Conference impressions

Field Notes: CMS Africa Summit

Five Automatticians recently attended this event in Abuja, Nigeria.

Automatticians, the people who build, 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.


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 local web development. Software developer Idris Abdul Azeez highlighted the importance of documenting not only software configuration but also its development process, since writing readable code is a necessary cornerstone for the open source community and facilitates members’ contributions.

We were moved when lead organizer Oduor Jagero shared his excitement that Automattic had sent a team of staff to attend, present workshops, and connect in person with the Nigerian tech and open source community. Beyond the financial support, taking the time to teach and to listen to the local stories is especially appreciated. If you’re ready to listen too, here’s a great place to start: Jagero asked his friends on Facebook to share their blog posts about love. Three of the best stories will be awarded a basket of WordPress goodies. Here are the best ones he selected: Lovine Mboya, Akello, and Nepenthe.

CMS Africa Summit 2017 was amazing, just as in previous years. As outsiders, the local community welcomed us with open arms. The eagerness to learn, grow, and be successful was inspiring. On to the next one!

Below are some pictures taken by organizer David Aswani.

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Comments are closed.

  1. Kathryn Grace

    I was curious about this and wondered what “CMS” means so clicked through to the “CMS Africa Summit” link first above, only to get this error message”

    “Revolution Slider Error: You have some jquery.js library include that comes after the revolution files js include.
    This includes make eliminates the revolution slider libraries, and make it not work.

    To fix it you can:
    1. In the Slider Settings -> Troubleshooting set option: Put JS Includes To Body option to true.
    2. Find the double jquery.js include and remove it.”

    I’m guessing CMS means Content Management Systems, or something of the kind?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Anna

    I enjoyed this post; it’s very interesting to read about the worldwide work WordPress is involved in. I must admit however that I live in the UK and am always surprised when WordPress emerges during CMS conversations at work (I work at a University) although I really shouldn’t be- it’s just though that I’ve been using WordPress for years as a personal blog so hearing it discussed in a wider environment is always a pleasant surprise!

    Liked by 7 people

  3. anotherwisemonkey

    It’s great to see so many photographs of bridges being built between people.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. David Bennett

    I have a self-hosted site using Woocommerce, and it has been a terrific journey learning to set it up and tweak it to what I need. I would love to think that Woo will come to

    I remember reading about how Automattic was looking into how to bring Woocommerce to

    Do you have a date in view for when this might happen?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Teslim Opemipo Omipidan

    Owwwww… How I wish I was there. I live in Nigeria and I’ve been using wordpress to run my website/blog ( since 2014. I didn’t hear about this probably because it was not really publicised or fate didn’t bring it across my way. Anyways it is nice. And I hope this is going to happen again.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. shoaibinshapardazmismi

    Too good job

    Liked by 2 people

  7. asimoko

    As a Nigerian living in Canada for the time being, I truly appreciate your feedback from my home country. In an era when the only stories that comes out of Africa are usually the negative ones, this is a very welcome one. It is reassuring to hear that people left their home countries, went to enjoy and be soaked in the usual Naija hospitality and returned to their bases without problem. Nigeria is ever a growing hub of activities and tech things are very much welcome there. We have mostly leveraged on what is available across the globe, but it is very interesting to see that our own nationals are equally up and doing in the area of information technology. Thank you and looking forward to the next forum.

    Liked by 7 people

  8. Waqas Khan

    Great to see WordPress In Africa #awareness

    Liked by 2 people

  9. saniali68

    Reblogged this on INASALI and commented:
    It’s been awhile now that we should hang over WordPress and benefits from the world of social networking . As a Nigerian citizen I am very happy to hear that this year CMS Africa Summit will be hosted in my country . I’ll use this opportunity and tell everyone with a WordPress blog to attend or connects to the webinar on the appropriate discussion about whatever WordPress will deliver .

    Liked by 2 people

  10. saniali68

    Time after time and now it’s the time when it comes for WordPress to host CMS Africa Summit inside our country . This is our chances to overcome all our knowledge’s and experience new things even though we’re great knows in social networking in the world of developing countries in technology . This year the Facebook founder has visited our fatherland for what he described as the first place to place whatever investment in technology country with the most experiences peoples in knowing what social media is and what could achieve in economy if it relied upon necessary .
    And now the most popular blogging and websites web development will also provide a CMS Africa Summit in the country has given us a call to action in reliance upon what we deserve than we expect from the world of internet for the future . Welcome WordPress to my fatherland Nigeria !

    Liked by 2 people

  11. supremecoach

    Reblogged this on The creative business Suite.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Metro Square

    Interesting event. After WordCamp Bangkok, wait it come here again.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. nanisoul

    good work

    Liked by 1 person

  14. achristelleassam

    That’s great! But how to participate.. I think it’s very interesting

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Marjorie A.

    Loved reading this! Thank you for sharing the WordPress love around the world.

    Liked by 1 person

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