Register for Maker Faire Africa by Mobile Phone

Anyone planning on going to Maker Faire Africa can register by sending a text message with their name or email address to:


After you register, you will receive an SMS response containing a 8 digit hexadecimal confirmation number. When you show up at the event and give that number to us, you will be entered into a drawing where you have a chance to win a prize.

How it was made

Sirleaf with a phoneHenry Barnor and Henry Addo, two Ghanaians developers who are helping out with the organization of Maker Faire Africa, spent a late night hacking some python code. Then, with some early morning debugging and about $50 they got this SMS RSVP solution up and running.

The data is then made available in a Google spreadsheet for the organizing team.

We have a phone with a Zain SIM card connected to a laptop running FrontlineSMS. When FrontlineSMS receives an SMS it sends the data via HTTP to a python web application running on Google’s App Engine infrastructure.

The webapp generates the confirmation number and sends the response using Clickatell‘s SMS gateway API. The webapp also saves the data to a database and the Google spreadsheet.

11 Responses to “Register for Maker Faire Africa by Mobile Phone”
  1. Mark Kaigwa says:

    Fantastic stuff guys. Great innovation.

    You guys continue to motivate young webpreneurs like myself.


  2. Thats a very cool innovation. Applause.Applause..Applause…!!!

  3. Very cool hack! Bravo chaps – keep innovating.


  4. awesome cool and innovative way to register, true to the maker spirit
    but unfortunately any time i send the message i get “sending paused” the “sending failed”, i have tried 3x twice with +23326… then with 026…, i’m in Kumasi, Ghana

  5. it works!, just sent mine and received my confirmation code, kudos guys. (hmmm… why did it not work the first time i tried it…??)

  6. Henry Addo says:

    Kwamena good to know its working for you now.

    There was a little issue with the SMS setup. All is fixed now.

    Thanks for registering we look forward to seeing you.

  7. olawale taiwo says:

    i still cant apply for MFA from Nigeria on Zain. besides all networks are down, only God know whats up with that. Is there another way I can apply, at least there should be options?



  8. I applied, received my code the next day. Thanks for the innovation, guys.

  9. Free Gadget says:

    Love this page, is it updated often? Bookmarked :)

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] In the true spirit of Maker Faire, the two Henry’s have built the system using a phone with a Zain SIM card connected to a laptop running FrontlineSMS. When the software receives an SMS it sends the data via HTTP to a python web application running on Google’s App Engine infrastructure, where it’s processed and a registration code sent out to the originating handset. It’s another great use of the software and kudos goes out to the guys behind it. You can read their full post here. […]

  2. […] Henry Barnor was born in Ghana, where he spent most of his early years climbing the educational ladder. After Senior Secondary School, he was admitted to Oberlin College, OH as a 3-2 engineering student. While at Oberlin he focused on Computer Science and Physics with excursions into Women’s Studies. At the end of his junior year, he transferred to the California Institute of Technology, CA to finish his engineering program. Henry graduated with a BA in Computer Science and a BSc in Electrical Engineering and is currently a software engineer in San Jose, CA. The portrait on the right features on Maker Faire Africa on a post that explains how together with Henry Addo (another Ghanaian developer), they built a system that permits people to register for Maker Faire Africa by Mobile Phone. […]

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