Barcamp Lagos 2011 – Attendee’s perspective
By Raphael Afaedor
Barcamp Nigeria 2011 was held on the 11th and 12th of March 2011 at the Center for Information Technology & Systems of the University of Lagos under the theme ‘Technology business models’. The event was streamed live via Ustream.tv and on Twitter. Sheriff Shittu of Webtrends Nigeria & Kayode Yussuf did a phenomenal job putting it together.
On day one, Chika Nwobi, who founded and IPO’d MTech gave a talk on business models. He drew almost exclusively from the work of Peter Drucker and was to the point and very insightful. Lola Masha of Google Nigeria also came around and had informal chats with just about everybody. With my group, she talked quite a bit about the fact that Google’s strategy for Africa is really to participate actively in the local tech scene and drive its growth, as opposed to strictly profit making.
QluQlu was given the opportunity to introduce its www.QluQlu.com.ng, a marketing platform for local Nigerian businesses to reach their customers. It works by sending an email to subscribers about discounts of between 30 – 70% on goods and services in Lagos. The subscribers can then print out a coupon and go enjoy the discount at the Merchants shop, while paying the discounted price. QluQlu hopes that users can now discover new things in the city while enjoying discounted prices. It also hopes that by serving deals of interest to mainstream Nigerians it can grow an appreciation of the internet as a medium of doing business among mainstream Nigerians.
Day two focused on Mobile. Both Google and Nokia made presentations on their focus on Nigeria, as well as Sub-Saharan Africa. What was noteworthy about the Nokia presentation is that the Ovi store allows developers to keep the lion’s share of revenue generated from the sale of their apps. (I missed the Google presentation but it was later described by many participants as very good).
The significance of having a gathering where the tech ecosystem comes together to fraternize cannot be overemphasized. It is an opportunity to learn new things, meet like-minded people and an opportunity to gain visibility. At Barcamp 2011, notable success stories such as Chika Nwobi, Yomi Adegboye and Ahmad Mukoshy were present to inspire the next generation of tech entrepreneurs. Also, QluQlu managed to get some press for its new discount deals serving website.
On a personal note, I am grateful for the opportunity to attend and meet so many people passionate about technology and its use in Africa.
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Full disclosure: The writer is affiliated with QluQlu.