Capturing The First Pycon Africa

The inaugural pan-African meeting of the Python programming community (Pycon Africa) took place on the 6 – 10 August 2019 in Accra, Ghana at the Bank of Ghana Auditorium, University of Ghana premises which had 323 attendees mainly from all parts of Africa and beyond.

Bank of Ghana Auditorium Credit: Noah Alorwu

The conference had attendees coming from Madagascar, Namibia, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Italy, Senegal, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ethiopia, Zambia, US, Netherland, Zimbabwe, Germany, Brazil etc.

The conference kicked off with an International visitors’ tour of Accra, where guests were taking round to experience the way of life and also visit tourist sites within Accra. Some places of the visit include; Independence Square, Makola Market, Cultural Centre, National Theatre just to mention a few. 

Arrival at the National Theatre Credit: Chuma Umenze

Aside that, there was a beginners day session at the conference venue led by Joey Darko to introduce newbies to the Python programming language.

The opening ceremony started with a cultural display of Ghanaian dances such as Adowa, Agbadza, Damba Takai and many more.

Adowa Dance Credit: Khophi Photography
Here is a video of me dancing with Django Girls attendees who also served as volunteers
#pyDance #DjangoGirls

After the opening dance, Marlene Mhangami the chair for the conference mounted the stage to welcome everyone officially and also introduce the executive team behind the organization of the conference.

Meet the team. From left Marlene > Noah > Mannie > Michael > Daniele >Aaron > Abigail

Moustapha Cisse took over to present a keynote on ‘AI : The potential for Positive Impact‘.

Moustapha Keynoting Credit: Khophi Photography

Afterward, talks scheduled for the day started and runs till mid-afternoon, where a plenary discussion was held on ‘The role African technology communities play in the global technology ecosystem, and how the growth of these communities can be nurtured‘ on the panel were: Solomon Apenya – Andela, Daniel Roy Greenfeld – Britecore, James Yankah – Brompton group and Marlene Mhamani – Pycon Africa Chair

Anna Makarudze the Vice President of the Django Software Foundation then concluded day 1 with a keynote on ’Diversity in tech: An African’s Perspective’ 

Anna Makarudze keynoting

Day 2 started with an energized keynote by Ewa Jodlowska the executive director of the Python Software Foundation on ’Our Stories’ where she spoke about the PSF and what they are doing including grants for the 1st Python in Education.  She ended her keynote speech by saying “Help one another, talk to one another, code together and work together”.

Ewa Jodlowska Keynoting Credit: Khophi Photography

After her speech followed by other interesting talks of which one captivating talk was that of Anthony Shaw: Standing out in a world of 20 million developers of which he touched on: setting small goals, picking your skillset, having two specialities, focusing because that makes you faster, timeboxing, learning to learn, imposter syndrome, & how to have successful interviews

Kojo Idrissa finalized the conference with another epic keynote on: “Kojo, #Python, and You”

Kojo Idrissa Keynoting

After Kojo’s keynote, there was lightning talks presentation and guess what? Well since you didn’t make it I am not gonna tell you. Keep reading

Lightning Talk by Edison Abahurie J

The conference was a huge success all because of the amazing sponsors: Python Software Foundation, Britcore, Andela, Django Society UK, Django Software Foundation, Django Danmark, Nexmo, Django Events Foundation North America, GoFundme, Python Academy, Real Python, Aktech Labs, SikiLabs, Torchbox, Read the docs, Wildfish, Caktus Group, Weekly Python Exercise, ICT4D.at, Khophi Photography and to all GoFundMe and Sharing ticket donors thanks for the kind support.

Pycon Africa Group Photo Credit: Khophi Photography

For others, Pycon Africa was a place to connect with coworkers they never met in person for the first time while for some an avenue to meet their mentors in the Python ecosystem.

The conference also provided networking opportunities, collaboration on open source projects, remote jobs, and so much fun😎

Thanks to all who helped one way or the other to make Pycon Africa a memorable one.

If you’re reading this, you don’t want to miss Pycon Africa 2020 in August at Accra, Ghana.

Start making preparations ASAP.

More pictures of the conference can be viewed here:
1. https://photos.app.goo.gl/nJV519frPtwPvFmP8
2. https://photos.app.goo.gl/eJsTYitHRSTgQsFVA
3. https://photos.app.goo.gl/3zyT4WcAWjsoPtBG6

I promised right, the conference ended with sprints, tutorial session, and a lightning #PyDance to avoid burnout.

Lightning #PyDance

>>>End()

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Capturing The First Pycon Africa
was published on 18.08.2019 by Noah Alorwu. It files under sub saharan africa
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Special Sponsor of PyCon Africa 2019

Last year we celebrated our 10th year anniversary with a party at Schikaneder in Vienna. It was a wonderful evening and we used the opportunity to collect donations for Noah and his engagement in Ghana. He recently joined the team who is organizing this year’s PyCon Africa 2019. The organising team of PyCon Africa 2019 includes experienced Python community conference organisers from Africa and Europe. Between them they have run multiple international conferences, including PyCons in Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, United Kingdom as well as several editions of DjangoCon Europe. The conference will happen 6th-10th August 2019 in Accra and will be the first-ever pan-African meeting of the Python programming community. Get your tickets here!

We are proud to be listed a Special Sponsor of the PyCon Africa 2019 and are happy to support their great work with our humble contribution. They are still looking for support, so please do not hesitate to donate as well.

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Special Sponsor of PyCon Africa 2019
was published on 22.06.2019 by Paul Spiesberger. It files under sub saharan africa
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Lend a support to enable smallholder farmers in rural Ghana access IT & financial services

Farmerline recently launched a 30-day Kiva campaign to raise a $100,000 loan to connect 6,000 smallholder farmers in Ghana to financial services, market information, weather forecasts and quality inputs. We need your help to reach our goal today July 18 in a few hours!

In 2016, we launched our first campaign with Kiva and were able to raise $50,000 to connect 1,000 smallholder farmers to high quality and affordable farm inputs at 20 – 30% below market price. We want to extend our reach!

As a supporter and friend of Farmerline, your contribution would go a long way! As little as $25 would ensure a supply of farmer inputs for a month at a 1 – 2 acre farm, while a $75 loan would ensure a rice or vegetable farmer has input supply for four months and is able to focus on ensuring consistent quality yield.

To learn more about our Kiva campaign and become a lender, visit Farmerline Kiva campaign.

Click the video below to hear from a few of the farmers we serve!

 





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Lend a support to enable smallholder farmers in rural Ghana access IT & financial services
was published on 18.07.2018 by Worlali Senyo. It files under global, sub saharan africa
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Junior Camp Zion College – Anloga

The Junior Camp Ghana Program is a career mentoring series in high schools in Ghana. It is run by the GhanaThink Foundation.

The program allows industries and persons to share their stories, experiences and knowledge with students in second cycle institutions i.e. Senior High Schools (SHS).

It also connects students with mentors who provide their wisdom about their areas of expertise, management, leadership skills, career success factors, industry insights, communication skills. Through the program students are inspired to match similar career goals, concentration, career fields etc.

Junior Camp Zion College was held on the 30th of June 2018 and started with an opening prayer lead by one of the students.

Harry Akligoh, the Volta lead for Junior Camp Ghana took over to talk about the program and the purpose of our gathering.
The mentors then introduced themselves and what they do.

I was opportuned to lead a session on:

1. Why learn programming
2. Opportunities available
3. How to become a successful developer
4. Why acquiring a digital skill is essential in today’s era.
5. My experience / story

Noah introducing himself at #JCZionCollege

Other sessions lead by mentors includes:

1. Techpreneur – Dakey James Sewornu

2. Education and Entrepreneurship – Courage Christson Tetteh

3. Legal Education – Elorm Ashiagbor

4. Finance and Accounting – Cryspin Kavaarpuo

5. Sexual and reproductive health and volunteerism – Ekissi Victor

6. Creativity and Innovative thinking – Harry Akligoh

7. Healthcare and Sciences – Precious Adade

Mentors at Junior Camp Zion College

The assistant headmaster was pleased to have us around impact the students.

At the end of it all, we proposed to the school that we want to set-up an ICT club/society to equip the students with digital skills.

During our mentoring session we realized a lot of students are having interest in programming, IOT, animations, graphic designing etc but don’t have the exposé hence the need to have a community to spark that interest.

The mind blowing ideas from the students needs support to make them a reality.

In the years to come great developers will start coming up from Zion College in Angloga and also partaking in competitions.

Upcoming female developers

The assistant headmaster was so excited to hear this laudable idea and can’t wait to have this club on campus.

Our hope is to commence the club when school resumes next academic year.

It’s my dream to also see other High schools in Ghana exposing their students to technology.

The program ended with both participants sharing what they’ve learnt and also the mentors sharing their experiences with the students.

Indeed, Living Tomorrow’s Career Today.





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Junior Camp Zion College – Anloga
was published on 01.07.2018 by Noah Alorwu. It files under sub saharan africa
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Digital Education in Ghana

Margarete Grimus’s work over the past years was hosted by the official TU Graz blog. Her engagement as a lecturer and expert in mobile learning and the success of the project in Ghana is summarized. She recently graduated with a PhD from the TU Graz and the university proudly shares her work in one of their blog posts. Her efforts is therefore highly recognized and it is stunning to see the impact and results of her work. We are very proud to have her as a member, but see yourself and read the blog post in English language here or German language here.

Margarete in Ghana





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Digital Education in Ghana
was published on 07.12.2017 by Paul Spiesberger. It files under sub saharan africa
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Django Girls Ho Workshop 2017

Programming is a skill you can use all around the globe to empower anyone to do almost anything. Noah, our youngest member is more than aware of opportunity and he is deeply engaged in empowering his female colleges in web programming courses. Django Girls Ho was the first ever IT workshop that involved ladies from Ho Volta Region and its environs in Ghana.

He is part of the organizing team and was so kind to invite Margarte Grimus and me for a call during the event. Margarete shared her expertise in mobile learning and underlined the importance of self learning. I was sharing my past as a programmer, why am I am a programmer, why I think that this skill is future proof and can change the world – if used for the common good. We were both stunned by the motivation of these young women and can only congratulate Noah and his team. You can read more about the event here and support is always welcome.

I would say that the beautiful Key Takeaways summarize best the mindset of the event:

  1. You should never stop learning, because to be a programmer, you need to be dedicated.
  2. Opportunities are endless when you’re good at programming.
  3. You should use the knowledge you have acquired here to help other people.
  4. You should always work in groups. That’s what make great programmers.

Django Girls





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Django Girls Ho Workshop 2017
was published on 02.11.2017 by Paul Spiesberger. It files under sub saharan africa
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The Drone has landed!

A few months ago we supported Noah from the Keta Senior High Technical School to finance his drone project. We are happy to announce that the project was a success and the drone arrived at the school. Noah and his colleagues are already experimenting with their new flying technology, check out the pictures below!

But they are not stopping there. A new research project has started a few days ago and they need your support! They will use the drone to create a documentary on salt mining. Once again we support their awesome idea and call for your funding!

Check out their project here:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/educational-research-on-salt-mining#/story

 

 





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The Drone has landed!
was published on 29.06.2015 by Paul Spiesberger. It files under sub saharan africa
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Educational Research On Salt Mining

Due to our Digital media training for teachers in Ghana project in Keta we are in close contact to the Keta Senior High School. Local students want to start a new research project on salt mining the area and they are looking for your support!

“Our mission is to discover how salt mining is done over there and to listen to the various views of the people concerning the challenges they face in their effort to develop their salt mining.

We would learn about how salt is mine locally and develop ways to solve the challenges the miners face in other to enhance their work. Another aim is to discover some of the resource they have and to come up with a way to utilize them.”

Check it out:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/educational-research-on-salt-mining#/story

 





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Educational Research On Salt Mining
was published on 22.06.2015 by Paul Spiesberger. It files under sub saharan africa
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Promising Offspring of our Keta Project

To find clever students at the Keta Senior High Technical School is not that hard, but what Noah does is simply amazing. He is one of the most talented kids at his school and continues to work on our project in Ghana (with Margarete’s online support). Voluntarily engaging and working with his colleagues is naturally for him. They founded a “Mobile Learning Society” at the school, are experimenting with robotics (see photo) and most important: approximately half of the group are girls, which is not so common in other schools. Within his new project he and the the “Mobile Learning Society” publish Wikipedia articles and contribute with their work to the free online encyclopedia.

Currently he is collecting money for a drone to give people all over the world an insight to his work, life and great projects. With the drone they can get a better view from above. One of their first filming projects will be a report about salt evaporation in Ghana. Their experiments will be documented in a blog. All together it is a big step forward with the regard to STEM developments launched currently all over the world.

If you are stunned like us, the please consider to donate a small amount of money to his awesome project:
https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/1147763?fb_action_ids=923653717678744&fb_action_types=og.shares

If you can’t, then please share his vision to reach as many people as possible!

We would like to say thank you and wish Noah all the best





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Promising Offspring of our Keta Project
was published on 09.03.2015 by Paul Spiesberger. It files under sub saharan africa
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News from #ketascomobile

Our member Margarete Grimus, together with Michael Pollak, a student from UT Vienna, is back in Ghana right now, following up on her previous two workshops at Keta Senior High Technical School. Here’s the links to posts about the two workshops:

This time, Margarete is (more…)





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News from #ketascomobile
was published on 20.06.2014 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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