How I built a tech community in Kagera, Tanzania from scratch.

Photo by fauxels:

I have been a tech enthusiast since my childhood, my brother brought home a computer in 2004 when I was still in primary school, those days computers was looking like CRT TV. All I had to do was to play games installed in floppy disk.

I was amazed on how such instrument was multi-tasking accurately, the journey in IT world started there.

In 2019 the same brother who was doing his masters degree in Italy sent me the whatsapp message. The message was containing a link to apply for Google Africa Developer Scholarship. I applied the same day and waited for the feedback.

It started with ALC.

Andela Learning Community (ALC4) Congratulation message.

Andela Learning Community(ALC) is the largest tech community in Africa that focuses on training aspiring African software developers to become world class software developers. They are doing this in partnership with Google; The technology company based in US.

The Andela Learning Community (ALC) leverages Andela’s learning science with Pluralsight’s online curriculum and Google’s developer scholarships to provide the platform you need to become professional developers.

After applying and get accepted to ALC4 under mobile web track It was those days when I was introduced to meetups and tech communities. The first meetup happened at seedspace building in Dar es salaam. I got to meet my old friend James Moshi and amazing people like Joshua Mabina and Georgia Rwechugura. I also met a young lady known as Vero who later became my friend.

The name Muhammad Auwal Samu was hitting my mail box recently since he was the main engine at ALC. I was eager to learn everything so whenever there was meetups I was registering so quickly. I attended Kotlin everywhere by GDG Dar es salaam at Buni Innovation Hub whereby Yesaya Athumani was sharing knowledge like crazy. I attended developer circle dar es salaam launch event at Buni while learning everything that was happening there.

My journey to Bukoba

During ALC4 I was posting on social media every step of my learning journey. My brother Dr Mdashiru sent me a DM , he was looking for someone to participate in his ambitious project of building the e-commerce website that will be linking farmers and buyers hence eliminating middleman. And that person was me. He knew me very well since he taught me secondary school physics during my secondary school eras. So I have to travel all the way from Dar es Salaam to Bukoba to participate in that ambitious project. By the way Bukoba is my home town so I had nothing to worry about.to keep the story short the project never succeeded.

When I was in Bukoba I missed tech communities and meetups, then I started thinking on why not create a tech community in Kagera from scratch?

Testing water before diving in.

In December 2019 I started researching out on the nitty gritty of building a tech community from scratch. Then I met the apply button at Google developer Groups (GDG ) website and then I applied. I prepared a meetup in partnership with youths at cathedral Church in Bukoba. During the meetup we discussed about technology entrepreneurship and getting started in IT.

The photos may be found here

GDG application process

The first meetup gave me the energy to proceed with the application process. To keep story short our tech community was fully incubated in march 2020 as official GDG Kagera Chapter.

GDG application process.
GDG acceptance email.

What is GDG Kagera?

GDG Kagera (Google Developers Group) is a local meetup for developers in Kagera interested in developer technologies.

It is a global community and provides a place for developers to connect on and off the screen. Members meet other local developers with similar interests in technology, attend talks,workshops and codelabs on a wide range of technical topics, and learn new skills through hands-on workshops.

We pride itself on being an inclusive environment. Everyone and anyone interested in tech — from beginner developers, experienced professionals to non technical guys are welcome to join.

GDG is a program supported by Google Developers.

To learn more about the GDG program, visit this link.

Our community was founded during the pandemic period so we are about 39 members. We are waiting for the pandemic to disappear fully so that we can rock with physical events. Everyone is welcomed to join despite of his background.

Joining GDG Kagera is simple, all you need to do to is to click this button

Are you interested to be a speaker, partner or sponser at our event? You are warmly welcomed just do reach out at rechungura1[ at] gmail [dot] com.

My take away;

If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.- African Proverb.

Thank you for reading my article. Lets us connect on social media.

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Technical Consultant |community builder |Technical writer |Founder and Lead Organizer Google Developer Groups Kagera |Looking for Remote opportunities.

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Azizi Yusuph

Azizi Yusuph

Technical Consultant |community builder |Technical writer |Founder and Lead Organizer Google Developer Groups Kagera |Looking for Remote opportunities.

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