Harare, Zimbabwe Hosts Its First WordCamp

photo credit: Limbikani Soul Makani Kabweza

WordCamp Harare, the first ever WordCamp in Zimbabwe, was held over the weekend at the Harare City Library. Harare was selected out of 182 applicants as one of the three locations for the WordCamp Incubator Program. The experimental program launched in February 2016 with the goal of bringing WordCamps to new locations around the world where local meetups may not be as well established.

WordCamp Harare was successful at connecting the Zimbabwean WordPress community and introducing the attendees to the concept of a WordCamp.

“It was a great day because we met lots of people who are passionate about WordPress and building stuff on the internet,” Limbikani Soul Makani Kabweza said in his recap of the event. Kabweza is a contributor at Techzim, a Zimbabwean tech publication that runs on WordPress.

“As Techzim (and the other startups we work with like Soccer24 and Pindula) the internet is our lifeblood, so a day dedicated to discussing internet platforms and how to do things better was the amazingly enriching experience we expected it to be.”

Co-organizer Charles Muzonzini, who works as a web and mobile app developer with The Computer Society of Zimbabwe, said, “WordCamp Harare 2016 was an awesome success, far exceeding my expectations. Everything was on point and I’m glad to have met so many great people and learnt so much. This is hands down the best IT conference this year.” Muzonzini is also a co-organizer of the Harare WordPress Meetup, which now has 82 members.

Job Thomas, who works as an Education Vanguard at Automattic, traveled from Cape Town to speak about WooCommerce at the WordCamp. In a guest post for the event Thomas wrote about the importance of open source for the empowerment of Africa in removing hindrances for becoming successful.

“It is great to see WordCamp Harare happening,” Thomas said. “WordCamps are not primarily events for communicating ideas – although this plays a big role. WordCamps are primarily a celebration of the open source community; they gather people with a similar passion for making the web a better place.”

WordCamp Harare was the fourth WordCamp held in Africa in 2016, joining events in Nairobi, Johannesburg, and Cape Town in the expansion of the WordPress community in southern and eastern Africa.

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