This excellent Maker Faire Africa video compilation was created by the good folks at AfricaNews.

All the fun of the technology faire – The Gaurdian

BBC Digital Planet podcast interview (starts around minute 13:00)

Nana Kofi Acquah with his photos

Recap of Maker Faire Africa 2009 – ICT4D.at

Maker Faire Africa ’09 thrills – AfricaNews

Maker Faire Africa update – MAKE Magazine

Maker Faire Africa showcases ingenuity – Crossing the Streams blog

Interview with Emer Beamer and Emeka Okafor of Maker Faire team

(A review, overview and email from Kwamena Appiah-Kubi, the Mozilla team lead for Maker Faire Africa)

Maker Faire Africa 2009: Mozilla

Maker Faire Africa was interesting and exciting. My weekend couldn’t have been better spent. I met a lot of like minded people and and saw a lot of interesting things made locally I had never heard of. I also got the opportunity to met people I had only heard or read about like Henry Barnor and Erik Hersman, it was wonderful meeting them and all the other guys.

The following is a recap the 3 days event.

MFA day 1

Day 1 was launch of Maker Faire Africa, with a series of talks about the purpose and inspiration behind the Faire. Some key makers were introduced followed by a number of talk sessions by the makers. I was really inspired by William Kamkwamba session to be determined and self-motivated. Every maker that registered got a copy of Make magazine.

MFA day 2

Day 2 commenced exhibitions. MFA hosted several makers from windmill builders to cycle powered saws as well as guys from the tech industry such as low powered computer manufactures and crowdsourcing agencies. Mozilla’s desk attracted a lot of participants, from fans to swag seekers. Henry Addo (ushahidi.com), Miquel (maneno.org) and myself collaborated in a workshop (turned discussion) about localization. We discussed issues hindering localization efforts in Africa, and what policies are and need to be put in place to promote localization. It was an eye opener, hearing the participants’ concerns and sharing ideas. We shared packaged Mozilla swag after the discussion, it included a t-shirt, wrist bands, buttons and stickers.

The second workshop (also turned discussion) was lead by Erik Hersman who launched into a discussion about what he saw as a lack of communication and cohesion within the Ghanaian programming community (original topic was mapping on mobiles and web).

I had 2 guys man the stand, 2 interact with makers and participants and myself and another attend the workshop.

MFA day 3

The third day started slow considering it was a Sunday. The program line up had to be rescheduled. There were a number of simultaneous workshops of which we attended 2; mobile applications development by Henry Addo, and building SMS applications web development for low bandwidth regions by Miquel, Brian Herbert (Esoko) and Wayan Vota (Inveneo) .

Participants who expressed interest to be part of the Mozilla community had their contact taken, I will get back to them to find their interests then move them on from there. To round up the event there was a panel discussion with MFA organizers to evaluate the progress of the event and the future of the faire.

Maker Faire Africa is scheduled for Kenya next year, date and time will be communicated later. Awards were given to makers who’s exhibits were considered to be true representation of what maker faire ought to be, the first going to three guys from Accra Polytechnic for building an FM radio transmitter. I handed over the table cloth to Henry Barnor at the close of the program.

It was indeed interesting an weekend. My team and i are grateful to have such an opportunity to be part of the program representing Mozilla, thanks a million!

Kwamena Appiah-Kubi
KNUST
College of Science
Department of Computer Science
Computer Science 4
Kumasi – Ghana

There’s are some great pictures put up by Miquel of Maneno about Afrobotics, the initiative that was launched at Maker Faire Africa by a number of Ghanian engineers, business people and programmers.

Afrobotics goal:

“inspire African university students to be science, engineering, and technology leaders, by enabling them in innovative team-based competitions that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire entrepreneurial risk-taking, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership”

IDDS Logo

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.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SUMMIT, VISIT THE 2009 BLOG OR IDDS HOMEPAGE.

A couple weeks ago one of our inspirations for AfriGadget – Emeka Okafor of Timbuktu Chronicles - put forward an idea on the Ned forums about a “Maker Faire Africa“.

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?

The focus here is not on high-tech, but on manufacturing. Specifically, fabrication, the type of small and unorganized businesses that pop up wherever an entrepreneur is found on the African continent. It gets exciting when you think about gathering some of the real innovators from this sector into one place where they can learn from each other and spread their knowledge from one part of the continent to another.

 
Old bicycle turned into a furnace bellows Simon Mwangi A Welding Machine
 

A few fabrication stories on AfriGadget:

The organizing team will collaborate with the organizers of the International Development Design Summit (IDDS), which will be held at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in mid/late Summer 2009, to ensure a well-timed, visible, and celebratory event that draws upon IDDS outcomes and attracts new participants. The aim of Maker Faire Africa 2009 will be to establish partnerships and an organizing infrastructure that could lead to a series of events across the continent.

Needless to say, AfriGadget is 100% behind this initiative and will take an active role in both promotion and organizing, as needed.