The inaugural Pwani Innovation Week 2023 has kicked off today at Swahilipot Hub, Mombasa County, marking the beginning of a five-day celebration of innovation, technology and entrepreneurship.
The event, organized by the Swahilipot Hub Foundation, aims to create a widespread culture of innovation and stimulate the innovation ecosystem in the coastal region and Kenya at large.
Around 100 local innovators from the six coastal counties namely: Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu and Taita-Taveta are anticipated to present their creative endeavours during the fourth edition of the Pwani Innovative Week, scheduled to take place today (October 2) to 6.
Day one of the tech extravaganza under the hashtag #PwaniInnovationWeek2023 or #PIW2023 has witnessed the arrival and registration of guests, setting the stage for a week of engaging sessions, workshops, and hackathons.
The event is being held under the theme ‘Sailing Beyond Borders: Empowering Youth in the Digital Economy for a Sustainable Future.’ This theme underscores the commitment to empowering young individuals in the region and fostering a vibrant culture of innovation.
A stellar lineup of speakers, including Charlene Ruto, Youth Champion; Mahmoud Noor, Chief Mentor, Swahilipot Hub; Ben Roberts, Group CTO, Liquid Intelligent Technologies; Alice Gugelev, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Global Development Incubator Africa; Nadia Ahmed Abdalla, Former CAS ICT, Innovation, and Youth Affairs, Founder of Africa ni Mimi; and Dr. Ehud Gachugu, Project Director, Ajira Digital Program, Kenya Private Sector Alliance among others are set to share their insights during the event.
The first session of the day delved into the critical topic of Intellectual Property and Innovation Protection, with Wendy Kuyo, a lawyer specializing in data protection, providing key insights into data processing, identifiable data subjects, personal data vs. sensitive data, data controllers, and data processors.
Felicia Solomon Tunje, Partner at MMS Advocates LLP and Director of Sanaa Kama Biashara, emphasized the importance of protecting trade secrets, outlining the three criteria for trade secret protection.
She said, “Invention is the act of devising new products, processes and services. While innovation is taking a step further by making sure your product or service is marketable. For a trade secret to be protected it must satisfy three criteria. One, it must be a secret. Two, it must have a commercial value and lastly, It should have an obligation to keep the information confidential.”
Also, an ongoing Blockchain Hackathon is a highlight of the tech week, providing participants with the opportunity to learn about Blockchain technology, build skills, and network.
The hackathon offers cash prizes of $1000 for the most innovative solutions.
The Pwani Innovation Week is a collaborative effort by the Swahilipot Hub Foundation and its partners, aiming to showcase the creativity of about 100 local innovators during the fourth edition.
Mahmood Noor, the founder of Swahilipot Hub, emphasized the focus on young innovators, providing them with a platform to showcase their work and contribute to the transformation of the community.
During the tech week, the Kenya WhatsApp Impact Recognition Awards will celebrate unsung heroes in the digital and innovative space.
Swahilipot Hub and Kayana Creatives, a community of female entrepreneurs partnered to recognize and empower the youth.
The awards’ main sponsor is 4gotten Bottom Millions (4BM), Kenya’s largest digital disruptor, empowering the youth since 2016.
The event has garnered support from various partners, including the National Museums of Kenya, Huawei, Cisco, Close the Gap Hub, Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK), Konza Technopolis; the French, Belgian and UK embassies among other renowned entities in the tech industries.
This collaboration aims to explore and recognize innovations outside Nairobi, contributing to the government’s goal of opening up digital spaces for youth across the country.
The Pwani Innovation Week is a testament to the commitment to fostering innovation, supporting youth, and building a sustainable future through the power of technology.
Hopefully, this week-long tech event will inspire young minds, create lasting connections and contribute to the growth of the innovation ecosystem in the coastal region and Kenya as whole.