PyCons in Africa

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This is a draft proposal.

The big idea

To hold a PyCon (Python conference) in an African nation, aimed at:

  • nurturing the skills of local software developers
  • supporting and encouraging the formation of local open source development communities
  • helping equip the host nation with a skillset that will enable it to build and maintain sustainable local IT infrastructures
  • helping establish open source software as an obvious choice for African agencies and the foreign donor community

and to establish it as a sustainable annual event.

Where in Africa

The aim is to hold a PyCon in a sub-Saharan African nation (excluding South Africa, which already has an active Python and open source software development community and its own PyCon South Africa).

The host city will need to be one that already has local open source development communities with enough critical mass of people, skills, experience and resources to make the PyCon viable, not just as a one-off, but an enduring annual event.

The conference format

This will be a technical conference, following the model of traditional PyCons held around the world.

  • talks
  • workshops and tutorials
  • code sprints
  • the community


Through the conference:

  • local people of all levels of skill, including developers, students and children
    • will have been introduced to new:
      • ideas
      • skills, techniques, knowledge
      • communities
    • will have been introduced to active participation in some of the world’s largest open source software projects
  • will have formed communities and networks
  • local decision-makers and procurement agencies will ...
  • open source software and Python in particular will ...
  • members of the international Python community will have established contact and formed connections with members of the local community

About PyCons

Most PyCons are local editions of the conference. PyCon in North America and EuroPython are very large international events; most others are considerably smaller and serve a more local community.

The vast majority of PyCon events rely on volunteers from the community. They are organised and managed by a local committee, with funding coming from ticket sales, sponsorship and support of organisations including the Python Software Foundation.

A viable and sustainable PyCon in an African nation will need to be run largely on this basis. Support - technical, organisational or financial - may come from outside (as it usually does in any case), but the event will need to be owned by the local community.

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