I first heard of IDDS in 2012 while at the Fablab here in Nairobi. I was a student at the time looking for opportunities that leveraged engineering for impact and development. That year, the summit was happening in Brazil but unfortunately, I did not manage to apply. However, come 2013, I managed to secure a spot at the summit in Zambia and thus my IDDS journey began.
The summit was amazing! A truly life-changing experience. I particularly loved building things together with the people facing the challenges and connecting with people from different corners of the world at such deep levels. During some of our deeper moments, my fellow Kenyans and I often wondered why the summit had never been in Kenya despite having been in Africa for a few years already. We believe Kenya is ideal for hosting the summit given it is hotbed of tech innovation and solutions that have helped earn Kenya the title 'Silicon Savannah'. Collectively, we took it upon ourselves to make the dream of an IDDS Kenya summit a reality.
Similar to the participant application process, each IDIN country chapter planning to host a summit now had to submit an application to host a summit. Funny story is that the Kenyan chapter applied to host summit each year since but somehow we were never successful. That is, until last year. I guess it's true when they say third time's a charm! Because here we are and IDDS is finally coming to Kenya. To Embu to be precise. And the theme is Financial Inclusion. So here's to an amazing summit! May this summit be to the participants as life-changing and exciting as it my first one was for me.
- Roy Ombatti, Co-lead Organiser, IDDS Kenya