13 August 2009

Ghana: Maker Faire Africa Underway in Accra

This year's Maker Faire Africa (MFA) is underway in Accra, with a call on African universities to show passion toward the development of technology on the African continent.

The three-day event showcases entrepreneurship in four key areas - Arts & Crafts, Robotics, Agriculture & Environment, and Science & Engineering. The event is being sponsored the British Council, Ghana, and with participants from Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Cote D'Ivoire, Kenya and Malawi.

Speaking to journalists in Accra to open the faire, the organisers of the event, Mr. Emeka Okafor, Nii Simmonds, Henry Barnor, Erik Hersman and Emer Beamer, said the event focused on bringing together acts of ingenuity and inventions from across the continent.

They added that the three-day event would host a series of workshops, seminars, and lectures, focused on four key innovation areas.

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.'

With more than 900 people expected to participate, the MFA is a chance to change the conversation about Africa, from development to innovation.

"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.

"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."

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