Safaricom this week hosted the second edition of the Safaricom Engineering Summit under the theme of “Igniting Africa’s Digital Renaissance.”
The two-day forum, attended by over 800 in-person industry stakeholders and thousands of others online, seeks to build on the learnings and successes of the first edition. Some initiatives under the summit include over 53 Safaricom campus tours, hackathons, and innovation Weeks nationwide. Over 617 members have graduated through these initiatives, courtesy of the Industry Digital Talent Program.
“This event, aptly named Safaricom Decode 2.0, is not just a conference but a dynamic platform that empowers Safaricom engineers to showcase their technical prowess and connect with the broader tech community. It is a testament to our commitment to being the Tech Partner of choice for Digital and Creatives. Kenya is a youthful country with immense opportunities. By combining the power of tech and purpose, we intend to tap into the ability and skill set of the youth, supporting them to take full advantage of the digital space and gain immensely from it,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom.
During the Summit, Safaricom launched 3 new platforms, including the Entertainment Hub, the Safaricom Developer portal and the newly revamped M-Pesa Daraja API.
The Safaricom Entertainment Hub is a customer Content Platform aggregating all Safaricom content ranging from Video, Music, Gaming, Education and more. The hub will be a one stop shop with a seamless payment gateway for all forms of content.
On the other hand, the Safaricom Developer Portal is a web-based platform that serves as a central hub for software developers, offering essential resources and tools to streamline the development process while improving efficiency and productivity. The portal ensures a user-friendly and responsive interface, enhancing the developer experience while ensuring that code quality and security remain paramount.
The M-Pesa Daraja API Gateway Developers Portal has been revamped with hybrid cloud architecture with superior API Billing and Monetization capabilities, self-service ticketing for API issues, and revamped API documentation. The revamp offers customers a better developer experience, with customer and partner-initiated transactions being completed even faster.
The telco also showcased a demonstration of the Digital Twin, AI-powered technology that generates a lifelike digital replica of a human in the form of audio or video, that responds to new requests as the actual human would.
The summit, whose Chief Guest was the Head of Public Service, Felix Koskei sought to showcase the advances made to meet the needs of the Kenyan and African tech industry as it navigates the fresh challenges and opportunities brought forth by Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Fintech.
“I am very impressed by what I have seen here. I am now confident that I can ask Safaricom and all you techies to help Decode the government of Kenya. As you know, the government has created a comprehensive digital agenda to transform the country’s economy and society through technology. The government has also launched several digital platforms to improve service delivery and enhance transparency and accountability. Overall, we are focused on leveraging technology to achieve sustainable development and improve the quality of life for its citizens and are confident that the youth can carry this agenda, “said Felix Koskei, Head of Public Service.
The summit treated participants to a showcase of the country and Safaricom’s engineering practices and products, especially in Fintech, such as the Safaricom AWS Deep Racer experience, Virtual Reality experiences and games, and other innovations from partners and sponsors.
“Safaricom plays a pivotal role in Kenya’s digital and tech ecosystem and extends its influence far beyond our borders. As a customer-obsessed, digital-first organization, we recognize that the engineering community is the architect of such customer-centric solutions. Through initiatives like Safaricom Decode, we will continue to empower the community to showcase their exceptional skills and exchange knowledge on best practices, so that we can cement our place as a technology hub,” concluded Mr Ndegwa.
Safaricom Decode serves as a platform to showcase engineering excellence, cutting-edge technology advancements, and thought leadership while also emphasizing the alignment with national strategies, the promotion of financial inclusion, and the responsible use of technology, all in pursuit of shaping Kenya’s digital future.
The Safaricom Engineering Community has grown to over 5,000 members across Kenya in the last year. Safaricom intends to upscale and certify 1,400 members across various counties in a one-year program dubbed ‘Accelerate by Safaricom’ where they will be taught various skill sets such as Fintech, IoT, Robotic Process Automation, Cyber Security, Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data, Analytics and 5G. Upon graduation, the top 200 students will be offered internship opportunities at Safaricom while the rest will be placed in the Industry Digital Talent Program.