EVENTS | (Big) Data for a Green Economy Masterclass 

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(Big) Data for a Green Economy

On October 30th, 2018, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Nairobi, Kenya, together with the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce (AHK) in Kenya, entrepreneurs club Metta and Make-IT in Africa hosted a Big Data for a Green Economy masterclass.

The session was aimed at providing a forum for discussing ways to utilise Big Data for sustainable development in Kenya. It marks the second event of the German Embassy Green Economy Cycle (GEGEC), a series of workshops held in collaboration with AHK.

The masterclass involved presentations by players in the data analytics and Big Data ecosystem in Kenya. These included: Jessica Calaco, Co-founder and CRO of Brave Venture Labs, Linet Kwamboka, founder of Data Science Ltd, and Kelvin Mwega together with Ruth Waither from the Emerging Tech Team at IBM East Africa.

What is (Big) Data?

This was the central question posed to the audience mainly comprised of software company representatives. Jessica thoroughly explained the specifics of data and how it relates and is differentiated to Big Data. The differentiating factors of data sets were also highlighted. Jessica particularly noted that data comes in various varieties, volumes, velocities and veracities.

Following this, Jessica delved into the trends of hiring data scientists in Kenya. She explained that for the Kenyan market, there are 4 different jobs in data science. These are Data Scientist, Data Analyst, Data Visualiser and Data Engineer.

Data Science

Following Jessica’s session, Linet Kwamboka led the audience through an explanatory presentation of the work done at her company Data Science Ltd. During this session, she shared how Data Science Ltd rendered the voting results for the Kenyan elections, a huge achievement for the company. In addition, Linet shared important practices data collectors should implement when approaching individuals either in person or through social media, texts etc.

Weather Data for a Green Economy 

To bring the audience back to the discussion of how data can be used for a sustainable green economy, Kevin Mwega and Ruth Waithera spoke about the major problems facing smallholder farmers in Kenya such as limited access to market and limited knowledge of best practices for best produce. Furthermore, they highlighted the ways in which weather data can rectify these problems as well as create sustainable green environments.

The masterclass was followed by a panel discussion which included speakers Jessica, Linet and Kelvin as well as the two audience members Simon Kamande Wambui, Data Science Lead of Msurvey, and Arman Moussavi, head of Business Development at Azuri Technologies. The panel discussion highlighted challenges with the availability of data Kenya, the transparency as well as the lack of unity with data aggregates.

Photos taken by Metta Team

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