Mobile Monday Dar es Salaam (or MoMoDar between friends) met again yesterday evening (November 5th) after few months break. Maybe it was the change of location, a very timely theme, or just a welcomed gathering of the MoMo crowd, but we saw a great number of enthusiastic people across sectors; students, entrepreneurs, journalists, and people from the government and industry at the KINU Innovation Hub.
First Dr Jabiri Bakari, CEO of e-Government Agency (eGA), shared the approach Tanzanian government has taken in implementing e-governance; setting up a dedicated institution to manage the whole process. He mentioned for instance that some of the challenges of earlier e-governance initiatives have been vendor or donor-driven approaches, without a central coordinating body ensuring the quality and adherence to standards. Second speaker was Mr David Sawe, IBM Tanzania’s Country General Manager. He shared IBM’s ‘Seven Steps to Success’ project management framework, which they have also used in conjunction with the e-governance projects.
Last two presenters were young developers demonstrating their systems and apps for e-governance. First Godfrey Magila from MagilaTech introduced Tanzania e-Voting system he has developed together with his team, and then Julius Theodory and his team mates from Loyola High School shared the story of their constitutional review application. It was great to see how both Godfrey and Julius had prepared nice videos to present their apps! Godfrey is currently working on version 2.0 of the e-Voting system and doing pilot testing but it was a bit sad to hear that despite strong efforts of the Loyola team and signicant recognition their app received, it has not been taken into the official constitutional review process. Though this experience may share some of the frustrations young developers face in Tanzania to get their apps adopted in the official processes, Julius and Loyola team were happy and proud about developing their system, and it has already brought them a lot of references as science students in secondary school. Great work!
It seems that MoMoDar has got some momentum again, which is wonderful to see! Maybe MoMoDar could go on a tournee, being hosted in different places, different companies, different places relevant to mobile and ICT industry, to really open up what is happening in Tanzania and help different players get to know each other and network – which is one of the most important functions of MoMo.
UPDATE 6.11.2012 19.43: Coverage from the event also in Kiswahili in Tanganyikan blog.