Kenya hosts forum to provide solutions through technology

A section of delegates during the Social Good Summit held at the Go Down Arts Center on Monday. Photo/DIANA NGILA
A section of delegates during the Social Good Summit held at the GoDown Arts Center on Monday. Photo/DIANA NGILA   NATION MEDIA GROUP

Nairobi was one of the global venues for the ‘social good summit’ on Monday, a forum to discuss solutions to local challenges through technology and social media.

The UN-linked event was held outside New York for the first time, and this week simultaneously brought together Nairobi, Mogadishu, Beijing, New York and other cities across the world.

Billed as one of the largest and most global conversations, the forum is meant to harness innovation in technology and social media to solve challenges through local solutions.

In Nairobi, the summit brought together government, bloggers and artistes in the entertainment industry to discuss tools for issues familiar in the local setting such as enhancing governance, food security, and business opportunities for digital entrepreneurs.

Eunice Kariuki, representing the Kenyan government from the ministry of Information and Communication, said this was an honour for Kenya to be involved in the summit, pointing that the country has had many firsts in innovation.

“It is a great honour that further discussions on how we can make the world a better place by solving problems that affect us locally with solutions that can be scaled to do so across the globe,” she said.

Mr Mwaura Kirore of Planet Ruckus - the firm which developed local gaming software Ma3racer –took on the issue of financial sustainability of technology startups, and the need to free themselves from reliance on grants.

At the end of the forum more than 20 speakers had deliberated on the issues of the summit namely online tools for peaceful elections and better politics, web solutions to improve food security and the role played by Africa’s digital entrepreneurs.

Other subjects discussed were on how to empower communities through connectivity and using technology for conservation and sustainability.

The event was hosted by global technology company Ericcson in partnership with UNDP, Mashable, the United Nations Foundation, 92Y, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.