BlackBerry Jam Sessions Continue To Roll Out In Africa

Hundreds of budding developers and students to enjoy more BlackBerry training sessions in several locations across the region

BlackBerry is kicking off a fresh series of BlackBerry Jam Sessions for developers in Africa that aim to provide new skills, support the development of locally, relevant content and give budding entrepreneurs more opportunities to reach BlackBerry customers around the world. The events will provide attendees with the latest resources, training and best practices for creating BlackBerry® 10 apps.

In March and April this year, successful BlackBerry Jam sessions in Botswana and South Africa drew over 260 passionate developers to learn all about creating apps for BlackBerry 10. Soon, the BlackBerry Jam series will follow in Tunisia (14 June), Egypt (18 and 19 June), Kenya (21 June), Ghana (1 July), Nigeria (3 July), and again in South Africa (15, 16 and 18 July).

Robert Bose, regional managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa at BlackBerry says, “BlackBerry understands that access to education and skills creates opportunities, so we’re pleased to announce more BlackBerry Jam events for budding entrepreneurs across the region. This is especially true in Africa, one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world. We’re excited to already see such a healthy ecosystem of BlackBerry 10 apps in Africa and the Middle East, and we look forward to seeing developers learn how to create even more compelling BlackBerry experiences in the months to come.”

This announcement follows a series of successful BlackBerry Jam sessions and Hackathons held last year in Africa, with over 300 developers attending events in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.

BlackBerry Jam sessions are open to all developers, but are also designed for people who are new to the BlackBerry 10 platform, or want to learn the basics about app development. The sessions provide practical advice and great tips that help developers get the most of the BlackBerry 10 development environment.

BlackBerry technical experts are on hand at all sessions to answer developer questions and provide them with the latest best practice from BlackBerry. At each session, developers experience hands-on training focusing on the BlackBerry Cascades™ software development kit and the WebWorks HTML5 development tools. The Cascade framework empowers developers to develop visually engaging native applications for BlackBerry 10, while WebWorks makes it simple to take advantage of standard web technologies like CSS, HTML5, and JavaScript to build apps.

Great prizes are up for grabs at each session. In addition, at the end of the tour, judges from BlackBerry will award the developer with the best app a USD $10,000 prize.

BlackBerry has an extensive developer programme in Africa. Initiatives include:

Established two BlackBerry apps labs in South Africa in 2012, one at the University of Pretoria and another at Bandwidth Barn in Cape Town. The labs provide local developers, including students, start-ups, entrepreneurs and others, with access to resources in development, marketing, sales and training to help them expand their ideas and business opportunities.

BlackBerry plans to open more BlackBerry apps labs in Africa in 2013. BlackBerry and the Lagos State Innovation Advisory Council have plans to build a BlackBerry apps lab in Lagos, Nigeria.

In addition, BlackBerry has been working with over 80 universities, colleagues and schools across Africa through the BlackBerry Academic Programme, which provides materials to help teach students with mobile application development.

Other ways BlackBerry works with the developer community include partnerships with industry groups like Mobile Mondays, M-Labs and Garage 48; BlackBerry developer days; and the annual BlackBerry Experience Forum, where developers come to share ideas with business innovators, technology leaders and BlackBerry customers.

For more information on the BlackBerry Jam sessions, visit: