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.
A few fabrication stories on AfriGadget:
- Re-use in the Unofficial Kenya Ironworks Industry
- Junk Metal + Homemade Welder = Art?
- Homemade welding machines for use in fabrication
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.
[The Maker Faire Africa blog]