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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.

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

Engineering at Scale

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

JavaScript, the Cloud, and The Rise of The New Virtual Machine
The Social Developer
Inside Open Source Cross-Platform .NET

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 Keynote
Digital Transformation: The 4th Industrial Revolution

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

Journey to the Cloud - Microsoft Azure

Anil Bhansali
Managing Director, Microsoft India

Biography

Anil Bhansali is the Managing Director of Microsoft India (R&D) Pvt Ltd. He started his career in Microsoft in 1991 as part of the Office division where he worked on various technologies including MS Excel and SharePoint team services. In the India Development Center Anil was responsible for leading several engineering efforts including Search, MSN, Windows Azure, Server and Client areas. He currently leads the engineering teams in IDC which are aligned to the Cloud and Enterprise Division.
Anil has a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Computer Science from SUNY, Stony Brook.
When not at work, Anil spends time with his children at home or travelling. He has a passion for street food, has trekked to the Everest Base camp and enjoys spreading the written word via social work at Pustakaar. He is also a marathon runner and has completed several national and international marathons including the New York marathon.

Speaking events

Digital India + Microsoft Research

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

Andreas Fruhen
Director of Technical Operations, M-KOPA

Biography

Andreas joined M-KOPA in 2015 having previously worked in the Vodafone Group. He has worked on large scale projects like telco billing, VAC Systems and Google search integrations. Andreas has over ten years experience in Architecture & Design and Operation & Management of large scale IT systems.

Speaking events

Opening Keynote

Zulekha Mwanzi
Co-founder & CEO Sure Corp.

Biography

Zulekha Ali is a co-founder and Head of Risk at Sure Corporation where they are powering mass transit ecosystems, reinventing the motor vehicle insurance market and optimizing back haul logistics for the agricultural sector. She is an actuary by training whose main role is to build out the risk algorithms that calculate mass transit logistics, create hyper-personalized driver profiles that inform the next generation of motor insurance products and value added services in Africa.

Speaking events

Getting the Most out of your Data

Rajiv Kumar
General Manager, Office Productivity Group, Microsoft India Development Centre

Biography

Rajiv is a 23 year Microsoft veteran, having joined as a Software Development Engineer and growing through the ranks. He has contributed to and shipped 25 products and has 8 patent awards to his name. After spending 11 years in Redmond, Rajiv relocated to India to set up the Microsoft Office engineering team in Hyderabad, which has grown to more than 450 people. Under his leadership, the India Office team has built the Kaizala app that is helping people run their businesses on chat using only their phone. He has a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Texas, Austin and Bachelor's in Computer Science.

Speaking events

Connecting the Unconnected: A Mobile Only Future

Felicia Guity
GM Worldwide PS Education Channel Sales, Microsoft

Biography

Felicia joined Microsoft in September 2003 and is responsible for Microsoft's Worldwide PS Education Channel Device Sales. Her Microsoft experience includes leadership roles in the Windows Business Group and in OEM as the WW lead for Partner Account Management, Marketing Program Management and Education Strategy. Prior to joining Microsoft, Felicia was employed at Lawson for three years where she served as Vice President of Strategic Alliances. Felicia is on the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Rainier Valley, and We Connect the Dots, a STEAM nonprofit. She is Microsoft's media spokesperson for topics like IT, Marketing and Professional development. She has a Doctorate in Business Administration with a discipline in Marketing. Felicia was nominated by Black Enterprise in January 2017 as one of the Most Powerful Women in Business. In October of 2012 & 2014 Savoy Magazine recognised her as one of the Most Influential Women in Corporate America.

Speaking events

Technology & Education: New Foundations for the Next Generation

Raji Rajagopalan
Software Engineering Manager, Windows and Devices, Microsoft

Biography

Raji Rajagopalan is a Software Engineering Manager in Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft. As the engineering head of the Windows Compatibility team, her mission is to ensure that Windows customers look forward to innovations in Windows trusting all their applications and devices will continue to work.

Speaking events

Accelerate Windows 10 Deployments

Brice Nkengsa
Director of Engineering, Andela

Biography

Brice is a technology enthusiast with a passion for programming and logical problem solving. He acquired invaluable industry experience building software products for BlackBerry and Pivotal Labs, and has worked closely with leaders in the Toronto tech scene. He also joined Fora, a distance learning platform for African universities, prior to being one of the founding team members of Andela. Brice holds a Software Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo.

Speaking events

Engineering at Scale

John Muthiora
Head of Technical Operations, M-KOPA

Biography

John Muthiora is the Head of Technical Operations at M-KOPA Solar. He is responsible for technology operations and infrastructure at M-KOPA. He has over 16 years' experience managing IT operations, developing and delivering Fintech solutions for the banking, microfinance and insurance sector around Africa.

Speaking events

Engineering at Scale
Developing Intelligent Applications

Jessica Colaco
Co-founder, Brave Ventures Lab

Biography

Jessica Francisca Colaco is a TED fellow and co-founded Brave Venture Labs. Based in Nairobi Brave Venture Labs is East Africa's first Network Science Lab which predicts human performance and matches talent to opportunities using NLP and AI driven predictions.
She co-founded iHub with Erik Hersman in 2010 and served in various leadership positions. She was the Director of Partnerships and Community at iHub between 2015 - 2013, the Founding Manager between 2010 and 2011 at iHub and Research Director between 2011 and 2013 at iHub Research. She is currently writing a book about her journey at iHub (The genesis of the Silicon Savannah).

Speaking events

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

Val Fontama
Principal Data Scientist Manager,Growth & Ecosystem Data Science, Microsoft

Biography

With over ten years of Data Science experience, Dr. Valentine Fontama is a Principal Data Scientist Manager in the Growth and Ecosystem Data Science team, which delivers analytics capabilities across Azure and C+E cloud services. After doing his PhD in Artificial Neural Networks, Valentine worked at Equifax in London where he pioneered the use of Data Mining to improve Risk Assessment and Marketing in the Consumer Credit industry. His previous roles at Microsoft include Senior Product Manager for Big Data and Predictive Analytics in Cloud and Enterprise Marketing, where he led product management for Azure Machine Learning; HDInsight; Parallel Data Warehouse; and three release of Fast Track Data Warehouse. Valentine has an M.B.A in Strategic Management and Marketing from Wharton Business School, an M.Sc. in Computing, and a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Electronics. He has published 11 academic papers, co-authored three Big Data books and is an adjunct Professor of Data Science at the University of Washington.

Speaking events

Creating Business Value with Machine Learning
Getting the Most out of your Data

Shawndra Hill
Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research, Microsoft

Biography

Shawndra Hill is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research NYC. Before joining Microsoft, she was an Assistant Professor in Operations and Information Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where she is still an Annenberg Public Policy Center Research Fellow, a Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative Senior Fellow, and a core member of the Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab. Generally, she researches the value to companies of mining data on consumers, including how consumers interact with each other on social media - for targeted marketing, advertising, health and fraud detection purposes. Her current research focuses on the interactions between TV content and Social Media (www.thesocialtvlab.com). Dr. Hill holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Spelman College, a B.E.E. from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Information Systems from NYU's Stern School of Business.

Speaking events

Creating Business Value with Machine Learning

Sherif ElMahdi
Technical Evangelist, Microsoft

Biography

Sherif is a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft, Speaker, Blogger, Content Creator on MVA/Channel9, Author of 4 Azure-related technical courses, and has trained over 15K developers.

Speaking events

Cognitive Services & Bots

Mark Walker
Leads Vertical Market and Insights Research & Consulting, International Data Corporation (IDC)

Biography

Mark Walker currently leads the Vertical Market and Insights research and consulting practice at IDC MEA. With over 25 years of experience in the information technology and telecommunications industry, Walker is responsible for leading analyses of technology markets across the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. Mark has held various technical and managerial roles before embarking on a career in technology sector research and consulting in 1996. He has participated in over 150 consulting assignments and established benchmarks for on-going analysis of the African IT market. Most recently, Walker spent two years with Microsoft Gulf, where he was responsible for competitive strategy development and implementation. Walker has a diploma in telecommunications engineering while with the Air Force, a BA in communications and sociology at the University of South Africa, and a MAP (cum laude) from the University of the Witwatersrand. He also completed an IMM Certificate (first class) in marketing management at Damelin College.

Speaking events

Getting the most out of your Data

Yinka Oni
CIO, Sterling Bank Plc

Biography

Olayinka joined Sterling Bank as Chief Information Officer in February 2016, where he is spearheading the technology transformation to actualise its brand promise of becoming 'the one-customer bank'. Previously, he was the Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft Nigeria. Before joining Microsoft, Olayinka spent over 15 years in the ICT Industry including CIO/GM IT & Operations at Wema Bank Plc where he was responsible for migration to a new core banking system (Finacle) in the fastest timeline, adjudged by Infosys. Olayinka had formerly been CIO/Vice-President Information Technology at First City Monument Bank where he won the maiden Microsoft Enterprise Technology Adoption Award in 2008. Olayinka is a graduate of Agric Economics from the University of Ilorin, an Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (HCIB), a Certified IT Business Manager, a Certified Disaster Recovery Professional, a Chartered IT Professional (CITP) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for IT (FBSC), and Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT).

Speaking events

Walking on Clouds: Unlocking the Power of the Cloud for Enterprise Mobility

Tabitha Nanzala
Cofounder and CEO, Ghalini

Biography

As a creative technologist, Tabby Nanzala Mayabi has a deep passion for unleashing Africa's potential through technology; beginning with agriculture. She has cofounded Ghalani, an agritech company which seeks to be a hub of centralised software tools that ensure synergy of processes and collaboration of stakeholders in the various agricultural value chains. Though many agricultural ICT tools exist, the processes involved from farm to fork are still manual and highly autonomous therefore difficult to easily make informed decisions. This sparked her interest to solve this problem in agriculture. Prior to starting Ghalani, she also cofounded Aushi, a software platform that helps schools organise records and tutor their students better. She is an alumna of Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) through which she still enjoys mentorship in her entrepreneurial journey. She currently resides in Ghana and spends her free time learning something new, inspiring others and being involved in charity.

Speaking events

Digital Africa: Transforming the Way We Do

Kaakpema Yelpaala
Founder and CEO, access.mobile

Biography

Kaakpema "KP" Yelpaala, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, access.mobile International Kaakpema is an entrepreneur with a deep understanding of international health systems and over 15 years of experience working in Africa and emerging markets. Kaakpema is a driven and inspiring manager who founded access.mobile in 2011 and spearheads the company's product and global market growth. Prior to starting the company, Kaakpema worked with Dalberg Global Development Advisors, and served as one of the first employees of the Clinton Health Access Initiative in East Africa. He has taught at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies, and was appointed to the Governor of Colorado's Small Business Council in 2014. Kaakpema has a MPH from the Yale School of Public Health and a BA with honors from Brown University.

Speaking events

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

Nana Abban
CEO/Senior Partner, Akaditi & Sokopay

Biography

Nana is a life coach and agility trainer for individuals and teams. He has extensive experience in both the public and private sector, leading organisational transformation. He is the product owner and convener of Agile in Africa Conference (a yearly business and technology conference) held in Accra, Ghana, and Scrum Day London, a yearly Scrum event held in London. Nana also sponsors Akaditi.com and Sokopay.com, a mobile money solution. Nana has experience providing executive coaching for a range of industries, from e-commerce to pharmaceutical, with extensive knowledge of business products, processes and systems.

Speaking events

How can you be an Agile company and what does that entail?

Cassandra Sarfo
Co-Founder and Product Lead, Tress

Biography

Cassandra is co-founder and Product Lead of Tress, a community mobile app for black women to find hairstyle inspiration and information where she is responsible for raising the bar of the app's user experience. With a background in Information Technology from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, she has spent the last 4 years developing her skills as a Front-end developer. Before co-founding Tress, Cassandra worked with eSoko, one of Ghana's pioneering companies on a mission to make agriculture a profitable business for smallholder farmers using technology. Cassandra was one of the speakers at the inaugural TEDxAccraWomen event held in Accra. She is constantly looking for opportunities to learn new things.

Speaking events

Digital Africa: Transforming the Way We Do

Savannah Kunovsky
CTO, Moringa School

Biography

Savannah is currently the CTO at Moringa School, specialising in Classroom Experience, Curriculum, and Internal Infrastructure. Her previous experience spans several years in systems and software engineering, building the network of top Silicon Valley coding schools. She also founded and leads the Hack Reactor Women's group and the Inclusion. Tech community and newsletter. Savannah also mentors high school students through Mission Bit, and serves as an instructor for Women Who Code in San Francisco.

Speaking events

Technology & Education: New Foundations for the Next Generation

Sam Gichuru
CEO & Founder, Nailab

Biography

Sam Gichuru is the founder and CEO of Nailab, one of Kenya's leading business incubators. Sam is also co-founder at Kuhustle.com, an online platform that offers access to digital jobs with a focus on African talent. Nailab, which was recognised in the 2015 State of the Nation address by H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta, has incubated over 40 entrepreneurs since its inception in 2010. Sam served as vice-chair of the technical team that put together the first ever Kenya National Innovation forum whose result was the establishment of Enterprise Kenya - Kenya’s trade entity for innovations. He has been a strong proponent of the value of mentorship for young entrepreneurs, viewing them as a critical interface between job creation and poverty eradication in emerging markets. Sam currently serves on the board of several startups and is also an angel investor.

Speaking events

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

Bitange Ndemo
Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, University of Nairobi Business School

Biography

Bitange Ndemo is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Nairobi's Business School. His research focuses on the link between ICTs and SMEs in Kenya. Prof. Ndemo is an advisor to the Better than Cash Alliance, a global initiative to promote cash alternatives, and the I-Hub. He also sits on the Board of Research ICT Africa and is a former Permanent Secretary of Kenya's Ministry of Information and Communication in Kenya. Prof. Ndemo holds a PhD in Industrial Economics from the University of Sheffield in the UK, a bachelor's degree in Finance from the University of Minnesota, and an MBA from University of St. Thomas. He is an open data/big data evangelist and dedicated to the simplification of data for ordinary citizens to consume.

Speaking events

Getting the most out of your Data

Sam Wanjohi
CEO, Popote Payments ISV

Biography

Sam Wanjohi is the founder of Foresight Interiors which in 2007 became one of the leading fitted kitchen manufactures in Kenya. Like many business owners he became a prisoner in his own business. He had to constantly be present because if he wasn’t monitoring payments, checking pricing, signing cheques, reconciling petty cash and so on, he would be subjected to theft, inflated invoices, delayed payments, erroneous expense accounting and generally lose control of the business. In 2013 he began designing a solution that would allow himself and all other business owners to get their lives back by eliminating payment and accounting headaches. Popote payments enables businesses to easily manage payments with the benefit of automatic expense accounting. It allows all payment transactions, small or large, to be done digitally with the benefit of multi-level approval, instant delivery and automated expense accounting. Enabling businesses to run efficiently while empowering owners and managers to do more with their time.

Speaking events

Skills, Innovation and Access: Microsoft 4Afrika

Erik Hersman
CEO, BRCK

Biography

Erik Hersman is an entrepreneur and technologist focused on advancing the use of technology in Africa. He is the CEO of BRCK, a rugged wireless Wi-Fi device designed and engineered in Kenya, for use throughout the emerging markets. In 2010 he founded the iHub, Nairobi's innovation hub for the technology community. He is also a co-founder of Ushahidi, the free and open source software for crowdsourcing crisis information, and also established afrigadget.com and whiteafrican.com as key online communities promoting creative solutions entrepreneurship and development challenges across Africa. He is also a general partner in the Savannah Fund, and sits on the boards of Gearbox, Akirachix, the Kijabe Forest Trust, and the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI).

Speaking events

Digital Africa: Transforming the Way We Do

Nic Rudnick
CEO, Liquid Telecom

Biography

Nic became Liquid Telecom CEO in 2004, when the company rebranded from Econet Satellite Services, and has played a lead role in the creation of our Pan-African network, which now stretches over 40,000km.
He has been listed in Global Telecom Business Magazine's 100 most influential people in the telecommunications industry for the last three consecutive years highlighting his dedication to building Africa's digital future.
Nic is a well-recognised entrepreneur and legal expert within the industry. He played a key role in the internationally recognised landmark constitutional cases resulting in end of the monopoly over fixed and mobile line telecommunication services in Zimbabwe, and remains a strong advocate of recognising access to telecommunications as a human right and promoting open access to telecommunications and the Internet across Africa.

Speaking events

Walking on Clouds: Unlocking the Power of the Cloud for Enterprise Mobility

Ezana Raswork
Founder and CEO, Africa 118

Biography

Ezana Raswork is the Founder and CEO of Africa 118 the leading provider of Digital Marketing Services to SMEs in East Africa. Ezana has over 20 years of experience in various senior general management, online local search, mobile telecommunications and consumer marketing roles. Prior to founding Africa 118, Ezana was a Senior Vice President at Postmedia, Canada's largest newsmedia publisher. Before that, Ezana was the Vice President of Business Development at Yellow Pages in Canada where he led the Company's entry into new vertical segments and mobile platforms. Ezana has an extensive marketing background that he gained from senior marketing roles at Fido Solutions (Canadian mobile operator) and over his 11 years at Procter and Gamble.

Speaking events

Skills, Innovation and Access: Microsoft 4Afrika

Gerald Kasimu
Partner, KPMG East Africa

Biography

Gerald is a partner and head of IT Advisory in KPMG East Africa. He provides information technology consulting and assurance services to clients across industries. He has been lead partner on a portfolio of national and multi-national clients, and has extensive working experience and has served clients in many countries in Africa and United Kingdom.

Speaking events

Digital Transformation: The 4th Industrial Revolution

Ham Mago Namakajjo
Co-Founder & CEO. Fezah

Biography

Ham is a strategy and business development professional with a wealth of experience in growth and innovation strategy, private equity and business development. In particular, he has a passion for the intersection of technological innovation and media production and distribution. He was previously country manager for Google Uganda. Prior to Google, Ham worked as a management consultant with Bain & Company in their Los Angeles Office. He started his career with the Uganda Communications Commission as a Spectrum Management engineer. Ham holds an M.B.A from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, an MSc in Operational Telecommunications from Coventry University, and a BSc in Electronics from the University of Dar-es-Salaam.

Speaking events

Digital Africa: Transforming the Way We Do

John Waibochi
CEO, Virtual City

Biography

John Waibochi is the Founder and CEO of Virtual City, a Mobility Solutions company based out of Nairobi, Kenya. His personal Mission and that of Virtual City is to consistently innovate mobility solutions that simplify lives. His passion lies in designing innovative technology solutions to everyday life challenges found in doing business in Africa. Through the use of mobile phones, mobile money and unique business models John and his team have been able to provide real world solutions that do indeed simplify lives and impact communities along the entire value chains primarily in Agriculture, Distribution, and Financial Services resulting in a number accolades and awards over the years.

Speaking events

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

Patrick Mweheire
CEO, Stanbic Uganda Limited

Biography

Patrick joined Stanbic in 2012 with more than 15 years of Investment Banking experience, nine of which were spent at Merrill Lynch & Co, New York, where he executed numerous M&A transactions for some of the world's leading Financial Sponsors. He also has significant capital markets and advisory experience across Africa. Prior to joining Stanbic, Patrick worked as a Managing Director in Investment Banking for Renaissance Capital in London and Nairobi. Patrick holds an MBA from Harvard University's Graduate School of Business.

Speaking events

Digital Transformation: The 4th Industrial Revolution

Kate Kiguru
CEO, UKall

Biography

Kate is the CEO of Ukall, a Kenyan based software design & development firm. Kate is at the forefront of business process automation through building mobile & web solutions that allow organisations to improve efficiency, ensure accuracy & save time & resources. Before co-founding Ukall, Kate worked in the technology industry both as a call centre operator and as a systems developer designing solutions primarily for banks. Her passion for technology entrepreneurship has seen her travel both locally & globally to learn, meet and engage with likeminded entrepreneurs.

Speaking events

Skills, Innovation and Access: Microsoft 4Afrika

Yassine Serhane
Technical Evangelist, Microsoft

Biography

Yassine Serhane is a technical evangelist at Microsoft and a frequent speaker in technology events, with a bold mission to help entrepreneurs and ISVs build a profitable business with the help of technology.

Speaking events

Machine Learning and Azure Services

James Wamathai
Co-founder & CEO, HapaKenya

Biography

James Wamathai is a founding member and sits on the board of the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE). He is the co-founder of the BAKE Awards and heads the iFreedoms Kenya (Human Rights online) program at BAKE. Wamathai is a noted digital expert with over 7 years experience in both digital media and marketing. He is also a pioneer in digital news in Kenya having founded hapakenya.com, a popular digital news platform.

Speaking events

Engineering at Scale

Judith Owigar
Co-founder, AkiraChix.

Biography

Judith Owigar is a co-founder of Akirachix Association, a non-profit that empowers young women to create technological solutions as well as the founder of JuaKali Workforce Limited, an online micro-jobs platform that connects skilled manual labourers in Kenya's informal sector with short-term employment.  As an influential thought leader, Judith shared a panel with Barack Obama the former President of the United States of America and Uhuru Kenyatta the President of Kenya at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in 2015. She is also a member of the Africa WeTech (Women Enhancing Technology) Leadership Council, a 2015 East African Acumen Fellow and a 2014 International Focus fellow. Judith's pioneering social and entrepreneurial contributions have been well recognized both nationally as well as internationally and was named as a Top 40 under 40 women by the Business Daily newspaper in Kenya twice in 2012 and 2009. In 2012, CNN named her one of the 10 African voices to follow on twitter. Judith currently serves as an ICT Advisor at UN-Habitat (United Nations Human Settlements Programme), Urban Basic Services Branch.

Speaking events

Women in Tech Lunch
Technolody & Education: New Foundations for the Next Generation

Schedule

Dates

Thursday February 2nd
Friday February 3rd

Thursday February 2nd

7:30am - 9:00am
Breakfast and Registration
9:00am - 10:30am
NexTech Africa Opening Keynote

Opening Keynote for NexTech Africa

Speakers: Kunle Awosika, Minister Joe Mucheru, Toni Townes-Whitley, Andreas Fruhen, Bambo Sofola

10:40am - 11: 25am
Cloud Infrastructure in Africa
Developing Intelligent Applications
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.

Panelists: Toni Townes-Whitley, T.K Rengarajan, Gerald Kasimu, Patrick Mweheire

Moderator: Amr Kamel

Migrating to a Service Oriented Architecture: An E-commerce case study

Microservices or Services Oriented Architecture is a modular way of building software applications. Pre-SOA, software was written as a single, large entity. The problem with building software using this model is that complexity-deployment, testing, debugging, etc-increases exponentially as the software features increases. Microservices, by contrast, not only allows you develop and manage modular entities, it promotes the concept of Single Responsibility. This leads to ease in debugging, deployment, testing, etc. This session will introduce you to Service Oriented Architecture and show you through case studies, how you can reduce the complexity large.

Speakers: Celestine Omin

12:15pm - 1:30pm
Lunch
Women in Tech Lunch
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?

Panelists: Nic Rudnick, Olayinka Oni, Hoop Somuah

Moderator: Muchemi Wambugu

How can you be an Agile company and what does that entail?

The world is changing every day. We all know this as a fact. Organisations must transform to remain relevant. To do this effectively in the Digital Age many progressive organisations globally are embracing Agile principles and Scrum values as a new way of working (the winning way of working). To become Agile requires a fundamental change in our mindset, behaviour and in our understanding of leadership. Agile is a way of life. You don't do Agile.You become Agile. Agile is about inspiring people to become their best and to find innovative digital solutions and smarter ways to cope with the rapid pace of change, manage risk, to remain relevant in a faster moving world and to consistently create value that delights employees and customers. Agile (Scrum) is a strategic accelerator for governments, non profit organisations and businesses in the 21st century.

Speaker: Nana Abban

2:20pm - 3:05pm
Journey to the Cloud - Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is one of the largest public cloud platforms in the world. It's a growing collection of integrated cloud services-analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking, storage, and web. This keynote presents a broad view of Azure, from its global footprint to the wealth of services offered by the platform. The presentation also highlights the open nature of Azure, which supports a wide selection of operating systems, programming languages, frameworks, tools, databases and devices. Adoption of the cloud is growing exponentially. The presentation shows examples of real-life usage scenarios, highlighting broad customer adoption, and a wide spectrum of partners.

Speaker: Yousef Khalidi

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.

Panelists: Kate Kiguru, Sam Wanjohi, Ezana Raswork, Mike Mutungi

Moderator: Lutz Ziob

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?

Panelists: Val Fontama, Zulekha Mwanzi, Bitange Ndemo

Moderator: Mark Walker

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

Panelists: Brice Nkgensa, John Muthiora, Hoop Somuah

Moderator: James Wamathai

4:05pm - 4:50pm
JavaScript, the Cloud, and The Rise of The New Virtual Machine

One day we woke up and things were different. Maybe it happened overnight, maybe it took many years. Suddenly we are scripting against thousands of Virtual Machines from the command line while creating things today with JavaScript in the browser that were impossible yesterday. LiveScript becomes JavaScript becomes ES6 and now we're compiling C++ to JS. Join Scott Hanselman as he explores the relationship between the Cloud and the Browser, many Languages and one Language, how it might all fit together and what might come next. NOTE: Non-technical business people and technical IT people alike will enjoy this lighthearted talk.

Speaker: Scott Hanselman

6:30pm - End
Networking Mixer

Friday February 3rd

8:00am - 9:30am
Breakfast and Registration
9:30am - 10:30am
Data Dreams
10:40am - 11:25am
Connecting the Unconnected - A Mobile Only Future

Interconnectivity has increased with Mobile penetration across various markets. Especially in emerging markets digital boundaries have been disrupted by mobile as the only digital device with most users, where their identity is not an email, but phone number. In this new world, an individual is empowered to operate like an enterprise - choosing when and how they work; choosing to be part of an organization or be organization themselves; empowering individuals across a breadth of occupations to engage with the world in more meaningful ways. In this session, the Microsoft Office product engineering team will share product information and case studies done with such users.

Speaker: Rajiv Kumar

Inside Open Source Cross-Platform .NET

It's finally happened. .NET Core and ASP.NET Core are open source and run nearly everywhere. Microsoft developers work in the open on GitHub and iterate quickly. How did this happen" Join Scott Hanselman as he delves into 15 years of .NET history and what it took to reach this point. What do YOU need to know about .NET Core and ASP.NET Core, and how does it work?

Speaker: Scott Hanselman

11:30am - 12:15pm
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

Panelists: Tabitha Nanzala, Erik Hersman, Ham Namakajjo, Cassandra Sarfo

Moderator: Malaika Toyo

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.

Speakers: Shawndra Hill, Val Fontama

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.

Speaker: Yassine Serhane

12:15pm - 1:30pm
Lunch
1:30pm - 2:15pm
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.

Panelists: KP Yelpaala, Sam Gichuru, Myriam Said, John Waibochi

Moderator: Jessica Colaco

The Social Developer

We hear a lot of about the skills required to be a developer, and we endlessly tweak our linked in profiles, but what about soft skills? What does it take to be a Social Developer? Are you visible online, and an even better question - should you be? We'll cover Github, Twitter, StackOverflow, Blogging, Twitter, Gitter, and much more as we aim to understand what well-rounded developer looks like on today's social web.

Speaker: Scott Hanselman

2:20pm - 3:05pm
Digital India + Microsoft Research
Accelerate Windows 10 Deployments

Staying up to date on Windows as a Service should be painless. We have tools and techniques that you can use to assess compatibility and easily perform Windows 10 deployments in your enterprise. Many of our customers have benefited from our tools and tricks. Learn about them in this sesssion.

Speakers: Raji Rajagopalan, Christa St Pierre

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?

Panelists: Savannah Kunovsky, Nadayar Enegesi, Regina Honu, Felicia Guity

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.

Speaker: Sherif ElMahdi

4:05pm - 4:15pm
Closing Remarks

Closing Remarks

Speaker: Kunle Awosika

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