Safaricom’s Decode 2.0: Igniting Africa’s Digital Renaissance

Safaricom, one of Kenya’s leading telecommunications and technology giants, recently hosted its second annual Engineering Summit, aptly named Decode 2.0. The event, a two-day extravaganza, brought together more than 800 industry stakeholders in person, with thousands more participating online. The summit, held under the theme “Igniting Africa’s Digital Renaissance,” was not just another tech conference but a dynamic platform designed to empower Safaricom engineers to showcase their technical prowess and connect with the broader tech community.

The CEO of Safaricom, Peter Ndegwa, expressed the company’s commitment to being the preferred tech partner for digital and creative individuals. He highlighted Kenya’s youthful population and the immense opportunities that lie within. By combining technology with a clear purpose, Safaricom aims to harness the potential and skill set of the youth, enabling them to make the most of the digital landscape.

Decode 2.0 wasn’t just about talk; it was about action. Safaricom took this opportunity to launch three new platforms, each designed to enhance the digital experience for its users.

The Safaricom Entertainment Hub is set to be a game-changer. This customer content platform will aggregate all Safaricom content, ranging from video, music, gaming, education, and more. It aims to be a one-stop-shop with a seamless payment gateway for all types of content, making it incredibly convenient for users.

The Safaricom Developer Portal, on the other hand, is a web-based platform that will serve as a central hub for software developers. It offers essential resources and tools to streamline the development process, thereby improving efficiency and productivity. The portal focuses on providing a user-friendly and responsive interface, ensuring a great developer experience while keeping code quality and security a top priority.

For those who rely on M-PESA, Safaricom has revamped the M-PESA Daraja API Gateway Developers Portal. This revamp includes a hybrid cloud architecture with superior API billing and monetization capabilities, self-service ticketing for API issues, and enhanced API documentation. All these changes will result in a better developer experience and faster customer and partner-initiated transactions.

But perhaps the most exciting showcase during the summit was the demonstration of the Digital Twin. This AI-powered technology generates a lifelike digital replica of a human in the form of audio or video. It can respond to new requests just as a real human would. This is a fascinating leap in technology, with potential applications in various fields.

The summit, attended by the Head of Public Service, Felix Koskei, sought to highlight the advancements made in response to the evolving landscape of the Kenyan and African tech industry. With the emergence of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Fintech, there are fresh challenges and opportunities that Safaricom aims to address.

Mr. Koskei expressed confidence in the tech community’s ability to contribute to the government’s digital agenda, which aims to transform the country’s economy and society through technology. The government has already launched digital platforms to improve service delivery and enhance transparency and accountability, and it sees the potential for the youth to drive this agenda.

The summit wasn’t just about Safaricom; it was a celebration of Kenya’s engineering practices and products, particularly in Fintech. Attendees got to experience the Safaricom AWS Deep Racer, virtual reality experiences and games, and other innovations from partners and sponsors.

Safaricom’s role in Kenya’s digital and tech ecosystem is pivotal, extending its influence beyond borders. As a customer-centric, digital-first organization, it recognizes that the engineering community is the architect of customer-centric solutions. Initiatives like Safaricom Decode empower the community to showcase their skills and exchange knowledge on best practices, solidifying Kenya’s place as a technology hub.

The Safaricom Engineering Community has grown to over 5,000 members across Kenya in the last year. Safaricom plans to upscale and certify 1,400 members across various counties in a one-year program named ‘Accelerate by Safaricom.’ These members will be equipped with various skill sets such as Fintech, IoT, Robotic Process Automation, Cyber Security, Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data, Analytics, and 5G. Upon graduation, the top 200 students will be offered internship opportunities at Safaricom, while the rest will be placed in the Industry Digital Talent Program.

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