NexTech Africa

2-3 Feb 2017 | Nairobi, Kenya

NexTech is coming to Nairobi and you are invited!

Created by a group of passionate Africans at Microsoft, NexTech Africa is a 2-day meeting of the minds designed to engage, empower and inspire. By listening to the unique voice and perspective Africans possess, together, we can build technology that better supports African creators.

Join us in Nairobi to collaborate with technology leaders from Microsoft and across the continent, explore local innovations that are making a global impact, and advance the discussion on what it means for technology to be innately African.

Let's shape the future together.



Speakers

Joseph Mucheru
Cabinet Secretary, Kenyan ICT Ministry

Biography

Joseph Mucheru MBS, is the current Kenyan Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology. He was Google's first sub-Saharan Africa employee and was instrumental in expanding Google's presence in Africa from 2007. Before joining Google, he worked at Wananchi Online, a company he co-founded in 1999, where he held various roles including Chief Technology Officer and Chief Executive Officer. Mucheru attended the Stanford University Executive Programme, and holds a (B Sc. (Joint Hons)) in Economics & Computer Science from City University London. He was awarded the Moran of the order of the burning spear in December 2010 by the President of the Republic of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki, and is a member of the Africa Leadership Network, The National Prayer Breakfast, and the East African Business Summit.

Speaking events

Opening Keynote

Regina Honu
CEO, Soronko Solutions

Biography

Regina Honu is the CEO of Soronko Solutions and has just opened Soronko Academy, the first coding and human centred design school for children and young adults. She was recently unveiled as the 2016 Vlisco Brand Ambassador and won Startup Entrepreneur of the year 2016 at the Ghana Startup Awards. She was also featured on CNN as one of the 12 inspirational women who rock STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and was named as one of the six women making an impact in Tech in Africa, among many other accolades. Regina is an Ashoka Fellow, Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow, GOOD Fellow, Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum, Vital Voices Fellow and a Change Leader with Tigo Reach for Change. Her story was published in the Lean In for Graduates by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and the Impatient Optimist blog by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She loves to mentor and works with the Women's Tech Connect Global Mentoring program, and has been invited to speak and participate in events in over 15 countries.

Speaking events

Technology & Education: New foundations for the Next Generation

Celestine Omin
Senior Technical consultant, Andela

Biography

Celestine is Senior Technical Consultant at Andela, a platform that selects the top 1% of tech talent from Africa. Previously he worked at Konga where he led a team of engineers that built the Konga platform, an $80M e-commerce marketplace. Celestine is actively involved in building the tech ecosystem in Africa, having convened the GitHub meetups in Lagos and Accra. He also volunteers to train young engineers through platforms like Ruby Girls, Google Developer Group and Google DevFest. He was also the founding manager of Google Developer Group in Cross River state, Nigeria. Celestine is the lead developer and maintainer of the NSEFinance, an experimental API for the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Speaking events

Service Oriented Architecture - An e-commerce case study

Toni Townes-Whitley
Corporate VP, Worldwide Public Sector, Microsoft

Biography

Toni is Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector at Microsoft where she leads a team of over 2,000 sales professionals serving government, public safety, education, and non-privatised healthcare customers and partners in more than 100 countries worldwide. Toni ensures that Microsoft public sector programmes are aligned with the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Prior to joining Microsoft, Toni was president of CGI Federal. Toni is a graduate of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School and she sits on various boards including the Leadership Foundry-an organisation that prepares women to serve on corporate boards. She also continues to support the US Peace Corps and is a former volunteer who served three years as a village teacher in Central Africa.

Speaking events

Opening Keynote
Digital Transformation: The 4th Industrial Revolution

Hoop Somuah
Technical Advisor, Office of the CEO, Microsoft

Biography

Originally from Ghana, Hoop studied Electrical Engineering at Stanford, thereafter joining Microsoft where he has been for 13 years. Today, he serves as a Technical Advisor to Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO. In his time at Microsoft, Hoop has primarily worked on development frameworks and distributed systems architectures, starting with frameworks like .Net Remoting, Xbox Live and the Zune Marketplace. Hoop spent five years designing and implementing the cloud service backend for the Halo Xbox franchise where he drove "cloud native" engineering and the use of a virtual actor programming model developed by Microsoft Research. Hoop is continuously interested in development of technology on the African continent, supporting Ashesi University. He also runs a Seattle technology youth club.

Speaking events

Digital Transformation: The 4th Industrial Revolution

Scott Hanselman
Principal Community Architect for Web Platform and Tools, Microsoft

Biography

Scott is a web developer who has been blogging at http://hanselman.com for over a decade. He works in Open Source on ASP.NET and the Azure Cloud for Microsoft out of his home office in Portland, Oregon. Scott has three podcasts, http://hanselminutes.com for tech talk, http://thisdeveloperslife.com on developers' lives and loves, and http://ratchetandthegeek.com for pop culture and tech media. He's written a number of books and spoken in person to almost a half million developers worldwide.

Speaking events

Ranjith Cherickel
Founder & CEO, icolo.io

Biography

Ranjith is the founder and CEO of icolo.io, a neutral data centre operator that designs, builds and operates open access data centres in Kenya. Ranjith's career started in New York and Silicon Valley, building the technology platforms for companies like Verizon Wireless. He then moved to Europe where he worked as a Product Manager at Skype in London, and later moved to Munich to work with Nokia, where he became Head of Sales for Nokia Networks in Africa. Ranjith is a board member of an African-only focused technology incubator called 88mph. He is an industrial engineer by training, has a Masters in Computer Science and an MBA from INSEAD. His personal interests include wildlife and their habitat, technology trends and photography.

Speaking events

Cloud Infrastructure in Africa

Malaika Toyo
Head of Strategy and Projects, A Whitespace Creative Agency

Biography

Malaika Toyo is Cultural Policy Officer of the Arterial Network, the head of strategy and projects at AWCA - a whitespace creative agency, and programme coordinator at Nsibidi Institute. With a degree in Economics from Coventry University and a Masters in Creative and Media Enterprises from the University of Warwick, she has vast experience in macroeconomics and addressing policy issues relating to the creative economy in Africa. She has worked with organisations including the United Nations and the African Arts Institute. Her core interest is in advancing cultural spaces where ideas, values and beliefs can be developed, in addition to contributing to several white papers on cultural policy.

Speaking events

Digital Africa: Transforming the way we do

Myriam Said
Director, Kifiya Financial Technologies

Biography

Myriam is a founding partner and director of Kifiya Financial Technologies, where she is Chief of Programs & Services, in charge of initiatives and product development. She was born in Addis Ababa to an Ethiopian father and a French mother and went to High School in Addis Ababa up to the French Baccalaureate. Myriam then moved to France, where she received a B.Sc. in Physics and a Masters in Physics specializing in Environmental studies, at the Universite the Provence. Myriam returned to Ethiopia in 1999, where she volunteered in environmental impact studies in the Northern part of the country. In 2000, she joined GCS, one of the leading Ethiopian ICT system Integration companies. Myriam earned various professional certificates in design and implementation of client - server and network technologies. She attended project management courses, and was part of the executive team implementing country wide ICT projects such as RevenueNET and WoredaNET.

Speaking events

Redefining the Status Quo: Innovation, Disruption, and the Creation of Value

T.K. Rengarajan
Corporate VP, AI & Research, Microsoft

Biography

T.K. "Ranga" Rengarajan, is Corporate Vice President within AI & Research. He is responsible for Microsoft Global Development Centres in China, India, Israel, New England, Silicon Valley and Vancouver. Ranga and his teams are responsible for ensuring Microsoft attracts, trains and retains the best talent in the world. He also drives the Garage programme, to accelerate grassroots innovation. Previously, Ranga led engineering for Microsoft's Database and Big Data businesses and his leadership was instrumental in growing SQL DB Azure data services. Ranga holds a Master's degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin.

Speaking events

Data Dreams
Digital Transformation: The 4th Industrial Revolution

Nadayar Enegesi
Director of Learning & Development, Andela

Biography

Nadayar's life and work are guided by his belief that human potential is limitless. As a founding team member and Director of Learning & Development at Andela, he has devoted his time to building learning operations under which the brightest technologists in Africa can actualize their full technology and leadership potential.
Prior to Andela, Nadayar co-founded Fora, an education technology company, and served as CTO. He has architected and built software for the likes of PTC, BNotions, and OpenText, and has worked closely with major technology leaders in Toronto, Canada. Nadayar holds a Computer Science and Business degree from the University of Waterloo, Canada. Outside of Andela, Nadayar applies his learning craft to advising other entrepreneurs, producing music, and playing football.

Speaking events

Technology & Education: New foundations for the Next Generation

Yousef Khalidi
Corporate VP, Azure Networking, Microsoft

Biography

Yousef is Product and Program Manager for Azure Networking. He drives strategic business planning including world-wide partner coverage and deep integration with Microsoft services. Yousef was a member of the team that conceived and built the initial version of Microsoft Azure (code named Red Dog), and has served in several engineering, product management, and architectural roles for Azure. Before Microsoft, Yusuf spent 14 years at Sun Microsystems. He has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from West Virginia University, and a PhD in Information and Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech).

Speaking events

Cloud Strategy + Azure Computing - Microsoft Q&A

Schedule

Dates

Thursday February 2nd, 2017
Friday February 3rd, 2017

Thursday February 2nd, 2017

9:00am - 10:30am
NexTech Africa Opening Keynote
10:40am - 11: 25am
Cloud Infrastructure in Africa

A session that discusses the current state of cloud infrastructure in Africa and where we see it going. What are the current major blockers in cloud growth and what current providers doing to address them? How can enterprises and decision makers get the most out of the current infrastructure?

Developing Intelligent Applications

Technical session on how to leverage data and machine learning to enrich applications and services with intelligence.

11:30am - 12:15pm
Digital Transformation: The 4th Industrial Revolution

We have a fundamental belief that mobility and the cloud are going to drive the 4th Industrial revolution - digitally transforming the way we work. From small businesses to the public sector; enterprise to education, technology is changing the way we do things. Join a cross-section of top Microsoft leaders for a discussion about how data and technology are changing our world.

1:30pm - 2:15pm
Walking on Clouds: Unlocking the Power of the Cloud for Enterprise Mobility

Africa is the mobile-first continent and has paved the way when it comes to mobility in the enterprise. According to Gartner, "Giving workers, partners and other stakeholders seamless mobile access to applications and data can increase productivity and sales, and improve customer satisfaction through faster, better service." With the increasing complexity of deploying and managing these mobile solutions, business and technical decision makers need novel approaches to address these challenges. How do we use the power of the cloud to increase mobility? How are enterprises leading the way in this transformation and what does the future hold?

2:20pm - 3:05pm
Redefining the Status Quo: Innovation, Disruption, and the Creation of Value

Innovation is the engine of economic prosperity. Across the ecosystem, individuals and organizations are playing their part to disrupt the status quo. It is a critical time for the industry to redefine what it means to be an entrepreneur, create opportunity and empower people. The panelists will share their perspective on the trends, challenges and future of value creation.

Transform your Business through Agility and Exponential Thinking (akaditi)
Service Oriented Architecture - An e-commerce case study

Session about microservices: what they are, why they are useful and how they were used to improve the system of a large e-commerce web application

3:15pm - 4:00pm
Skills, Innovation and Access: Microsoft 4Afrika

The Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative focuses on three critical areas of development for the continent: World-class skills, Access and Innovation. Each of these focuses on different aspects that will help empower African youth, entrepreneurs, developers and business and civic leaders to turn great ideas into a reality that can help their community, their country, the continent, and beyond. Panelists will share their digital transformation story and highlight some of the great work they are doing in partnership with Microsoft 4Afrika.

Getting the Most out of your Data

With the unprecedented amount of data being generated and archived, data is the new oil and the economy around data is the new industrial revolution. The value of data being stored by various organizations currently sits untapped, yet holds tremendous value. Organizations that archive, refine, store and transmit data will become amongst the wealthiest and most resilient in the world. In the future, the entire data life cycle from creation to monetization will change foundationally, spurring a new data economy that decides which organizations will be successful in the next decade. What does this mean for data infrastructure? How can companies start to breed a data culture for success? What sorts of insights can be sought and problems informed by data and how can companies use data as a strategic competitive corporate asset?

Engineering at Scale

Building solutions that scale reliably to deliver value to millions, and increasingly billions, of people presents an intricate web of engineering challenges, many of which are unknown. Mobile, networking, data, security and many more areas all present their own unique set of engineering challenges at scale and are pillars in the products and services that are being built. In this panel, top engineering leaders from across the continent will have a conversation about the considerations, challenges and opportunities for building and leading a world-class African engineering organization that operates at hyper-scale

Friday February 3rd, 2017

9:30am - 10:30am
Data Dreams
10:40am - 11:25am
Cloud Q&A
11:30am - 12:15pm
Kaizala: Connecting the Unconnected, a case study from India
Creating Business Value with Machine Learning

The convergence of several technology trends, such as Big Data, Cloud Computing and commoditization of powerful algorithms, is now bringing Machine Learning into the mainstream. Thus, mainstream businesses can now take advantage of powerful ML algorithms once limited only to the biggest corporations and research institutions. This session will show how organizations of any size in the world can gain a competitive edge through Machine Learning. We will show how you can leapfrog by creating innovative solutions to real business problems through Machine Learning.

1:30pm - 2:15pm
Digital Africa: Transforming the way we do

From art to agriculture, fashion to finance, technology is changing our world. This evolution is not limited to the tech industry but is spreading across all sectors of the economy. Panelists will explore what the future holds for some industries that are undergoing a digital transformation

Machine Learning & Azure Services

Machine Learning helps solve real-world data science problems, With Azure ML a powerful cloud-based service you have the ability to build intelligence into your applications and services, to enable natural and contextual interaction with tools that augment users' experiences using the power of machine-based intelligence. In the session, using practical scenarios you will learn how to build models and derive insights using Azure Machine Learning and making your apps intelligent.

2:20pm - 3:05pm
Microsoft Research & A Digital India
Intelligent Productivity
Cross Platform Development & IoT
3:15pm - 4:00pm
Technology & Education: New foundations for the Next Generation

Education as we know it is evolving. Two powerful tides we see are technology education that empowers creators to build locally-aware, but globally applicable solutions to their challenges, and technology being used to transform the way we educate future generations. With this evolution, where can technology adoption make the biggest impact? What is the future of technology in education and how do we see learning changing? What are the skills that innovators will need in the next few years and what part can technology play in making education accessible and affordable for all?

Enterprise Mobility & Security
Cognitive Services & Bots

Bots or conversation agents are rapidly becoming an integral part of users' digital experience. They are as vital a way for users to interact with a service or application as is a website or a mobile experience. This session will walkthrough how to build bots that consume the LUIS API ( Azure Cognitive Services) and host them on Azure PaaS.

Disclaimer: Due to the nature of this event and limited spots, attendees will be notified of acceptance after RSVP.