS AFRICA, an organization which creates awareness on various open source CMSs is partnering with Kenya’s premier Business Institute of higher learning, Strathmore University, to host the CMS Africa Summit. The two day summit slated for March 7th and 8th, Nairobi, Kenya, is expected to attract web designers, web analysts, app developers, web administrators, government agencies, and digital marketers in Africa.  

Dr. R Marwanga, Dean, FIT at Strathmore University says, “Our Faculty is geared towards bringing people, technology and information together to create knowledge for our culture, economic well-being and quality of life in society which is in line with the University's mission.”

Businesses are concerned about issues of customization, security enhancements and bugs which they say in most cases are not properly looked into by web builders. This has resulted in incomplete websites with gaping security holes that have left thousands of websites unusable or easily attacked by prowling hackers. This is a threat to e-commerce where a majority of businesses frown on investing in Open Source management systems.

Oduor Jagero, the Lead at CMS Africa says, “It’s an opportunity for people involved in Open Source to meet experts and founders of these CMSs. It’s also an opportunity to exchange contacts, learn from each other, and take your business to the next level”.

On Open Source, OSM’s Paul Orwig, the President of OSM (Open Source Matters), says, “Open source gives new and small companies access to powerful tools that allow them to compete successfully against larger companies. It (Open Source) allows all companies to increase profitability by enabling them to focus more of their resources, expertise and creativity on serving their customers better, instead of purchasing, developing or supporting more complicated underlying technologies.”

A report released by Price Waterhouse Cooper, the PWC’s annual “Africa Business Agenda in January” shows that CEOs in Africa are confident of growth prospects, specifically growth related to new products and services, and focused on targeted efforts to reach more customers and clients on the continent over the next 12 months. CEOs in Ghana (94%), South Africa (90%), Zimbabwe (90%) and Rwanda (87%), show the highest level of optimism. CEOs in Kenya (83%), Tanzania (70%), Uganda (67%) and Zambia (65%) are ‘somewhat or very’ confident of growth.

Technology is playing a major role in this growth where on being asked how technology is influencing the agility agenda in Africa, Slim Othmani, CEO NCA Rouiba says, “We continuously invest in new technologies. It is the most important item in which advanced companies invest and yet it is the item for which the return on investment is amongst the longest. This is very important even though the delay for the integration of new technologies can be quite long.”

CMS AFRICA SUMMIT wishes to bridge this gap and address some of these concerns by organizing conferences across the African continent that will bring experts from different leading CMSs to offer workshops and lectures on different issues ranging from installation, customizations, updates, security enhancements, backups, extensions, modules, and other related issues.

Paul Orwig says that adopting a CMS allows companies to connect and serve their customers more effectively, and multiplies the productivity of their employees. This then makes it the ingredient which could make the CEOs achieve their agenda in growing their companies.

African universities will host these conferences with students from different universities and colleges also sponsored at the event.

Kenya is the first to host the summit and Paul is optimistic about the prospects. “Open Source is about sharing and empowerment. It will be exciting to carry this message to those in Kenya and help the participants discover how Open Source can help them pursue their dreams.” he says.

Competition in Open Source is also critically important and for those in the field, and Paul talks about collaboration. He says that it ensures good quality products and services, adding, “In a competitive environment, collaboration takes place internally among teams within each separate company. The knowledge that each company develops will likely remain their closely guarded secrets.”

He adds that there are advantages to collaborating as it takes place in the open. That allows more knowledge to be shared, which can lead to more innovation, which can help ensure more good quality products and services are created.

The conference is not limited to students and other attendees will be companies in the area of website and platform building and any other persons who would want to add to their knowledge in the same field.

Some of the speakers are Bitange Ndemo, (Chairman, Alliance for Affordable Internet), David Hurley (Community Manager, Joomla!), Kuba Zwolinski, (CEO Snowdog), Ruth Cheesely (Community Leadership Team, Joomla!), Patrick Mungai (Director of WSI), John Karanja (CEO SpaceKenya), and other local and international guests.

Speakers, partners, and attendees are invited from around the world to attend this great continental event.

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