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September 9th saw nearly 200 students flock to the University of Nairobi for the PMI Africa Conference – Youth Edition. This year, the main PMI conference gathered to celebrate and explore the idea “The Africa we want: together we can”, a theme that was also explored in this youth event.
Joining a line-up of speakers sharing their stories of how young people in Africa can get involved in sustainable development and social action, our Microsoft staff and community members added to this idea, showing how the use of technology can grow the scale of your impact. Our Microsoft squad, Microsoft Cloud Advocate Julia Muiruri, and Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) Shadrack Kiprotich, showed how you can get started on created technology solutions with no more than a pencil and paper. Their session started out by getting students to draw wireframe sketches for an app as part of an design thinking activity. Taking these wireframes, they demonstrated how, using Power Apps and express design, you can take a photo of your wireframe sketch and have Power Apps generate a functioning app for you, no code required (unless you want to add some later using fusion development!).
They also explored how you can use the design tool Figma to generate a Power App with a more intricate graphic design. With this Power App, they were then able to showcase how Power Virtual Agents allows you to add AI tech to your app with ease, showing off how they could create a chatbot that answers queries within the app.
In addition to our Power App power team, we also had a special appearance from the winners of the 2023 Microsoft Imagine Cup World Champions, Kenyan locals, Team TAWI. These university students took out the top prize, $100,000 USD and mentorship from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella this year for their innovative way of using technology to support children with Auditory Processing Disorder.
The team of four took part in a panel discussion sharing how they went about identifying a problem and producing a data and AI-powered solution that people can benefit from with just the tech on hand: their phone and a pair of headphones. This was an opportunity for university students in the audience to see how they can get involve in making a difference using technology, not sometime in the future, but right now! And you can do it right there in Kenya! It was fantastic to get the story out there about the journey Team TAWI took throughout their project, the lessons they learnt along the way, and how they are going after winning the competition as they continue to grow their start-up as part of Microsoft’s Founders Hub.
If you weren’t able to be at the event yourself, don’t worry you can still get involved now!
Start Learning Power Platform!
You can explore Shadrack and Julia’s express way to build an app from a drawing with this blog. And you can super-power that app with AI, using Power Virtual Agents with help from this blog.
For more resources on how to build with AI and Power Platform check out this blog to find links to videos from our recent event “Hack Together: The Power Platform AI Global Hack”.
Be an entrepreneur!
Get your start-up idea off the ground with some free Azure credits and advice from the Founders Hub team. As your idea grows, take advantage of even more resources.
Don’t forget to sign up for Imagine Cup to start solving problems and the chance to win $100,000 and mentorship from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella!
Join Our Communities
Support your community to learn more and build your leadership skills by becoming an ambassador!
If you want to get involved in our Microsoft Community (like one of our star hosts Shadrack), you can look at what it means to be an MVP (Most Valuable Professional) or, for the university students, a Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador.
Join the Power Platform User Group Kenya
For Kenyan locals, you can keep learning, with more opportunities to learn from Julia and Shadrack as part of this User Group!
Help getting set up!
To start building with Power Apps, Power Virtual Agents, and more you’ll need to get set up!
Step 2. Create a Power Platform Developer environment –
Make sure to choose “US” as your region. The cool Power Platform Copilot tech is only available to environments set to the US region at the moment. Check out this blog if you need a hand!
Free stuff for students!
Get free Azure cloud credits and access to essential cloud products that are free for students!
Get all the free GitHub resources for students, including GitHub Copilot, extra Codespaces quota, and learning resources. Check out this blog if you need help getting signed up.