Odo Gerald is a quiet 15 year old boy who loves to make things. At Maker Faire Africa this year, you’ll find his table surrounded by all the other little boys whenever he flips the battery on. That’s because he’s got the coolest toys around by far, all manner of heavy equipment machines that operate by batter and hydraulics.
Toys made: dump truck, back hoe, excavator and a helicopter.
Odo has 4 toys he’s made over the last 4 months. They’re made of painted plywood, syringes, wooden pieces, wire, water and small tubes along with a motorcycle battery to run it all. His next big project is to make a small helicopter that he can get off the ground.
There are a number of kids at this year’s Maker Faire Africa, and it’s a real treat to see what they’re coming up with. More on some of the other projects later.
This excellent Maker Faire Africa video compilation was created by the good folks at AfricaNews.
Reports from the first Maker Faire Africa are starting to come in. Afrigadget has been active amidst the standing room only crowds. Here’s what’s up:
This morning at Maker Faire Africa, after a short introduction by Nii Simmonds and Emeka Okafor, the team (MFA sponsors) from AndSpace Labs have been moderating a “show and tell” by some of the Makers (which is what we’re calling those who are demo’ing at the event).
William Kamkwamba: Windmills
First up was William Kamkwamba, who is really seen as a success story of this type of microentrepreneur or innovator in Africa. His windmills and the story behind it are an inspiration for many here, especially the aspiring makers with good ideas and their first prototypes. There is now a book, a documentary and a foundation all set up around the inspired story of windmills from Malawi.
The International Develpment Design Summit has been going on for the last 4 weeks in Kumasi, Ghana. Two members of the team came up to talk about one of the devices that they created from local materials, that will be here at the show as well. It’s a device that allows you to store your food so that it doesn’t spoil as quickly. To see more of the IDDS work, here are the final presentations from earlier this week.
Pat Delaney: Multimachine
“You can have no industrial progress without machine tools.” He’s here to show how you can start from nothing except a pipe with three holes in it and an old/broken engine block, and create a universal machine tool. His is called the Multimachine. Due to weight constraints he couldn’t bring a complete machine, so he brought the rudimentary drills and 200 DVDs full of instructions to the event.
Africa , Event , Fabrication , Featured Makers , Ghana
[Snipped from Afrigadget] Dominic Wanjihia is from Kenya, and he’s here at Maker Faire Africa in Ghana because of the innovative designs and solutions that he comes up with for problems that ordinary Africans face. We had profiled one of his earlier inventions, an evapocooler for camel milk in Somalia, last year.
He’s been in Accra this last week working in the timber yards in Makola building a food dryer and a food cooler to show at the event. Both of them use air, and the dryer takes advantage of the heat from the sun. More detailed posts will be coming on them, but here’s a few shots of him and the carpenters building the devices.
Read the full article at Afrigadget.com
In Accra, Ghana
Sponsors and supports continue to join as the excitement builds around Maker Faire Africa (MFA) later this week. Held August 14 – 16 in Accra, Ghana, MFA will bring together ingenuity and invention from across the continent. Focused on 4 key innovation areas, MFA is poised to show the world a different face of Africa, where partnership, creativity, and innovation come together to create products and designs that can be used around the world.
“Maker Faire Africa aims to stoke the fires of innovation, catalyze the seeds of ingenuity, and amplify the pace of invention, wonder and curiosity amongst the young and young at heart,” said Emeka Okafor organizer of MFA and director of TEDAfrica. “We intend to dial back the negative reinforcement that pervades the continent in matters of career choice and conformity and will give center stage to the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things.”
A key part of MFA is the support they have received from sponsors around the globe. Through their support and vision MFA will deliver on the promise of premier event in Africa. “By sponsoring and co-organising the Maker Fair Africa we are helping to showcase role model makers and put the spotlight on innovation as the way forward for Africa,” said Emer Beamer head of Butterfly Works Learning Lab. “These Makers are the people who build the future and in all Butterfly Works projects, our goal is to enable and support this creativity every step of the way.” Sponsors include:
American Society of Mechanical Engineers – founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, today’s ASME promotes the art, science & practice of mechanical & multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences around the globe.
AndSpace Labs – founded by Andspace Consulting, AndSpace Labs collaborates with the public to co-create tools, perspectives, and relationships to help society meet the challenges of tomorrow using foresight and design thinking.
BusyInternet – founded in Ghana in 2001 with a unique mission to provide both commercial services as well as social and economic development with a range of events, training, debates, as well as a growing community of IT entrepreneurs.
Butterfly Works – an inspiration-driven social solution and design agency. The products and services of Butterfly Works range from consumer social product design and distribution to digital and mobile educational materials and learning environments.
ecoband – provides comprehensive, flexible and cost effective satellite and fiber optic-based solutions for Internet backbone connectivity as well as broadband wireless last-mile solutions. For the ECOWAS countries of West Africa.
The International Development Design Summit – MIT’s IDDS is a month-long collaboration that brings together people from around the globe to build technologies for communities in the developing world. The program is the brainchild of MIT Senior Lecturer and D-Lab founder Amy Smith, a past winner of the MacArthur “genius” grant.
Internet Research – a private research enterprise incorporated in the Republic of Ghana focusing on engineering, consulting and education in the area of Information Communication Technology (ICT)
Inveneo – a non-profit social enterprise whose mission is to get tools of information and communications technology (ICT) – computing, Internet access, and telephony – to the more than 2 billion people living in rural and underserved areas of the developing world.
Moving Windmills – based on the award-winning short film of the same name, Moving Windmills: The William Kamkwamba Story is a feature-length documentary that shares the touching tale of a boy whose imagination and ingenuity inspired a family, a village and a nation.
Mozilla – The Mozilla project is a global community of people who believe that openness, innovation, and opportunity are key to the continued health of the Internet. We have worked together since 1998 to ensure that the Internet is developed in a way that benefits everyone.
MFA has also attracted a host of industry thought leaders, bloggers and news organizations who are dedicated to building the future of Africa including Amy Smith, Founder of MIT’s D-Lab, Africa News, AshokaTech, Emeka Okafor of TEDAfrica and Timbuktu Chronicles, Erik Hersman of Afrigadget, Global Development Commons, Henry Barnor of Afrobotics, Mark Grimes, founder of Ned.com, Nii Simmonds of Nubian Cheetah, Next Billion, and TechBridgeWorld,
“This is long overdue and I am thrilled to see an African event based on innovative solutions to problems developed by local participants,“ said Grimes. “Maker Faire Africa represents the best of grassroots efforts, localization, innovation, and ingenuity when it comes to the continent by focusing on its own unique challenges and tremendous opportunities.”
For more information about MFA visit www.makerfaireafrica.com
Emeka Okafor or
The Maker Faire is all about Makers and meetings. In order to facilitate more exchange between makers and other makers and between makers and attendees Butterfly Works is running a Match a Maker service.
Everyone at the Maker Faire will be invited to take part, fill in the form or text their request to a mobile number. Then we will match up people who have related requests. We know that many of the attendees even if they are not presenting their work during the Faire itself are in fact entrepeneurs, innovators, trend watchers etc. In this way they will have another channel to meet up with people who need their services. Matches could include for example a programmer in Kenya meeting a new client from Ghana, a designer from Ghana meeting with an international group of makers.
Watch this space or the Maker Faire Africa twitter for the mobile number, so you can take part even if not present. After the event we will report on some of the best matches made.