Field Notes: CMS Africa Summit

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Automatticians, the people who build WordPress.com, participate in events and projects around the world every day. Periodically, they report back on the exciting things they do in the community.
This year’s CMS Africa Summit was my third attendance at this amazing conference. My colleagues Marjorie, Sarah, Hannah, and Luminus joined me for the event and in doing so we sent Automatticians from three different continents.
Democratizing eCommerce
For several years now, Automattic has been the title sponsor for CMS Africa Summit. After conferences in Kenya (2015) and Uganda (2016), the 2017 edition took place in Abuja, Nigeria. The team behind the summit consists of industry leaders from all three of those countries. Together they also represent some of the world’s most popular open source content management systems (CMSs): Joomla, Drupal, and (of course) WordPress.
As one of the tech hubs in Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria is leading tech innovation on the continent. The conference by consequence focused on the practical use of CMSs, more so than in previous years: how they can boost local businesses and grow the economy.
For that reason, the attendees were very interested in eCommerce as a way to take their startups online. We introduced them to WooCommerce as an open source tool for economic empowerment, and shared practical and localized guidelines. Many of the entrepreneurs we encountered expressed their love for open source software because it doesn’t require them to invest their precious startup budget in software.
Presence
The slides and summaries of our talks can be found on our respective websites. Here’s a selection of some of the other talks we loved. Prosper Otemuyiwa, our favorite keynote speaker, focused on how to build a product the open source way. Nigerian CMS organizer Adedayo Adeniyi talked about the need for online growth in Nigeria and putting checks and balances in place for high-quality

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