How It All Went At The CMS Africa Summit Kigali 2018

Well, this blog post could have come a bit earlier some days after the summit, but then, I was a bit caught up with the next event on the schedule, the Nairobi Design Week Festival which started the next day, Sunday just after the #cmsafrica18. None the less, all is finished now and travelling back and forth from Uganda to Kigali, Kigali to Nairobi and then back to Uganda, I feel this is now the time to share my experience on the recently concluded CMS Africa summit Kigali.

One would ask, why this blog post in particular? Well before I even attended my very first cms Africa summit which is the past one in Kigali, I tried to browse the internet and read about other people’s / previous delegate’s experience. I couldn’t find any at the time. I could check out on social media to get a feeling of how it could be at the summit or even read from different people who have attended the previous summits this being the fourth edition, but all my efforts landed on a rock end.

Anyhow, it is satisfying to have got a chance to attend this year’s summit. A lot of experiences from travelling to the host city, meeting up with industry experts and learning a lot more from them. It is worth saying that anyone or a business depending on the use of content management systems both directly or indirectly, this is a summit they wouldn’t miss attending.

Let me dive you right in how it when down at the CMS Africa summit Kigali.


Summary Video

This is a five-minute read article or less, however, if you don’t have that time, watch the video. If not, then continue reading.


What is CMS Africa Summit?

CMS Africa summit is an event that brings together some of the best if not top ranking techies in the fields based in web development, open source, software engineers, internet marketers, e-commerce giants, business owners and students from varying tech fields to a two-day conference. The previous summit was in Abuja and was the 3rd edition.

I would personally describe this as the biggest biztech summit on the continent the brings together industry experts in place for 2 mind-blowing days in a different city each year.


How did the idea start?

Well, according to CMS Africa, It all started as a small event in Nairobi called Joomla Day Kenya where techies just talked Joomla only and called the day off. However, many other people with interest and also use other CMSs like WordPress, Magento and Drupal wished to have it even bigger since all these are open source software applications and so this led to the first CMS Africa event in Nairobi.

Majority of the attendees are students and tech graduates, start-up entrepreneurs with background knowledge in software engineering, information technology, open source technologies, e-commerce among others. The summit also brings together both global and Africa based speakers and delegates.


CMS Africa Kigali: Speaker line up and Experience


Daniel Homorodean

He is the CEO of Arxia, a web development agency from Romania which works with typo3 cms since 2005.  As a member of the international typo3 association, Daniel is involved in the effort of expanding the typo3 community internationally.


Patrick Buchana

Patrick is the CEO of AC group ltd, a company providing smart transport solutions like tap&go for public transportation in Kigali, Yaounde, Douala and expanding to Accra.


Arnold Kwizera

He is the co-founder and chief operations officer of Kigali communications associates, a PR firm based in Kigali, Rwanda. Arnold has a keen interest in the role and impact of media in today’s society.


Luminus Alabi

Luminus is a Nigerian living in Ireland. He a happiness engineer working with woocommerce focusing on sales questions. If you have a question related to what you should use to set up the perfect e-commerce shop, luminus is the one to help you.


Elsie Birech

She is a business development manager at Eskimi a mobile programmatic advertising platform that focusses on emerging markets and has the highest reach in Africa and asian markets. She has previously worked at Google Kenya.


Oduor Jagero

Oduor Jagero is the founder and lead at CMS Africa. He is the CEO of, a company that specializes in web development, domains, and web consultancies.


Sarah Semark

Sarah is a designer, developer, and world-traveller. She has spent over eight years running a freelance design business, she now works for Automattic designing and building themes.


Okwong’ Philemon

Okwong’ Philemon is a dynamic business and leadership coach,  entrepreneur and author, he is the CEO of Sokoni solutions ltd. And destiny mentorship institute.


Peter Kakoma

Peter Kakoma is a software engineer with over 10 years experience designing, building and supporting software for millions of users. Formally he worked with MTN uganda a leading telecom in the country. Currently working with Andela.

cms africa kigali 4


Fred Abu

Fred is the CEO of Webstar a leading web design company in Uganda. He is also one of the masterminds behind the Uganda web developers association and a chairman of the Uganda Joomla community.


Marc Dechevre

Marc Dechevre is a happy and proud member of the Joomla®  community Joomla!®  and a co-organiser of Joomla user group.


Joel Mbugua

Joel is a seasoned ui/ux graphic designer with a keen eye for fine details. For the past 6 years, he has been actively designing interfaces and web design templates.


Kwezi Tabaro

Kwezi is deputy director of the Léo Africa Institute, a Kampala-based leadership development and training organization. He is passionate about transformational leadership and a firm believer in the potential that young Africans possess to change the narrative about their continent.


Wabwire Joseph

Wabwire is a social entrepreneur. Passionate about the Creative Arts. He’s currently the founder & team-leader Youth Connect-Uganda and KQ Hub Africa.


Michael Niyitegeka

Michael is an ICDL Africa country manager for Uganda. He is the program director (applied ICT) at international health sciences university. He is an expert in leadership development and business technology strategy.


Abdulkadir Shehu

Abdulkadir Shehu is full-time lecturer and a practising Joomla! Trainer in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is an author of three books on Joomla! Website development. He is the founder & C.E.O of Joomschool International in Kaduna – Nigeria and co-founder of Fasttrack Technologies.


Job Thomas

Job Thomas is a Belgian living in cape town and works with the woocommerce happiness team and team leader at Automattic. He focuses on training of both customers and team members to make woocommerce a learning organisation.


Kuba Zwolinski

Kuba is a Magento master, owner and ceo of Snow.Dog. He is also the Organizer of meet Magento Poland Conference, VP of global meet Magento Association.


Daniel Dubois

Daniel is a part of the awesome Joomla community as a member of the Joomla extensions directory team, member of the board of theFrenchh association of Joomla users, founder of the jug breizh, attendee and speakers at jwc, jab, joomladay uk and France, writer of hundreds of articles and tutorials about Joomla.


Rowan Hoskyns-Abrahall

Rowan Hoskyns-Abrahall builds, maintains and consults on sites for a wide variety of clients from small businesses to government agencies and NGOs. Rowan is lead of the jet team and webmaster of the community portal, as well as a member of the jug team and capital committee. He is based in London, UK.


Prosper Otemuyiwa

Prosper Otemuyiwa is an avid open source advocate, performance expert, trainer and a google developer expert in web technologies. He is a full stack software engineer who has worked on biometric, health and developer tools.


Solomon Kitumba

Solomon is a serial entrepreneur, founder of Yoza and founder of swipe2pay which democratizes payments for smes. He believes in making a change with technology and an advocate for open learning structures where education should be free and available for everyone.


Alex Ntare

Alex Ntare is the chief executive officer of the Rwanda ICT chamber where his work involves bridging the gap between private and public sector players in the ICT industry as well as overseeing and establishing new innovation centres for technology startups among them klab, fablab Rwanda and a new applied research labs.


Lionel Mpfizi

Lionel Mpfizi is a multi-talented Rwandan software developer and entrepreneur. He is the driving force behind awesomity lab, a software development startup that specializes in mobile and web applications.


Nkeramugaba Ghislain

Ghislain is the CEO of  Rwanda Information and Communication Technology Association (ricta). He holds a masters degree in communications management (mcm).


Gareth Allison

Gareth is a designer at woocommerce (Automattic) and lives in cape town, South Africa. As part of the marketing team, his focus is on social media, emailers and the woo blog. With a background in front-end development, he has also been an mc for the previous three editions of wordcamp cape town, as well as at wooconf san francisco in 2014.


Jean Claude Rwubahuka

Jean Claude Rwubahuka is a consultant who explores issues in finance, economics and international business. He has worked for public and private institutions in several fields such as hospitality, tourism, administration, operations, finance, entrepreneurship and the academia.


David Aswani

I am an enterprise consultant, a creative and a tech enthusiast. He is also undertaking a certification in network security at the cisco academy.


Faith Kobusingye

She has built her experience through various roles that include; digital financial services (dfs), product development, strategy development and implementation (both at departmental & organizational levels), project management, strategic marketing, and retail sales and sales management. Faith has developed her career experience working retail and product functions.


Wow, what a list of people here. I tried as much as a could to interact on a personal level with every one of the speakers, even when I couldn’t make it to meet up with each one of them I appreciate the (awesome) time i had with a few of them. My interactions with Luminus Alabi, Elsie Birech, Peter Kakoma, Fred Abu, Michael Niyitegeka, Wabwire Joseph, Abdulkadir Shehu and Nkeramugaba Ghislain where awesomely good.




This is is something I wouldn’t want to miss out. The last stiff schedule of a kind I had was during exam time in high school. Session after session and every session worth attending. I really got confused where to go during the breakout sessions as all the topics in different halls be it in Rubavu or Ruhondo, where in my interest.



Here are the sessions as they evolved.


Day 1:

Presentation by Alex Ntale, CEO, ICT chamber

Remarks by the guest of honor, Hon. Jean Rurangirwa

Building innovation ecosystems in Africa; the need for structure, Michael Niyitegeka

How to turn your skills into a business, Okwong’ Philemon

Take your company to the first page of google, Abuyanga Fred

Automating backups in the cloud the correct way, Marc Dechevre

The power of open source: how WordPress changed my life, Luminus Alabi

WordPress and woocommerce; a powerful platform for e-commerce in Africa, Gareth Allison

Making everyone love your product, Patrick Buchana

Panel discussion

building a company – what it takes.

Patrick Buchana

Kuba Zwolinski

Joel Mbugua

Breakout Sessions

Think outside the wallet – think e-wallet

Video marketing – new frontier for customer engagement

Before you venture into that start-up – what to know


Your website sucks! (…But you can fix it), Sarah Semark

Typo3 – Introduction to the open source enterprise cms and the community around it, Daniel Homorodean


Day 2:

WordPress mu Kinyarwanda, Job Thomas

Don’t leave your keys in the ignition, Ghislain Nkeramugaba

Panel discussion


Marc Duchevre

Sarah Semark

Shadrack Serem

Otemuyiwa Prosper

Break out session

Lionel Mpfizi – becoming a pro developer – not a dummie

Otemuyiwa Prosper – securing jamstack applications

Peter Kakoma – positioning your e-commerce platform for scale

Want to build Alibaba for Africa? Try Magento, Kuba Zwolinski

Joomla! – together as one, Rowan Hoskyns

Joomla! – a breakthrough towards reducing unemployment in Africa, Abdulkadir Shehu

Break out session

Elsie Birech – online presence

David Aswani – the 10, 000 ways that won’t work

Daniel Dubois – choosing the right extension for your cms

Leveraging networks to deepen innovation in east Africa, Kwezi Tabaro

Creative arts in the digital (tech) age, Wabwire Joseph


My Best Pick


Creative arts in the digital (tech) age by Wabwire Joseph

The power of open source: how WordPress changed my life by Luminus Alabi


Breakout session

Programmatic Advertising by Elsie Birech

Positioning your e-commerce platform for scale by Peter Kakoma


Panel discussions

Building a company – what it takes


cms africa kigali 2


Honorary Mention

If you couldn’t attend the summit, putting all the other things mentioned aside, you missed the swallowship sessions. Oh, my goodness. Mr Jagero made sure that everyone was served and well I mean. FREE Wifi access, the thrilling Marriott hotel atmosphere and the overall, the free summit access offer to the first 150 delegates. I don’t really know if I was among those that qualified, but I didn’t pay a penny to access the summit. Just found my name on a tag. Many thanks to the event organizers and sponsors.

So if you wish not to miss out on the next event, be sure to book or reserve your space early next year. It’s going to be bigger and better down in Cape Town –  South Africa. Follow the official CMS Africa facebook handle @africacms for all the updates.

Special thanks to the CMS Africa summit management, the event sponsors, Automatic, Joomla, Akeebe, Snowdog, Ricta among others.

cms africa kigali 3

Did you did attend the summit? Well, I would be glad to read your experience in the comment section below.

Photos: @gotechug

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Hamza comes from a design background with over 10years of experience in Web and Media design. He enjoys making web design videos on his YouTube channel GoTechUG. He also writes web design articles on this website. In his free time, Hamza loves riding a bicycle, swimming or going hiking.

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