Micheal Abaho


The Mozilla Uganda Community continued to inspire many through its’ amazing work of teaching the open web. As 2015 closed down, their latest adventure saw them visit one of the prominent institutions of higher education in the country’s capital.

Ndejje University welcomed a team of 6 mozillians in their premises to conduct a one-day workshop whose main objective was to introduce and train students open web technologies which would later on see them develop and implement ideas for the open web.

The workshop was organized to give talks, demonstrate Firefox OS technology (Mobile Operating System), run code tutorials and hack around open web applications.

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As a group of over 40 participants’ seated in a computer lab looked on, the                introductory phase psyched up the audience with a talk on the mobile operating system owned and developed by Mozilla called Firefox OS. During this phase, the students interacted with the Session Lead as they asked a lot about the uniqueness of the OS and why it stood out in comparison to the existing OS’s in the market i.e. Android, IOS and so on.

Apparently, the Mozillians had carried Flame devices which run the Firefox Operating System, they passed them around and each of the participants got a chance to check out the devices and explore the slik Firefox OS skin and its running apps.

It was then, that a live demo of a firefox OS app (SaveNotes) was presented, key functionality of the app was highlighted, the apps’ code base was later distributed to give an insight of what entails an open web application.

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The hands on session as many technology experts would call it took center stage, the necessary development and testing tools were installed on the machines and every one geared in for the next challenge. The development and testing environment included Notepad ++ (A text editor for writing code), Latest Mozilla Firefox browser and the Firefox simulator (for testing the apps). As the Session Lead wrote lines of code reflected on the projector, the participants followed suit on their machines. They began with a simple HTML file, designed it with CSS and later added logic using Java script.

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With the help and guidance of the facilitators’, every student managed to at least design a web page, Nevertheless majority were able to create a validated form that would register a students’ Name, Number and email address. We then went for a 30 minute lunch break to grab some snacks, drinks and cool off the heads subsequently.

The afternoon got more exciting for the students as they were getting ready to test their apps in the Firefox OS simulator on their machines, but before that, they needed to create a manifest file, a file which the Session Lead deemed so important, he said it’s the file that tells the OS what the app is all about.  The facilitators’ ran around the lab helping the various teams come up with this file. Soon as they were done with it, they ran the apps in the simulator.

Next up on the agenda, was brainstorming ideas and thereafter implement them. Participants were served sticky notes on which they wrote their ideas which were later categorized into Health, Education, Business, Entertainment and Utilities.
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In great appreciation, the participants applauded the visiting Mozilla team for the time they took off to conduct the workshop, and were indeed not just impressed but they were challenged to explore the open web for it was the first encounter with the technologies for many. In return the Mozillians thanked them for attending and departed happy and proud for having accomplished the job they had for


Mozilla Festival 2015 – The event!



After a great experience at MozFest London in 2013, we set out on an exhilarating, but challenging  journey to bring MozFest to East Africa. We did this for various reasons such as;

  • Not every one could come to London to experience MozFest. Its extremely costly, the visas are challenging and slots for participants are limited, so – Not everyone can be there.
  • MozFest is a platform for learning, sharing, and co-creating, and celebrating the works of innovators. A place where we are inspired to think disruptively and are reminded of the potential of the web, and ourselves as individual. This is something we find very important yet lacking in our communities in Africa. From the onset, our educational systems and societies provide a sufficient environment for innovation to thrive.
  • East Africa had key challenges that we believe collective efforts at MozFest would help us solve – see for more on this.So with the support of Mozilla we held our first Mozilla Festival in 2014. Over 300 participants joined us to celebrate learn and make cool stuff on web. We were persuaded that MozFest has a roll to play in the growth  of technology, innovation and internet in East Africa and we would continue to ship MozFestEA.

In 2015, this persuasion has been reaffirmed by the doubling of the size of MozFestEA with over 800 participants. Various partners such as Victoria University, Vodafone Uganda, Pepsi Cola, TTC Mobile and the New Vision came in to support the festival. An amazing team of volunteers from accross the globe worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the event.

As lead of the organizing team, I was particularly inspired by the commitment and diligence of the organizing team spread across multiple time zones. The team consisting of the MozFest London producer Sarah Allen, Amira Dhalla from Canada, Simeon Oriko from Kenya, Soumya Deb from India, Elio Qoshi from Albania and of course, the Mozilla Uganda. The team was phenomenal, in fact such a team of dedicated volunteers can only be united by  noble cause.

Building on the learnings of 2014, we were able to accomplish great fits such as hosting the president of Uganda, H. E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as chief guest. Build massive support from sponsors and partners. Doubling in the number of attendees and sessions. As well as what was accomplishments during the weekend.

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In just its second year, the festival has become a key launch pad for innovation hosting product launches such as the Outernet light house that was launched during the weekend.  It is providing visibility to innovations that were otherwise not known and enabling innovators to interact with the masses to get feedback about how to improve on what they are creating. The festival also provides affirmation from global festival participants to local innovators casting a glimmer of hope into the potential within. It was rewarding to see innovations receive support to continue to grow their innovations to help grow them to maturity. To the country and the region, its a re-echo, that innovations are happening and a source for information as to what can be done to strengthen it.

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The festival is also inspiring new pedagogical techniques, moving from conventional instructor/student learning styles to facilitative and practical learning where everyone contributes towards a common idea. At Mozilla, collaboration and open minded sharing is key to our learning process. We learn by sharing, and such is the spirit of MozFest.

This kind of learning has a key effect of developing confidence and esteem among the facilitators and session attendees as well as producing collaborative groups of people sharing various skills sets and knowledge to solve common problems and challenges.  At the festival, people with ideas, meet with people that share passion for their ideas and together begin to shape them into useful solutions. It was exciting exciting to see the sessions on how open data can be used for governance and citizen management, led by a team from USHAHIDI/MAVC, passionate groups of participants working together to establish useful learning content that would be beneficial to learners and can be beamed on the Outernets platform, participants creating apps using the Webmaker app created by Mozilla and getting to understand the web more, developers getting introduced to development of apps using open technologies for Firefox OS. A particularly, amazing scenario was to see a participant pick up the skills and immediately created a puzzle game assembling the Firefox OS logo as a way to create brand visibility while having fun.

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What we accomplished on the weekend of the 17th – 19th of July was invaluable, however, it was not all that we wished to accomplish and so in 2016, the adventure continues;

We would love to open our horizons to passionate people from across the globe through virtual participation. We are working with our partners to ensure a high speed connection available for those who cannot be present in person.

For the makers, we would love to make learning more practical with DIY kits, Arduino boards and Raspberry Pis. This a key component that lacks in our education systems here with many schools and learning institutions focused on theoretical learning. Through the festival we would love to give our participants the opportunity to transcend their imaginations, an add to their experience of making.

Mozilla Uganda is working on establishing a co-working space to enable groups formed at the festival continue to work together on ideas. In this space, we will provide an environment encourages innovation to thrive – an internet connection, learning content, access to mentors, more.  This is a major challenge and request of many of our festival and other events participants.


Hive Pop-Up Seroma



On the 19th of March 2015, the Mozilla Uganda community team went to Seroma Christian High school, with over 50 students gushing into the labs to attend the event,it could not have been any better an experience in an event. When we got to the school, the reception was immense and the interest, the intrigue was explicit as the students asked Information Technology related questions.

Moses Echodu did give the students a brief into the knowledge of what the Mozilla Foundation is all about and the Mozilla Uganda community and the advantages that come with being part of an amazing community.

Given the lack of time, we had to dive into the real practical bit of the business and that is where Lebron Brian took the students through the AppMaker tool that they found very interesting. Many students found this tool very beneficial given the fact that they too, could use it to contribute to the development to several apps that there school could use. The students were very amazed at what the tool could do and by the time we left, some were already creating their own apps……..the feeling was so wonderful and satisfactory!!!!!!!!


The event lead, Matovu Moses then took the students through the webmaker tool of Thimble that amazed the students since they were able to preview their work. It was more engaging and sharing oriented as they were coding and previewing. The majority of them lacked the coding knowledge but the interest to learn was evident on their faces and the girls seemed very much more interested in it.

There was no need to have a break, so we decided to work as well as have refreshments and eats at the same time, an idea that was very much welcomed by the students as many of them were just thrilled at what they were learning.

Moses Echodu summed up the learning sessions by taking the teams through the Webmaker tool of Popcorn and the excitment was just sumptuous to see. The students showed so much love for popcorn and even asked questions as to whether two separate videos can be merged.


We wrapped up the day with an amazing photo shoot with the students and a debrief. The teachers and the learners said that the event was really good and even requested that the Mozilla Uganda community team goes back for another session so that the students can learn more. The event was tremendous and lovely.

TRAIN A TRAINER – Mozilla Uganda delves into webmaker tools



The Web is a huge playground. Vast enough to accommodate every creative idea and skill present and yet to come. In our context, Mozilla represents that window of opportunity free to all, to extend those boundary walls farther, one web tool at a time.

After day one of the Webmakers training event, it’s true that Mozilla-Uganda is in overdrive to get everyone equipped for the web.

So here’s an inside look on what’s happening within the community.


Merely weeks after the Australis celebration, 50 trainers got together at Hotel Triangle with one mighty goal – To learn to teach the Web.  With a full day ahead of them, these trainers clustered into small groups, worked out the group dynamics and went on to explore the various Mozilla Webmaker Tools. Thimble, Popcorn, X Ray Goggles and the like were all brought out to play as the trainers got a refresher course on each.

The impact these trainers now have is inspiring because this online playground we call the Web, needs Webmakers to lay the tracks to the future.

What we can all expect from day one of this event is a more equipped team of Mozillians that won’t hesitate to share, explore, tinker and create an open web for everyone.

Tomorrow holds another milestone.


Firefox Launch Party



Mozilla released Firefox version 29 a week ago. And by the look of things, the new Firefox is gentle on the eyes and hot on speed. The new Firefox has brought along major interface changes and matchless customization options to all Firefox users making it the kind of web browser we’d love to use.

In light of that, the Mozilla-Uganda community threw a party last Saturday! The developers’ kind of party – Laptops, T-shirts and Cake. Almost Larger-than-life. The event brought together quite a crowd, about hundred, all hoping to experience the launch of the new Firefox and get an inside look into the community activites.

By 4pm East Africa Time, seats were filling up quick, murmurs filled the air and the camera rolling as Moses Matovu opened the event. Introductions were warm and generous and kept the focus on celebrating Mozilla’s latest release among other projects.

A quick exposé of the Firefox OS was on the programme by Micheal Ahaho, another Mozilla Uganda community die-hard. His presentation revealed the progress Mozilla has made towards extending its impact to the mobile platform.

A few moments later, Jb Ochieng took centre stage to introduce the latest features added to the ‘flaming fox’. Every detail of Version 29 has a touch of elegance especially its’ redesigned user interface. He added, in reference to the new privacy options, that Mozilla’s commitment to privacy is firm and genuine.  Of course such an event didn’t go without a few humorous interludes by Moses who cracked ribs with some great gags in the mix.

Finally Prof Baryamureeba, the Vice Chancellor of Uganda Technology and Management University, delivered the guest speech after which he cut the cake.

Tags: #Firefox @MozComUg

Uganda Christian University Webmaker

John Baptist

On 29th March we held a Webmaker event where students and developers witnessed the power and the possibilities of the open web by Mozilla.

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The event was graced by 64 participants at the beginning of the event but the number kept growing as time went on. We planned to have 50 attendees but we had over 90 registrations 24hrs before the event day, so we sent invites to 70 participants out of all those who applied for the event.
The event was opened by a senior lecturer at the faculty of science and technology  Uganda Christian University, Ms. Asiimwe Rebecca , who coordinated the event organization and welcomed us, she gave her views about the open web and showed a lot of support and encouraged the students to embrace the Mozilla projects.

 We had participants from UCU , Makerere university and Kampabits institute who were all enthusiasts and were so interested in webmaker tools. We had told them before how remixing and hacking with the webmaker tools was fun.
 The session started off with a short introduction of the community members and San James went on to introduce the Mozilla community, the Mozilla foundation, its projects and how to contribute.
jamesIt was followed by sessions on Firefox Students Ambassadors (by Joy) and FirefoxOS (by Micheal and Lebron James) which included a short demo of an application by Lebron.
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We started off the web making session introducing the tools to the participants;
IMG_5660it was not hard because the participants already had knowledge about JavaScript, HTML and CSS. Despite the fact that they were using the tools for the first time with limited internet, and being given only two hours, they managed to come up with 15 makes, these are some of the makes participants came up with.
We awarded the best four makes with the best coming from a group of guys who made a very good mix showing Uganda’s independence history, Here are some of the makes from the event:
It was amazing seeing the students and techies showing so much interest and the passion while voting the best makes of the day, with so much interest, they asked us to go back to have more events there.
More Images:
Tags: @MozComUg @webmaker #teachtheweb #makerparty #WebmakerUcu
Thanks to Mozilla.

Makerere University Firefox student ambassador team visits Kyambogo University

John Baptist

The Firefox student ambassador team from Makerere University visited the Firefox student ambassador team of Kyambogo University. The team was led by Joyce Nalwadda, the Firefox Student Lead for Makerere University with the aim of creating more awareness and opportunities about the Firefox student ambassador program at Kyambogo University. 1Makerere University Firefox Student Ambassadors arriving at Kyambogo University, led by Okae Andrew (Firefox Student Ambassador at Kyambogo University)

The afternoon event started with a presentation by Joy. She started by explaining what Firefox Student Ambassador means (FSA). These are individuals who are passionate about Mozilla and raise awareness about the many benefits of Firefox and other Mozilla products – especially Firefox OS. However this is different from being a Mozilla Rep (ReMo). A Mozilla Rep is one who gets to be selected to represent Mozilla in their countries or region, promote the Mozilla Project and mission as well as inspire, support and mentor future Mozilla Reps.

Picture2Joyce Nalwadda presenting to Kyambogo University Students about Firefox Student Programme.

In her presentation, she shared what it means to be FSA, differences between FSA and a Mozilla Rep and as well as the benefits of the FSA program. She also went explained some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the FSA program including; What a Firefox Student Ambassador is, the difference between a Firefox Student Ambassadador and a Mozilla Rep, some of the rewards for being a Firefox Student Ambassador, how to register for the program and the activities they do among others. Picture3Kyambogo University Students listening to one of the presenters

Joyce then called upon Ssekalegga Brian, Firefox Student App winner for the month of October who gave a brief introduction on the development of this app.It’s a study HTML5 app which makes studying easier by providing students with time tables. Picture4

 Ssekalegga Brian giving a brief presentation about his HTML5 app

Asa Lugada also a Firefox student ambassador gave an introduction on Mozilla as a non-profit organization as well as the work, and activities that are run by Mozilla Uganda. Picture6Asa Lugada a Firefox Student Ambassador giving a presentation on the work done Mozilla Community Uganda

He encouraged the students to get involved with Firefox OS which was launched this year. This is a new platform which offers so many opportunities for developers to develop and have their apps run on the Firefox markets.He concluded by encouraging the student to stay in touch with Mozilla Uganda programmes through the community mailing list, social media pages and  community blog; Picture7

Firefox Student Ambassadors of Makerere University and Kyambogo University (Group photo)

Tags: @firefoxstudents, @MozComug

Mozilla Festival (#mozfest) 2013



The Mozilla Festival (#MozFest), is an annual gathering of passionate thinkers and inventors from around the world who meet to learn from each other and help forge the future of the web. This year, 2013, over 1500 people both Mozillians and friends of Mozilla gathered together at Ravensbourne College in London to celebrate the festival.

As a sponsored rep, I was privileged to be a part of this awesome group of people. I arrived in London on the morning of Thursday 23rd, the eve of the event commencement. Unlike other Mozilla events I had attended before with airport pickup, this time we had to make way to the hotel but foturnately, we met with two previous year MozFest Attendees, Deb and Sayak who were very handy. Check in to the hotel was after Midday so we decided to take some time moving around London. Checked out parks and Buckingham palace then went out for our first lunch together. We returned to the hotel to check in and then headed off to the Webmaker Mentor monthly call at the Mozilla Space in London. The call was exciting because it was the first time that we were all in one place with just a few people in San Francisco and other parts of the world. After the call we went in for an orientation meeting chaired by Gunner. One highlight of the meeting was when previous attendees were separated from first time attendees and each previous attendee had to find one attendee and tell them about what to expect and answer their questions about MozFest. In five minutes, everyone was upto speed as regards what to expect in the next three days. After the meeting, there was another short reps debrief by Christos and then lots of eats, drinks and music till about 10pm when everyone departed to their hotel rooms.

The next day, Friday 24th, MozFest kicked off with an orientation by Gunner. We arrived to a full room on floor six of volunteers and reps. The next session was a series of keynotes by Mark Surman, Mitchel Baker and others then an introduction of upcoming sessions by Allen Gunner. After that everyone released to go to the floor with the sessions of their choice. The sessions included; Badges, Open data, Journalism, Mobile, Build+teach the web, Science, Privacy, Physical web and connect your city. I headed off to the 6th Floor to build and teach the web lead by Laura. What we did most of the day was preparing for the next day and in the evening had a science fair. It was amazing to see what people had done. I was most touched by a daughter and father who worked together to build a painting robot in just less than six months. The girl was not more than 12 years old. The science fair helped build momentum for the next two days of thinking and making. We concluded the day with a reps dinner at the 02 arena and retired to the hotel.

On Saturday 24th, the day opened with another series of keynotes. There after the making begun. I had the opportunity to visit other sessions like tools for researchers, open data and making a spectrometer. I also took some time to talking about the Reps program with various participants and making friends.

Finally, on Sunday the 26th, a few more key notes in the morning then final touches made on the makes on Saturday and presentation of best ideas generated. During the keynotes, I was particularly touched by the inspirational quote from Elon Musk, “Shall we be able to learn as fast as technology is growing”.

In conclusion, MozFest was a great experience for me; it’s been my longing to organize MozFest or a major maker party in East Africa. I believe that the experience has enlightened me as well as given me a starting point to organize one. I also had the opportunity meet amazing people from all over the world to collaborate with them. I hope I can participate in more forthcoming MozFests, My heart goes out to the Michelle Thorne, the MozFest team and the REPs program. Thank you all for the opportunity to participate in MozFest 2013 and for making it a worthwhile experience.

P.S. There’s lots more about the Mozilla Festival here:

FirefoxOS Hackathon

John Baptist


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FirefoxOS hackathon started with remarks from the Vice Chancellor of UTAMU professor Jude Lubega welcoming us all and encouraging the attendees to be keen on what we had for them and to always adapt to new technologies, San James the Mozilla-Uganda community lead then went on and talked about the community, Mozilla’s projects and how to participate.

We started with an awesome number of around 60 attendees who couldn’t wait to hear what we had for them and the number kept growing till we had a full house.

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After a short break,with all attendees listening so attentively, JB took them through the components behind FirefoxOS(Gonk,Gaia and Gecko), the different open web API’s  and the opportunities developers have with the power behind HTML5 and the other web technologies.

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Victor Karanja our visiting rep from kenya took over and and gave a recap about the FirefoxOS device and its technologies. He took guys through how to develop web apps for the new open web Operating System. He demoed one of his apps, the Kenyan election app that is on the market place, He later went through sample codes of an app with emphasis on using the manifest file, local storage within the device and how to package the applications developed.

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We later had a Q&A session where guys asked different questions mostly about the FirefoxOS market place, we took the questions and also heard suggestions from the attendees,One of which suggested FirefoxOS apps not to only be available on the FirefoxOS market place but also on other stores.

After the presentations we started the hacking part of the hackathon Day. Based on the QuickNote app that victor had taken them through on, people started to work on their apps right away.

After three hours we wrapped things up with everybody presenting their apps. We had a total of eight apps created. All the apps demoed were really great and we had a hard time deciding on the best three apps to award.

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Some of the apps demoed included!

  1. Q-game: an application that allows  you set questions for an child and they answer the questions and the app awards grades
  2. Mozillamashup: an app that lists Mozilla events according to the selected country and also has a community of developers whom  you can get in contact with in-case you need help.
  3. Edema Control Adviser: app that advices on edema and provides tips on how to control edema
  4. Yaka: an app that calculates power usage in homes
  5. Excel:Application that prepares Primary Seven, Senior Four and Senior Six candidates for their final exams by providing practice questions in the form of quizzes
  6. Pocket tracer: Helps manage daily expenses
  7. Help Me: an app that gives first aid tips
  8. I-cycle: an app that helps you calculate safe days of your spouse
  9. Condom-Sniper: App that helps locate nearest place to find condoms around you
  10. SMS-mobile: for sending bulk sms messages

The best three apps were awarded with awesome swag from Mozilla which marked the end of the day

I would like to thank all those who made this event a success,with efforts from Reps Council Victor, James and the whole community for helping with the event, and of course UTAMU for giving us space for the event.

Event photos:

Links to blogs:

Device review blog:

Event link:

Twitter hashtag: #FFOShackathornug

Mozilla Uganda Localization (L10n) Sprint



The Mozilla Firefox localization sprint went well, with over 40 participants turning up for the event. As a community we are very grateful for having had Arky1  from Hanoi, Vietnam join us.

Arky Mozilla localisation(l10n) Asia

First I had a chance to meet Vinicius Andrade, from Thought Workstogether with Arky and shared a lot about the Mozilla Community in Uganda. He was very thrilled about what we are doing and is eager to engage Thought Works in our future activities to every way possible.

Arky Mozilla localization(l10n)Asia

The next day, the community leads had a chance to meet with Arky to share their experiences and learn from him especially about community building. The discussions where mainly centered on building sustainable communities. The key lesson learned was that, it will help to hold very small and focused meetings that only concentrate on people who are active. Those then go ahead to recruit others slow over time and the community keeps growing. He also emphasized that, building a sizable, sustainable community, takes time and therefore requires patience. He was very impressed with work already on ground and encouraged us to continue with it.


Finally, on the 13th of July, we held the localization sprint. The event was held at Uganda Technology and Management University (UTAMU)4. We were welcomed by the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Venacius Baryamureeba  and Manager of Spaces, Mr. Drake Mirembe. They opened up the event and then Arky carried on with introductory talks on localization and his experience. He enlightened the participants about the release cycles and phases such as nightly builds, aurora and then final builds as well as why we need to localize software. I shared with the management of UTAMU what we are doing as a community and they expressed interest in supporting us and asked that I draft a concept on how they support the community especially with a space to hold events which has been a major challenge for the community since its inception.

After the talks, we had everyone get their hands dirty, with localization. Originally we were targeting Acholi, Luganda, Chiga and Soga. But because, of the nature of turn up, we had expressions of interest for other languages. New localizations for Langi, Lugbara and Ateso were also started. We selected team leads for the new and old localizations who we will work with to ensure continuity.  It was exciting to see the energy with which the participants were doing the translations.

A highlight in the translation session was when one person, asked “how to you translate Oops! to Luganda?”. Several responses to the tweet about this question by Arky, begun to came in. The event was well publicized on Twitter, facebook and other platforms.

I would like to thank, everyone who helped make this event come to pass. Of course it was a combined effort from the Reps Council, Arky, local community members and UTAMU. I must say, without y’all, this event would not have come through the way it did.

Below are links relevant to the event.





Link to photos:

Twitter #tags: #mozcomug, #playingwithsid, #l10nug