[Note: Pictures will be on the Maker Faire Africa Flickr group. All images by AfriGadget are CC-by licensed for anyone to use anywhere they like.]
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 crowd LOVES William. The Africans are so inspired by him due to it being done on his own without a bunch of outside help. This means from the expats who do a lot of good work of course, which is a good point. How much more exciting is it to see home-grown ingenuity and innovation making it big than it is if it’s imported in from overseas?
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.
Finally, Pat makes a call for someone to create cheaply and widely available welding glasses. Why? Because so many people in Africa are using sunglasses to weld, but it ruins your eyes in 3-4 years and you can’t weld anymore. This is terrible due to it taking 10 years to become a master welder.