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”

If you’re looking for any pictures of Maker Faire Africa, we have a Flickr group that has pictures. Keep updated on the newest images from the event, where a number of us are updating it multiple times throughout the day.

And Maker Faire Africa Begins!

[The Maker Faire Africa team at a press conference]

Here are some of the media and blogs that have been writing about Maker Faire Africa:

AfricaNews: Maker Faire Africa kicks off

BikeJuju: Maker Faire Africa features bicycle-related inventors, projects

The Ghanaian Chronicle via AllAfrica: Maker Faire Africa underway in Accra

Core77: Maker Faire Africa is on!

Wired: Maker Faire Africa

Mental Floss: Preview: Maker Faire Africa

Kent’s Diary: Maker Faire Africa kicks off in Ghana

ICT4D.at:
Afrika Maker Faire Accra, Friday: Introduction and sessions 1st part
Maker Faire Africa, Accra, Friday: sessions 2nd part

More Than 900 Expect To Participate In The 3-Day Event August 14 – 16.
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

Media Contacts
Ghana
Emeka Okafor or
Nii Simmonds
+233 248576430
emeka.okafor@gmail.com
nas146@yahoo.com

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.

Matt Berg over at BuildAfrica blog has an interesting story of Mr Acheampong, a local entrepreneur who makes money by charging people’s mobile phones. He uses a homemade C-cell battery setup to do this (see below):

“Mr. Acheampong, one of the Abusuapanin Community Leader’s in Bonsaaso village, use’s 4 C dry cell batteries to charge mobile phones. The four 1.5V batteries in series adds up to 6V which is similar to the 5.5V that most cell phones require (amperage varies). The set of batteries cost 1 Ghana Cedi and he is able to charge four phones before needing to replace the batteries. This compares to the 1 Cedi cost of charging a phone at the local cell tower.”

However, Matt points out how inefficient this type of setup is. There are new low-cost options including the Tough Stuff Solar Panel coming in at around $20 retail.