This is some exciting news, and a great example of how Maker Faire Africa seeks to spur ongoing invention and innovation activities in Africa.
The GO Ingenuity Award (GIA) – which aims to share the excitement of invention and innovation with youth - will launch at Maker Faire Africa in Accra in the middle of August. The GIA will be awarded to artists, inventors, and small business entrepreneurs as an incentive to stimulate their interaction with and inspire the next generation of “makers.”
Aiming to build on the momentum of Maker Faire Africa, the GO Campaign has announced that it will award one-year, one-time fellowship grants to individual applicants who are eager to share their skills with marginalized youth in developing countries in ways that educate and inspire youth to harness their own ingenuity. The GIA emphasizes the sharing of innovative artistry and technology in informal, hands-on learning workshops in places where youth already gather.
GO Campaign is dedicated to empowering orphans and vulnerable children throughout the world to secure a better future. GO is a youth-driven nonprofit that cuts out the red tape and provides a direct connection to deserving grass-roots organizations serving children in need. To learn more about the GO Ingenuity Award, visit the GO Campaign website.
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
Henry 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.
KUMASI GHANA MAY 25 2009: Over 70 participants representing 21 countries meet in Ghana July 8th,
2009 to kick off the third annual International Development Design Summit (IDDS).
IDDS aims to produce innovative, affordable, scalable technologies to meet the very real needs of the 2.6
billion people earning less than $2-a-day. Participants receive a crash course in developing appropriate
technology and then break into small teams, each receiving a different design challenge to solve a specific
problem faced daily by people around the world. Unlike most academic conferences, this summit
emphasizes the development of prototypes, not just papers and proceedings. Unlike technology workshops, IDDS is about creative processes, as well as products.
IDDS 2009 uniquely embodies the spirit of co-creation by collaborating with local mechanics, entrepreneurs and potential end users. At various points, participants will travel to surrounding rural villages and interact closely with community partners. The aim is to develop the creative capacity within the communities themselves, enabling the members to become active creators of technology, rather than merely passive recipients.
The 2009 participant roster reflects diverse backgrounds and skills sets: a woman from Sierra Leone
teaching welding to girls, a Brazilian artist using industrial waste in her work, and a solar energy technician
from India, to name a few. By creating this global network, IDDS hopes to empower individuals and their
communities to tackle the tough problems that reside in the developing world.
IDDS is the brain child of Massachusetts Institute of Technology senior lecturer and MacArthur “Genius
Grant” award winner Amy Smith. The summit runs through August 12th, 2009. Finished prototypes will be
showcased at Maker Faire Africa, a celebration of African ingenuity, innovation and invention hosted by
AfriGadget in Accra, Ghana from August 14th-16th.
We’ve been asked by a number of people if they could sponsor Maker Faire Africa as individuals. Amounts that range from $25 to $100. This is a good idea, and in line with the type of event that this is. Committee member Mark Grimes, founder of Ned.com, is in charge of all the funds, and he will be using a PayPal account to receive those personal sponsorships until we have a better way to handle it.
[UPDATE: Mark has created a widget that allows anyone to sponsor MFA on the main page.]
There’s a whole page and a PDF download of information for those interested in sponsoring Maker Faire Africa. It basically breaks down like this:
Panthera Leo (lion) Package ($7,500)
Everything in Loxodonta Africana and Gazella Rufifrons packages plus:
- 10 VIP conference passes
- 2 sponsored workshops with product demos
- 1 page advertisement in conference guide
- Use of conference mailing list within 6 months of event
- Banner placement at entrance and in auditorium
- Keynote address sponsorship message
- Guest article on Maker Faire Africa web site
- Logo on conference bag
Loxodonta Africana (elephant) Package ($1,500)
Everything in the Gazella Rufifrons package plus:
- Exhibitor space
- 4 VIP conference passes
- Mention in email broadcasts
- Included in news releases
- 1/2 page advertisement in conference guide
- Goodies in conference bag
Gazella Rufifrons (gazelle) Package ($250)
- 100 word listing and logo in conference guide
- 100 word listing on web site
- Placing of material on literature table
- Logo on t-shirt, shirts free to attendees
Maker Faire Africa logo winner:
The final logo was chosen because of how versatile it was for MFA. Maker Faire Africa represents a lot of different types of people, pastimes and projects. Having the imagery be more than just one type of gadget or practice seemed like a better fit. The four different colored icons could be used for multiple types of branding purposes.
We almost chose the windmill because of the story it tells. What it really is is a silhouette of William’s Windmill, a story that has garnered a lot of attention due to the youth and ingenuity of William Kamkwamba. It’s a little rough around the edges, just like the windmill – but it works, has meaning and tells the story of so many other inventors, tinkerers and micro-entrepreneurs across a vast and complicated continent.
This last week we’ve been running a competition to create the Maker Faire Africa logo over at 99designs. It’s been a lot of fun, with a lot of great entries. Here are just the top rated ones, the 3 with check marks are the finalists.
Maker Faire Africa is an event happening next summer in Ghana. It needs a logo though, and for the designers who read this, it’s your chance to win a quick $250. Jump on over to THE CONTEST to get started.
(Not a designer? Pass this on to someone who is, and feel free to leave your comments on which designs you like/don’t like.)
What is Maker Faire Africa?
As Emeka puts it:
The aim of a Maker Faire-like event is to create a space on the continent where Afrigadget-type innovations, inventions and initiatives can be sought, identified, brought to life, supported, amplified, propagated, etc. Maker Faire Africa asks the question, “What happens when you put the drivers of ingenious concepts from Mali with those from Ghana and Kenya, and add resources to the mix?”
This logo will be used on the redesigned website, print materials and t-shirts.
How it Works
A couple months back I tested out 99designs.com for logo creation, and was incredibly impressed with how easy it was to get going and for designers to take part in quick project work. The contest is open for 7 days (Dec 25th – Christmas), and anyone can go register as a designer to submit an entry.
Once you’ve registered and submitted a design, we’ll be leaving feedback on what direction to take it, and we’ll rate them using their 5-star system. You can submit as many entries as you like. Make sure you read the creative brief before you go too far. We realize that one of the main problems with any contest like this is Africa is payment to the winner. We’ll be creative in making sure that if the winner does come from anywhere in Africa, you’ll get paid.
Who is behind it?
The organizing team is made up of Emeka (Timbuktu Chronicles), Mark (Ned.com), Amy Smith (MIT IDDS), Lars (MIT), Nii (Nubian Cheetah), Erik (AfriGadget), and Juliana (Afromusing). It is in the very early stages of organization, and we’ve each contributed some money to get the logo created.
O’Reilly, along with the guys at Maker Faire have given us their blessing to use the name.