Swahili Pot in Mombasa, here's what you should probably know

So I was in Diani last week for Connected Kenya. Besides all the great conversations and announcements that happened, there was an event that happened in the sidelines of Connected Kenya. This was at Fort Jesus, same place the SEACOM cable hits the land, and SEACOM offices are.

Guest of honour was Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru alongside other ICT stalwarts. The event was to launch Swahili Pot. If you follow Kenyan Tech you would know of Swahili Box, a tech co-working space located in Mombasa. This is a private entity. The new one is called Swahili Pot. Why box and pot? You may ask.

This is because Swahili Pot is a multi-stakeholder set up that supporting both tech and arts. The space sits in the same compound as Fort Jesus, basically National Museum land, which they donated. SEACOM of course provided bandwidth, it’s like getting free water supply from the mains. Loads of bandwidth.


Now Swahili Pot has minimal if any relationship with Swahili Box, led by Ahmed Maawy, in fact he wasn’t there at the launch, raising eyebrows. The two look like they will be rivals at the coast, even if they do the same thing, supporting the growth of creativity in the tech sector among the youth.

Cabinet Secretary Joe says that the space is Swahili Pot because “it’s a pot of many things”, adding that Swahili Box is just part of the community that comprises the “Swahili Pot”. I am not sure I got this right, but Swahili Pot is supposed to be a multi-stakeholder space with Government being one of the stakeholders via ICT Authority and Kenya Museums (they plan to replicate the same across the country, this is the first), private sector being the rest. We are yet to know who exactly takes the leadership role there in terms of administration.

Mucheru mentioned at the launch that the space is expected to catalyze the growth of the arts and tech among youth. So we can expect creativity in the form of video production supported by the good internet connectivity, thus contributing to local content production for consumption by Kenyans.

Mid term to long term goals? Youth contributing to the production of Kenyan content for consumption locally and export.