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Kenya hosts first Intel developer initiative in Africa

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Intel Corporation has announced a new initiative that will see Kenyan developers become the first in Africa to benefit directly from Intel Software and Services Group (SSG), a global division of the company. In the course of this new initiative Intel will work with Kenyan developers to provide them with design tools, resources and expert consulting.  Further, Intel will this year sponsor three local tech start-ups for online training and mentorship program conducted by UC Berkeley Faculty members and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

In the next 6 months,  Intel aims at reaching over 400 developers and having 100 new applications created locally that will offer users differentiated experiences across mobile phones and tablets running 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.

Speaking at a developers’ conference hosted by Intel that saw more than 250 developers in attendance, Danie Steyn, East Africa General Manager said Intel recognizes software is a vital element of Intel platforms and processors.

“Intel Software and Services Group seeks to enhance local innovation and provide tools to developers that enable them 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 company will 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 will provide training to developers enabling them to create and port Android apps for Android-based devices running on Intel® architecture. In addition, 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.

“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. 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.” Victor Kyalo Acting CEO, Kenya ICT Board

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. It is a global program that enables developers to engage with Intel on topics related to software and is designed to answer today’s software development challenges.  In addition, Intel Software and Services Group will 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.

“As part of the investments we are making in the continent we would also like companies across Africa to be aware that Intel Capital, the global investment and M&A organization of Intel, is looking to invest in innovative technology companies. We have recently invested in 2 companies: Altech in South Africa and Rancard in Ghana.” said Tobi Oke, Investment Director, Intel Capital.

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