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Mobile Monday Africa?s second chapter starts in Kampala PDF Print E-mail

By Esther Nakkazi

ImageAs part of a global network that offers a platform off which to share ideas, innovations and to deeply explore mobile telephony, the Uganda first chapter of Mobile Monday was launched in early March. The second chapter of Mobile Monday (MoMo) Africa, after Johannesburg, Mobile Monday Kampala, (MoMoKLA), was founded by about 40 members from Uganda’s leading telecom companies, ICT firms, academia and the media.

MoMoKLA aims at promoting mobile startup companies by bringing their founders and international venture capitalists together.

But also under MoMo’s extensive network, that has over 100 chapters around the world, Ugandan startups have a chance to tap into international expertise and innovations in the mobile industry through partnerships, markets, and advisors from all over the globe.

Mr. Jari Tammisto, the Chief Executive Officer and President Mobile Monday said MoMoKLA would be an ideal medium through which local mobile communication startups would share ideas and be promoted globally.

The World Bank would compliment MoMo’s efforts in Africa through establishment of an incubation centre said Dr. Tim Kelly, the lead information and communication technology (ICT) policy specialist at the World Bank during the launch of MoMoKLA.

While the Kampala chapter (MoMoKLA) is the only one established in Uganda so far, Mr. Igeme Nabeta, chairman of the Parliament Committee on ICTs while launching MoMoKLA promised to start the Jinja chapter.

Countries can have various city chapters, which can discuss issues specific to their local needs in monthly forums, but given the global nature of the mobile industry there is also an exchange of ideas and speakers from around the world.

For now, MoMoKLA is still operating as an informal organization with no offices and volunteer staff, coordinated by Daniel Stern, the Executive Director U-Connect. It is run as agreed by founder members, as an NGO or company limited by guarantee.

Its first meeting, attended by about 85 members was hosted by Orange Uganda, under the theme ‘The Future of Mobile Broadband in Uganda’ discussed in the face of global investment in the Mobile Broadband technologies, projected at $72 billion in 2010, according to the Global System for Mobile Communication Association (GSMA).

Dr. Dorothy Okello, Coordinator of Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), applauded the launch of MoMoKLA saying the forums would be great a platform for tech-savvy people to meet and connect with other ordinary mobile phone users to share knowledge.

Edouard Blondeau, Chief Officer Strategy, Marketing and Communications, Orange Uganda said the company was interested in making broadband affordable and geographically accessible to all Ugandans.

Other speakers at the inaugural meeting where Mr. Patrick Mwesigwa, Acting Executive Director of Uganda Communications Commissioner (UCC) Simon Kaheru, Director Business Convergence, SMS Media and John Musajjakawa, Senior Investment Executive, Uganda Investments Authority (UIA).

Mobile Monday is a global network of mobile industry creative thinkers and innovators. Mobile Monday was founded in Helsinki, Finland, and now has 100 chapters around the world.

MoMo Africa chapters now exist in Johannesburg, founded in 2009, Kampala and Nairobi chapters founded in March 2010. It is now present on every continent of the world, and this annually constitutes the largest event network for the mobile industry.

MoMo also holds annual global summits and awards for the best mobile startups in its member networks. MoMo is highly regarded by the mobile industry leaders as the cutting edge of mobile innovation.

Follow its twitter accounts @MoMoKampala and @MoMoKLA,  and website www.MoMokla.ug for feeds and news.

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