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Silicon Mountain 2021 Conference Showcases Cameroon’s Technological Ingenuity


By Hope Nda

Cameroon’s largest tech community, Silicon Mountain, is holding a mega technological conference, Silicon Mountain Conference 2021, in Buea, aimed at showcasing Cameroon’s technological ingenuity to the world.

Bringing together tech giants from all over the country and the world, SMConf2021 will be the largest tech gathering in Central Africa, as Silicon Mountain already holds records as the biggest tech community in the sub-region.

The event runs from Tuesday, November 9, through Saturday, Nov. 13. It will take place in five locations including ActivSpaces; University of Buea; HIMS Buea; CUIB; and Chariot Hotel Complex.  

The conference opened on, November 9, with a sports walk from the University of Buea Junction to one of the community’s hubs, ActivSpaces, where stakeholders of the conference briefed journalists on what the event will be about. 

“In this conference, one of our major goals is to be able to showcase what we do. We don’t want to only say it, we want to be able to show, tangibly, the solutions that we have been providing.

“We want to be able to explain better than we have ever done the potentials that this community got and that it could be used to transform this nation if we could have more collaboration from the different stakeholders…,” said Laye Mbunkur, Hub Manager of ActivSpaces.

The goal of the conference is “very simple,” says Otto Isong, Founder of Pursar Technology which is one of the start-ups in the community.

He added: “We have these technologies; we have these businesses we need an opportunity to tell the world these are the things we have. So, the conference is that opportunity that we have for all community members to stand and say this is who we are; this is what we do and this is what you can gain from doing business with us.”

According to Churchill Mambe, Founder of Njorku, a worldwide job search engine, the conference brings together software engineers, hardware engineers, electrical engineers, entrepreneurs, digital marketers, and other technology stakeholders in the country and beyond.

Apart from helping the Silicon Mountain Community showcase what they have been doing, the conference will provide the opportunity to address some challenges facing the tech industry in the country.

 “A challenge we are facing is the low consumption of local tech solutions. We think there are quite several solutions that the Silicon Mountain Community has come up with, but the consumption of it locally is still quite low,” Laye Mbunkur said at Tuesday’s press conference.

He also highlighted that “there is a significant skill gap between what the universities and the institutions are providing and what the industry needs.

“This is one of the principal challenges we are facing and it is even one of the topics we are going to be discussing during this conference – to see how we can close the skill gap between software engineering education, between tech education and the actual need of the industry.”

Through the conference, Laye added; “We want to engage different stakeholders to find solutions to these challenges. That is why within the conference we have engaged policymakers…”

The conference features several programmes and activities, among which are: panel discussions, coding sessions, exposes, workshops, exhibitions and a lot more.

This will involve prominent Cameroonian tech geniuses like award-winning Cameroonian tech entrepreneur, Rebecca Enonchong, founder and CEO of AppsTech, a software company.

The conference is expected to be the biggest tech rally in both Cameroon and Central Africa as it will be held for five days, unlike previous editions held in 2015, 2016 and 2017 that lasted only one day.

Silicon Mountain is a technology ecosystem operating within the Fako Division of Cameroon’s Southwest Region that groups over 200 technological start-ups and enterprises which operate in three tech incubators.

“Silicon Mountain builds and markets technology. The talents we have come from universities,” said Otto Isong, founder of Pursar Technology.

Prominent among the start-ups are Njorku (job search application); Go-Groups (software company); Digital Renter (online real estate marketplace); Wasamundi (software internet company helping people to find recreational facilities); alongside several other startups.

“To be a member of Silicon Mountain, you just have to be in Buea, and you need to be building either a solution or technology, a product or business that depends on a Silicon Chip. As long as you do that, you are part of the Silicon Mountain Community,” said Churchill Mambe, founder of Njorku.

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