Open space for technologists, investors, tech companies and hackers in Nairobi.

Uncategorized By John Kieti / May 19, 2011

BitMagic – May 21st, 2011


These month’s presenters are as follows:

Michael Pedersen

Open source API for Mpesa commercial accounts.

If you want to integrate Mpesa with your system (i.e. e-commerce) today, you have to sign up with one of the payment-aggregators, and pay all the way up to 3.5% of the transaction in fees.
If you only need Mpesa integration and not the full “aggregating”, it is very limited what extra service you are receiving for those 3.5% – you are already paying Safaricom for the transaction, that should be enough.
Using MpesaPI, it is possible for any developer to integrate directly with Safaricom, and thereby removing the need to utilize a “middleman” (aggregator), without having to spend time on developing infrastructure/API himself, hereby greatly reducing the cost of creating online commerce solutions in Kenya.
In this talk I will present the system design behind the API, as well as a give a short introduction to the actual code.

Dennis Ondeng
Dennis Ondeng, developer of FitRoid ( will take us through the android app. He will present the background, motivations for the app, the architecture and design considerations and also experience running the project for slightly over 1 year.You can find the app on AppBrain:

Dale Zak

Ushahidi IOs App

Dale Zak, the developer of the Ushahidi iPhone and iPad app, will share insights on the design decisions behind the mobile app to provide offline functionality while offering a similar look and feel to native Apple Mail app. He will also discuss the differences (similarities?) between the iPad and iPhone apps.

Kaushal Jhalla

World Bank Mapping Applications

Kaushal is a “technologist” with the World Bank and has been very active in the Bank’s Open Data and Mapping for Results initiatives. He left a career in the Silicon Valley to join the Bank. Although he will be talking mainly about mapping and related applications at the bank, he has requested for a chance to also touch on open data. This not as low-level as the others, but interesting all the same.

The date is Saturday 21st May, 2011. Between 2pm and 4pm. See you there!


Author : John Kieti

John Kieti is the Lead at m:lab East Africa. He is an exponent for mobile entrepreneurship and an experienced m4d professional. John is passionate about the growth of East Africa's knowledge economy. He holds an MBA and BSc in Computer Science. He also occasionally shares his thoughts about East Africa's knowledge economy on his blog -

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