Africa Gathering: Cooperation, collaboration, co-creation
Africa Gathering is one of the most robust single day events that spreads passion for African technology. Although we did not attend, we wanted to spread the excitement and highlight attendees’ reactions.
The objective is simple: gather innovators, celebrate their work, and connect them to like-minded people. The result is even greater passion for a positive Africa. The 2012 London event (themed as “start it, build it”) was no exception. The main takeaway from this event is surely the concept of “co” – cooperation, collaboration, and co-creation.
Morning sessions covered the key qualities needed for great leadership and how to recognize business opportunities in an immediate market. The afternoon consisted of nearly three hours of stories from African entrepreneurs. Finally, the day concluded with a conversation with hub managers of Africa (who had their own special session earlier in the day). Key hubs present were Kenya’s iHub, Nigeria’s ccHub, Uganda’s Hive Colab, Liberia’s iLab, and Zambia’s BongoHive. All had much to say and continue to serve as leaders for the entrepreneurial community.
There is certainly no shortage of public information from the event touting its success. The @africagathering Twitter account made no fewer than 128 updates on June 15th. A couple dozen attendees took the time to broadcast snippets of the sessions and stories on social media. A treasure trove of information can be found under the #AGL2012 Twitter hashtag. Over 100 pictures are now on Africa Gathering’s G+ page.
Our favorite Tweets come from 12 sources. They speak to harnessing the power of the African tech community, identifying what makes a tech hub, and how these hubs can be made sustainable:
- @jkeyison understanding your market is key to project ideas
- @jkeyison Tech community is already there just find them a place to come together #Ghana #Nigeria #Kenya
- @ElizaTalks Talking about commissioning content from #Africa, many complain of quality. But @JanetGunter suggests we should focus on value
- @MichAtagana co-creation is the watch word for Africa. All the hubs need to come together to innovate. iHub, ccHub and such!
- @iamsusieg 85k downloads for the Nigerian constitution. African tech engagement is dwarfing anything in Europe. http://www.constitutionforall.com.ng/
- @africagathering Kenya’s tech space is growing everyday
- @MichAtagana iHub going to launch a UX lab in a couple of months to promote better design and UX in Africa! bonus!
- @africagathering iHub is not just for techies. It’s for everyone with an idea.
- @hivecolab Sustainability of the hubs, how do we make this sustainable,we are talking about this at
- @bartcornille Advise from Tosh of iHub to lab managers: Talk about your hub, put it out there at
- @JanetGunter We need a map of African R&D, design and market research firms and consultants – not just of tech hubs
- @indigotrust Data tell but stories sell. Make sure you can convey what you/your organisation does and why clearly.
- @indigotrust Hubs aren’t just places for techies. We need people interested in health, education, water etc as well
- @MichAtagana more women need to step away from the mindset that tech is for men! tech is for everyone!
- @iamsusieg What you need is vision and the people – the open source stuff gives you the rest. @Markrock on @audioboo
- @africagathering 3 things to do: 1.Create regional tech clusters; 2.Create spaces/tools for cross-lab collaboration. 3.Need policies.
- @StephanieBusari How do we make agriculture sexy asks iCow founder
- @MssZeeUsman Nearly 40% of Africa’s GDP is lost to corruption. @indigotrust believes social media can play a role in addressing this
- @africagathering Every market in Africa needs a hub says Google.
- @ElizaTalks Frustrations finally being aired: don’t count on your government. If you’re passionate enough, take the bull by the horns. #tech
Last year’s London event discussed how new media is revolutionizing Africa. On hand were speakers from CNN, Guardian, and a variety of African media groups such as AllAfrica Global Media and The Africa Report. Key topics were social media, empowering the voiceless, improving governance, and changing narratives. A smaller AG event last year in Nairobi focused on the roles of youth, technology, and entrepreneurship. AG Uganda 2012 brought together Ugandans who are embracing technology for a day of discourse.
Find a complete agenda and list of friends & sponsors at Africa Gathering.