Maker Faire Africa – an event focused on bringing together acts of ingenuity and inventions from across the Africa continent – has kicked off in Accra, Ghana. The 3-day event hopes to welcome about 900 participants. There would be workshops, seminars and lectures focused on four key innovation areas. They are: Arts and Crafts, Robotics, Agriculture and Environment and Science and Engineering.
The organizers of the event said it is “designed to create a space on the continent where Afrigadget-type innovations, inventions and initiatives can be sought, identified, brought to life, supported, amplified, and propagated, this conference will answer the question, ‘What happens when you put the drivers of ingenious concepts from across the African continent together and add resources to the mix?’”
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the event, Emeka Okafor – co-founder of MFA – said – the event is a chance to change the conversation about Africa from development to innovation. “We hope to tell the inventor on the street or the student that what he or she has invented is worth it. It will re-enforce people’s passion to do more. We want to create a sense of community empowerment,” he said.
“So often the world hears the bad news coming from the African continent. Maker Faire is a chance to highlight the innovation, entrepreneurship and opportunity that abounds in Africa,” said Nii Simmonds, co-founder of Maker Faire Africa in a statement.
“With MFA we can create a space where the best and brightest can come together to support each other, exchange intellectual capital and find the resources they need to deliver products that fulfill the most basic to the most complex needs on the continent. And this is just the beginning. We hope to propel this into a platform that continues to bring people and products together for the future.”
MFA will deliver 4 conference tracks all fostering conversation and collaboration with attendees: Robotics – Lead by Afrobotics in the ROBOlab, this track host lectures as well as a LEGO robotics workshop and competition.
Agriculture & Environment – takes a new look at sustainability, green technologies and innovations such as biofuel and architecture.
Science and Engineering – this track will highlight new innovations from the 3rd annual IDDS at KNUST as well as a series of hands-on workshops.
Arts & Crafts – held at an outdoor art center this track will showcase everything from sculptures to toys to textiles.
The MFA is taking place at the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI) and will end on Sunday, 16 August 2009. Photo: WhiteAfrica.