AFRICANGLOBE – Semiconductor giant, Intel Corporation has kickstarted an investment boost in Kenya’s ICT sector that will help developers in the East African economic hub benefit directly from Intel® Software and Services Group (SSG), a global division of the company.
With Kenya as the first African beneficiary of this investment, the project will include the creation of programmes to help Kenyan software developers while providing them with design tools, resources and expert consulting.
Intel Software and Services Group will further enable Kenyan developers to engage with more than 20,000 independent software vendors (ISV) worldwide through a collaborative online application and software development community dubbed Intel Developer Zone. Intel® Developer Zone is a global program that enables developers engage with Intel on topics related to software and is designed to answer today’s software development challenges.
SSG also seek to build a foundation for robust solutions and industry innovation, working with the software community to set standards, establish industry benchmarks and participate in open source projects.
Aside this, Intel will this year sponsor three local tech start-ups for online training and mentorship program conducted by University of California Berkeley Faculty members and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
Over the next six months, Intel hopes to reach more than 400 developers and facilitate the development of 100 locally-made new applications , running on phones and tablets on Intel® Architecture.
The division will be led locally by Agatha Gikunda, the newly appointed Lead for Intel Software and Services Group in East Africa.
While speaking at a developers’ conference hosted by Intel that saw more than 250 developers in attendance, Danie Steyn, East Africa General Manager said: “We recognize that software is a vital element of all Intel platforms and processors. Therefore, Intel Software and Services Group seeks to enhance local innovation and provide tools to developers that enable them to create applications with rich user experience on devices running on Intel technology. We are very excited about the growing developer engagement in Africa and seek to increase collaborations with tech hubs, independent software vendors and universities.”
The US company intends to collaborate with Strathmore University and University of Nairobi to provide resources in the universities’ hardware labs, build a student Developer Partner Program and integrate High Performance Computing into the university curriculum.
These activities are aimed at enhancing the ability of student developers to create rich user experiences on Intel-based hardware as well as test their software applications.
Through an established program between Intel, iHub and m:lab, Intel Software and Services Group (SSG) will provide training to developers enabling them to create and port Android apps for Android-based devices running on Intel architecture.
Also, starting from 24th June 2013, Intel and iHub will on a quarterly basis host intensive coaching sessions for developers – dubbed Ideation camps – that seek to empower upcoming tech entrepreneurs and social innovators with tools to turn complex problems into great business opportunities.
Acting CEO, Kenya ICT Board , Victor Kyalo, said: “Intel’s approach to collaborate and support tech hubs, independent software vendors and universities provides a good opportunity for both upcoming and established developers to exploit,” adding that “Programs that provide opportunities for local software developers to nurture their skills, to access the latest tools and to get exposure on the global stage are critical components in the growth of our local software economy.”
By: Oluwabusayo Sotunde