Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa in partnership with Innovate Now marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities with a Tech4ALL Event: a platform that brought together more than 100 learners from secondary and tertiary institutions to learn about opportunities that they can exploit in the technology sector.
While honoring this year’s celebrations’ theme of “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world”, the Tech4ALL platform provided an opportunity for young tech enthusiasts to learn, get mentored, encouraged, and exposed to opportunities in the tech world.
The full-day event which was divided into two major sessions: speeches and expositions before noon and a hackathon challenge in the afternoon was very intentional about ensuring that the youth are exposed to as much as could fit in that one day.
The speeches, exhibitions, and hackathon challenge all aimed at ensuring the participants are aware of how they can make innovations that are inclusive and accessible for all including persons with disabilities, children, expectant mothers, and the elderly.
Among the lineup of speakers was Bekere Amassoma, the Sub-Saharan Program Manager, at Oracle Academy who spoke about how Oracle Academy is promoting technology for youths. The session elicited a lot of interest, especially among the participants in attendance from institutions of higher learning. Notable in her presentation was the free teaching and learning resources; curriculum, cloud, software, and professional development that Oracle Academy provides.
Other speakers included Terry Muikamba, a Senior Presenter at Hot 96 FM who spoke on the evolution of media in the era of technology, Bernard Chiira, the Director, Innovate Now who insisted on the importance of inclusive innovations for a sustainable future and Wilberforce Temba the Student Liaison Officer at eMobilis who spoke on the trends in technology and how eMobilis is ensuring that youth are equipped with digital skills. Cybersecurity guru and Board member iamtheCODE Antony Muiyuro shared his journey to a cybersecurity leader and associate Director at KPMG East Africa. Mr Muiyuro encouraged the young learners to focus on their dreams and put in the work and commitment towards achieving their dreams. Amb. Dr. Josephine Ojiambo, the President, Rotary Club Nairobi and the Rotary International representative to UNICEF and the UN office in Nairobi while echoing Mr. Muiyuro spoke of technology as an equalizer and encouraged the learners to have grit as they pursue their dreams.
The afternoon session was majorly occupied by presentations from the learners on the Hackathon Challenge. As briefed, the challenge was to come up with an idea for a solution that is technology-inclusive driven that will create at least 200 employment opportunities in a year for all. The hackathon judges, Benard Chiira, Director at Innovate Now, Tabie Kioko, a Diversity, and Inclusive Lead at Safaricom, and Beatrice Wambui, a Senior Technical mentor at Moringa School were very impressed at the ideas from the 5 groups.
The end of the day was marked with a celebration of Innovate Now’s 3rd Anniversary. Innovate Now is Africa’s first assistive technology accelerator.Oracle Academy and eMobilis were also feted with recognition awards as tech frontiers for youths in Kenya.
Tech4ALL 2022 was sponsored by eMobilis, Oracle Academy, iamtheCODE, Citizen Digital, Hot 96 FM, IBM, Safaricom, and Home254.