CMS Summit 2016 - Kampala

#cmssummit16 – Kampala – Uganda

The is the yearly event of the organization It’s organized by Oduor Jagero and his team (Shedy Serem, Opati Aswani, David Kariuki,  [needallthenamesplzcomment]).
Oduor is from Kenya and he runs a company called koamedia. Additional he’s a writer and he is a good salesman too (of course he sold me his book :). Amazon link -> True Citizen).

For the conference I lived in a guest house with some other speakers and team members and the daily transport to the venue took time due to traffic jams and bumpy roads. And if there is rain … see yourself :)

CMS Summit 2016 - Kampala

The first day we just prepared stuff for the event and visited the office of A beautiful place to code btw :)

CMS Summit 2016 - Kampala

The company is run by Fred Abunyanga, he organized everything in Uganda with his team (Osbert Mwijukye, Kangye David Benon,[needallthenamesplzcomment]) .

Automattic sent a lot of stuff for the attendees to Uganda but the team problems to get the packets out of customs, so he had to pay a lot.

CMS Summit 2016 - Kampala


The event took place in a private school (GEMS Cambridge International School).

CMS Summit 2016 - Kampala

A lot of sessions were the like “What is [insertCMSname]”, “How to [insertverb] with your [insertCMSname]” combined with sponsor sessions from Airtel, dignited, Hostalite, Webstar and Automattic.

Automattic is in a very good position here. With the WordPress CMS, they have the perfect product that embraces everything. There are business opportunities for web designers on and of course for Automattic too on The WordPress swag was simply perfect :) (including sun glasses & tattos :) ).

WordPress Tattoos

There was a session to introduce Drupal by Benjamin Kiyita ( and I was surprised that Drupal is still relatively “new” here. He offers Drupal services and training in Kampala since a few years and he highlighted the friendly community of Drupal as a reason to use the software. He runs a Drupal User Group in Kampala and manages the Twitter user @drupaluganda. Next free training in Kampale ist Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 9:00 AM Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 1:00 PM.

A very big topic seems to be hosting. As far as I understood there are no data centers in Uganda, so all websites of Uganda >100k  (does anyone knows how much websites exists in Uganda? – please comment) are hosted somewhere abroad (mostly USA).

Session idea for next summit:
How to host a website off the grid?

A very good presentation was held by Adedayo Adeniyi about the “Digital Workforce”.  For her, the old way of hiring and the whole procedure of applying is by far too complicate. People have to move with their jobs and because of a lack of infrastructure commuting is complicate or impossible (I can proof that point after being a few days here in Kampala). Closed by coworking spaces help and make things easier. People are discovering tools like Trello, Slack and other cloud based services and use them to get things done. She would love to host the next CMS Summit in Nigeria!

Session idea for next summit:
What is the open source alternative to these type of services?

Matty Cohen showed how to build an online store based on WordPress by using the WooCommerce Plugin – no further comment – the product is great.

What annoyed me a little bit is the perfect adoption of buzz words in some company presentations. Everything is progressive, disruptive, cloud based, [insertfavouritebuzzword]. I noticed that “Internet of things” still seems relatively new in Uganda.

Session idea for next summit:
The world of Arduino, Raspberry Pi and how to connect it with CMS like WordPress, Drupal & Joomla

What I like is the creativity and curiosity of people here. Because infrastructure in Uganda generally sucks, they have to develop a sense of pragmatic problem solving to manage their daily life. I guess that this talent is often what’s missing in bigger corporations like Google and IBM so they fit perfectly together.

Apart from the sessions the venue was  equipped with free WiFi bei a company called Airtel. Free WiFi (Airtime) is not usual in Uganda. Internet traffic is mostly expensive and slow, so a few people did updates on their mobiles and PCs while attending the summit.

There was a 48h hackathon but unfortunately I heard not a lot about it. Would be nice to have more information what it was about.

CMS Summit 2016 - Kampala

The last session was held by Onyait Odeke – How blogging can help tackle information poverty in Africa. He is doing projects like Storipot, a kind of “Planet Uganda”. It’s a collection of posts of hundreds of bloggers writing about Uganda topics. So if you really like to understand the people in Uganda, start to read … now!

And for me?

It was simple amazing.
Hope to be able to attend the next CMS Summit too, I already collected a few session ideas.




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