After a first edition of our learning and tech meetings initiative that went in Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya, between 2008 and 2011, we are happy to announce the kickstart of the Python African Tour 2nd edition.

We are re-launching this events series with a Kenya event, that started today, november 26. Organized by Africa i-Parliaments, in collaboration with the C4DLab based at the School of Computing and Informatics of the University of Nairobi, this is a 5 days event called the “Bungeni week” ; a week of training on Python and allied technologies that focuses on the Bungeni software and its components (Plone, eXist, etc).

Bungeni is an open source “Parliamentary and Legislative Information” System that aims at making Parliaments more open and accessible to citizens thus virtually allowing them “inside Parliament” or “Bungeni”, the Kiswahili word for “inside Parliament”.

Last year’s Kenya event was organized with the help and support of Africa i-Parliaments Action Plan, University of Nairobi, and their partners. So we are grateful to be associated with them again for this new edition.

You will find more information about our initiative on the website, and the programme of the first Bungeni week here.

Filed November 26th, 2012 under Kenya, Events, Announcement

9 months after the Accra training, the PAT Ghana ended with a follow-up Python training held in Kumasi (another city in Ghana) from September 29 to October 1, with our facilitators and sponsors including Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology (KNUST), Google, BECATEC, Ageliaco, Python Software Foundation, Ghana GTUG, Adroit Ghana, Evince Systems, and Hutspace. The tutors, Francis Addai, Edward Pie and Bayo Opadeyi, did a great job to make the learning experience useful and fun for students.

A big thank to the great team that helped us organize the Ghana events.

PAT Ghana is now done, and the Ghana Python User Group is born ! A more detailed report will follow.

Also, I am pleased to announce that today, PAT Kenya is being kicked off. The 5-day training event is organized with the help of Africa i-Parliaments Action Plan and University of Nairobi, with sponsoring from Mobile Planet (Gold), Esri Eastern Africa (Silver), and Google again (Silver). The proposed tutors are members of the Africa i-Parliaments Action Plan developers team (Miano Njoka, Mario Ruggier, and Millie Ngoka), two other Kenya-based Python developers (Jude Mwenda, Brian Marete), and Victor Miclovich coming from Uganda. For more information, check out the event page.

Go, go Kenya!

Filed October 24th, 2011 under Ghana, Kenya, Events, Announcement

Work is underway to plan and organize the next Python African Tour activities. Here is a quick update.

  • Kumasi, Ghana: After the Accra one, a 2nd training is being organized with the help of the Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology (KNUST), the local Google Technology User Group (KnustGTUG) and our facilitators and sponsors. The event shoul happen sometime between late September and mid October. Dates and venue to be confirmed soon.
  • Nairobi, Kenya: Discussion has started to organize the PAT Kenya event with School of Computing & Informatics, University of Nairobi involved, in November.
  • We have set up an online PAT preparation study group for both Ghana Kumasi and Kenya events, as part of School of Webcraft. Starting in September, interested people registered for the PAT events will be able to join the study group, and benefit from getting introduced to the Python language basics before they come to participate to their local onsite event. A detailed presentation of this new activity will come in another post.

Stay tuned! And more supporters and sponsors are welcome.

Filed July 14th, 2011 under Ghana, Kenya, Announcement

Our first training event in Ghana was organized in Accra from 18th January to 22nd January 2011. We were lucky enough to introduce Python to about 40 people, mainly students and young professionals.

The event was organized at the African University College of Communications (AUCC), the venue for the training days, and the Ghana Telecom University College (GTUC), the venue for the hackathon days, with the support of the following organizations and groups:

  • Google Africa - our Gold sponsor,
  • Ageliaco (Association pour une Gestion Libre et Avancée de Contenu), an association of Plone users in the academic sector in Geneva, Switzerland - our Silver sponsor,
  • BECATEC (Bureau d’Etudes, de Contrôle et d’Assistance Technique), an african (Togo) consultancy company in the domain of civil engineering interested by ICT for development - our second Silver sponsor,
  • Python Software Foundation / Python Sprints - the Hackathon sponsor,
  • The PAT Ghana team backed by Ghana Google Technology User Group (Ghana GTUG), Hutspace (a startup company using Python and Django) and the GTUC branch of Technology Students Association (TESA-GTUC).

You can find more about the sponsors, supporters, and organization team here. You will notice the geographical diversity as well as diversity in terms of the domains / sectors represented by these supporters. That’s another proof that diversity offers richer connections and sharing!

First training day

Participants were welcomed to the African University College of Communications campus by Mr. Kwabena Mantey of the University staff. This was followed by a presentation by Gameli Adzaho (@gamelmag) about Python African Tour, the goals of the project, and what participants should expect over the five days of training.

Emmanuel Okyere (@eokyere) started the tutorials serie by presenting Python basics to the participants ; introduction to programming, introduction to Python, installation of Python on windows computers, interactive mode and script mode, different types of errors, functions, etc. Participants wrote their first Python programme and function (finding the area of a circle, given radius) in interactive mode.

Second training day

With Kweku Danso (@kwekud) as lead, participants briefly reviewed concepts covered the first day, before plunging into Python programming in script mode. Some of the exercises undertaken in interactive mode were repeated in script mode. During the second half of the day, Henry Addo (@eyedol) took over to take the participants through a word-counting program that encapsulated all the aspects of Python programming covered so far, even classes and objects.

patghana-participants-day2.jpg

The Python training participants

Third training day

With Kamon Ayeva (@kamon), they reviewed the word-counting exercise, an opportunity for them to play by themselves with script mode coding, make errors and fix them with the guidance of the tutors, and ask more questions.

Just after lunch, Florence Toffa of Mobile Web Ghana made a brief presentation of their Mobile Entrepreneurs in Africa Training Programme that was to start at the end of February 2011. A sizeable number of participants were interested in this opportunity.

Back to the training, Emmanuel Okyere took over the lead. We had to change the plans regarding the Django tutorial that was planned after 10mn of Emmanuel trying to introduce the topic ; he realized that most participants did not meet the minimal requirements for learning a web framework, such as understanding of HTTP and HTML basic principles, added to the general low level of programming expertise. Emmanuel with great agility - another quality of Pythonistas ;) - switched to an introduction of the Python turtle module, a fun way for new programmers to learn how to use predefined functions to achieve different shapes and movements. It was a good and engaging learning experience as a conclusion for the tutorials days.

The hackathon

At the Ghana Telecom University College campus, on friday and saturday, we continued the Python learning experience with the “hackathon” format. It was an opportunity for motivated people to get more deeply into coding, during two days, and another chance for going through the web framework tutorial.

Some people were also interested by mobile programming stuff, which could have been covered via the angle of RapidSMS and related APIs, but it was decided to only focus on 2 topics: the Django web framework and the Plone CMS.

We started with quick presentations of the Django framework and Plone CMS to the participants. So they were then able to compare the two technologies, with input from the hackathon leaders, in order to select the topic they wanted to probe further into. Two groups were made: the Django one led by Kweku (most of the participants) and the Plone one led by Kamon.

patghana-hackathon-participants.0.jpg

The learning hackathon is going on

The Django group went through the official Django tutorial: installation, database setup and models definition, the administration interface, urls, views and templates.

patghana-hackathon-django.jpg

Hackathon - Kweku Danso leading the Django group

The smaller Plone CMS group started with installing Plone, setting up a Plone site, and organizing its content. The second day, they continued on looking at how to customize the logo and the public stylesheet. They also installed an add-on to Plone, PloneFormGen, and learned how to create forms through the Plone interface using that system.

patghana-hackathon-using-plone.jpg

Hackathon - Adel Yahaya (@linuxaccra) playing with Plone

patghana-hackathon-plone-pfg.jpg

Hackathon - A form quickly configured using PloneFormgen

At the end of the hackathon, many of the participants were able to show a working prototype of a Django-based application or Plone-based website.

A Python Ghana user group is born

At the end, while we were wrapping up, we came up with the idea of organizing another training in Kumasi in a few weeks… if the plan goes well. This would be a second PAT Ghana event. The dates will be announced as soon as we have the organization details confirmed.

For now, a mailing list has been created to keep up the conversation about Python and as a first step to a future active user group in Ghana. Meet you there!

Thank you!

The PAT Ghana team is grateful for the support of all its partners and facilitators: AUCC and GTUC for hosting our activities, the sponsors, the tutors, and the attendees. Thank you for making the Ghana leg of Python African Tour a success!

We enjoyed all the ingredients for a useful training on an important technology, while having fun: passionate Python developers from Ghana helping as tutors, enthusiasm from participants and willingness to learn, good food provided for lunch, etc.

patghana-food.jpg

Good food (rice, spaghetti, fried plantain), thanks to the sponsors

Also, thanks to Nnenna Nwakanma (@nnenna) for her active participation, interesting discussions we had at lunch time, and for live-tweeting the event during the training days.

Now, let’s continue with that goodness!

patghana-group-photo.jpg

Group photo after the hackathon

Filed February 28th, 2011 under Ghana, Report, Events

The Python African Tour continues. Ghana is next !

We started in Rabat (Morocco) two years ago. Then we had the Dakar (Senegal) event, followed by Abuja (Nigeria).

Meanwhile, we have improved our training materials: Python tutorial, Django tutorial, SciPy intro.

In the future, it would be nice to propose other tutorials as options, even beyond Python :

  • Programming basics: as suggested by Daniel Nouri, based on his experience last time in Abuja, we need a small training to introduce programming to complete beginners, before starting to teach them Python.
  • Web front-end programming: JavaScript/JQuery is so important these days, and shares some characteristics with Python.
  • Mobile programming: I am not an expert in this field, but any suggestion/contribution is welcome.

So… With a group of Open Source and Python fans in Ghana, we are preparing the next PAT event. Discussions are still underway but we already agreed on the date: january 18 to 22, 2011. The plan is to have a tutorial session (3 days) followed by a hackathon for improving documentation and bug-fixing. More details, such as the venue and host organization names, will come as soon as we get the confirmations.

Now, for all that to happen, we need more support and sponsors ! You can contact me via twitter if you want to contribute.

Filed December 11th, 2010 under Events, Announcement

­­The “Python African Tour” Nigeria event took place at the campus of African University of Science and Technology (AUST), Abuja, from the 14th to the 18th of June, 2010. It was sponsored by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and facilitated by Datasphir Solutions Ltd., an ICT company based in Lagos and Abuja.

We had a great team of experts lined up to deliver: Daniel Nouri (Vienna & Berlin), David Allouche (Paris), Ousmane Wilane (Dakar), Tim Akinbo (Nigeria), Adam Byrtek from Google (Poland), Uju Ndili from Google (California).

The participants were split into 2 groups: Non-programmers vs. Programmers.

Daniel led the training for the non-programmers group assisted by David, and later by Uju. They first tried our current Python introduction material, before finding that they had to improvise with something else since the audience was not introduced to programming.

On the 2nd day, they went for a presentation of the turtle module. They explained concepts such as loops and functions with turtle, which worked out quite nicely. The 3rd day, Daniel developed a simple Hangman game with the students, using the console for UI. This probably helped most students get some idea on how bigger programs look like, and why they’re organized into functions. It was really more about programming than Python. On the 4th day, Uju gave a small Google App Engine tutorial.

Ousmane and Tim worked in pair for the training targeted at the other group, and the team was later reinforced by Adam. They followed the same format as in Dakar last year, i.e. the Python introduction (2 days) followed by a Django tutorial (2 days).

Being three programmers for that track was very helpful. While one was presenting the material, the others could try and reword things that were not clear, assist students for the exercices, or contribute a small presentation on a subject where the material’ coverage was weak ; for example, Adam did a quick tutorial on regex that was useful.

To close the event, on the 5th day, there were some interesting stuff demoed such as “Python on Symbian” by Tim.

­­PAT Nigeria participants 

Thanks to the organizers and facilitors

The PAT team wants to thank the sponsors and organizers for the geat venue and organization. To cite someone on another related blog post: “AUST was a super venue! The campus was lovely. The rooms were neat. The food was nice. Many thanks to Datasphir, NITDA and MDH!”

A big thank to Google for sending over Adam Byrtek and Uju Ndili to help the team, and contribute with their stuff and vision to the presentation topics.

What’s next ?

Now, we know we have something moving and a great potential to capitalize on. There is enthousiasm and demand for this kind of learning experience. There is a network of local facilitators and experts (Ousmane, Tim, Thomas, Omo, and the others) we can tap into, so that PAT trainings become easier to organize.

We want more countries, and in different regions… Let’s look for opportunities in the university world, and let’s do it ! Kenya, Uganda… please speak up !

    We also need to improve our model, and work toward sustainability. In the action plan we have been discussing, we would like to have follow-up events in the countries/regions where there has already been a successful PAT event. The whole idea is to have more regular trainings like this in Africa, with the help of local experts and facilitators.

    Filed August 25th, 2010 under Nigeria, Report

    # from soccer import worldcup

    from python import python_african_tour_nigeria

     

    The Python African Tour in Nigeria would be entering Day 3 by tomorrow 6/16/2010. So far it has been an amazing time and tremendous learning experience for the delegates, despite the fact that the atmosphere here at the African University of Science and Technology Abuja, the venue of the workshop seems to be immune from the frenzy that is catching the rest of the world :)

    “Programming has always been fun, but it has never being this fun, easy and expressive” Such has been the sentiments from the delegates so far, whom mostly, before now, do programming but in other languages. From the enthusiasm so far it is obvious that a thriving community of Python developers is being birthed.

    The sessions have been facilitated by a team of seasoned python programmers: Daniel Nouri, Ousmane Wilane, David Allouche and Tim Akinbo. Who are going to be joined by Uju Ndili and Adam Byrtek two engineers expert in Python from Google. They are going to be helping out with the second part of the training days, which would revolve around Python + Django and also the barcamp being organized on Friday.

    The previous days has been worth the while and it can only get better

    Filed June 15th, 2010 under Nigeria, Events

    As announced in the previous post, the Nigeria stop of the Python African Tour is starting tomorrow, June 14.

    The event is hosted by the African University of Science and Technology, and organized with the help of Datasphir. Thanks to Omo Oaiya for coordinating this from the Nigerian side. The main sponsor is the Nigeria National Information Technology Development Agency.

    Also Google is supporting us by sending over two of their engineers expert in Python, Uju Ndili and Adam Byrtek, as additional instructors. A big thank to Google for that. Uju and Adam should be arriving in the middle of the week, and team up with Daniel Nouri, Ousmane Wilane and David Allouche, for the second part of the training days (Python + Django) and the barcamp being organized on friday.

    Filed June 13th, 2010 under Nigeria, Events, Announcement

    ­Update: It has been decided that the PAT Nigeria event will be held at a single place­, The African University of Science and Technology, Abuja, from 14/06 to 18/06.

    The Python African Tour project continues to grow. These last months, we have been planning our 3rd stop since we started nurturing this idea of using “free but sponsored” training to help introduce the Python programming language and culture in Africa.

    We are going to Nigeria !

    Since it is a big country, it is not surprising that we are asked to organize the training for two different universities / cities: The African University of Science and Technology based in Abuja, and the Center for Information Tech & Systems, University of Lagos.

    The schedule is:  14/06/2010 - 19/06/2010 (Abuja) and 21/06/2010 - 25/06/2010 (Lagos).

    Our team will be lead by Daniel Nouri. “Again ?” someone asks ! A great and funny guy ;)

    If you want to join the team for this new adventure, and help train wannabe Nigerian Python users and programmers, join the Nigeria event organization mailing list or contact me via twitter.

    More information to come as we make progress in the organization details.

    Filed April 26th, 2010 under Nigeria, Events, Announcement

    ­­Three lucky volunteers, Emmanuelle Gouillart, Daniel Nouri and I, went to Dakar three weeks ago (from July 6 to 10) for the second Python African Tour stop. The hosting organizations were the AUF (Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie), the Dakar Linux User Group and the ESP (Ecole Supérieure Polytechnique, a master-level engineer school).

    In addition to helping for the organization, three members of DakarLUG, Thomas Noël, Ousmane Wilane and Sergiu Mihai, served as additional volunteer trainers, which allowed having each class/workshop led by a pair of trainers.

    Our busy week featured the following activities:

    • A general Python tutorial (1.5 day) for 3 groups of 15 participants. One of the tutorial sessions was oriented toward using Python’s scientific tools (SciPy/NumPy), and was led by Emmanuelle Gouillart.
    • A barcamp day with informal talks showing how we use Python and its related technologies in our daily work.
    • ­A workshop either on Django mainly led by the Ousmane - Daniel - Sergiu trio, or on “Python for scientific computing” led by Emmanuelle. The last day of the workshop part was advertised as a sprint, but was more practical work or achieving a small goal the participants set themselves for the day.

    In addition, the core of Python fans in Dakar has decided to continue to promote and exchange on the use of Python ; ­a mailing list has been put in place by the end of the week to facilitate that.

    Some pictures of the event are online at http://dakarlug.org/pat/galerie.

    You can also read the report sent by Emmanuelle to the SciPy/NumPy mailing list.

    Again, we want to thank the companies, organizations and people who helped make this possible :

    We are already preparing the next possible countries. Zambia is not confirmed yet, but Nigeria has expressed strong interest for early 2010, and we have been thinking about Togo and Benin too. Next stops and their dates will be announced once organization details are confirmed.

    Filed July 29th, 2009 under Report, Senegal
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