2012 African BarCamps are on the horizon
Although 2012 will most likely see a dozen or more BarCamp events, there are very few on the calendar as of mid-January. And, just because a nation or city hosted a BarCamp in 2011 doesn’t mean that another will follow in 2012. For example, Madagascar, Mali, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda all hosted a BarCamp in 2008-2010 but have not held one since.
- BarCamp Lusaka, last held in 2009, is in the planning stages. A group of Zambians met on January 10th to brainstorm ideas.
- BarCamp Sunyani 2012 happened April 21st in Ghana.
- Barcamp Kumasi happened on March 31st.
- BarCamp Ethiopia will occur September 13-14 (thanks to Markos for the update). A Facebook page is devoted to the event.
- BarCamp Gabon (Libreville) will take place
- BarCamp Takoradi took place on March 3rd.
- Barcamp Cameroon took place on May 19th (and will occur again sometime in 2013)
- MarouaCamp took place in Cameroon on October 13th.
- BarCamp Tamale was scheduled for July 14th in Ghana.
- BarCamp Zimbabwe 2012 was held on September 6th in Harare.
- Barcamp Tema happened on October 27th in Ghana.
- The 3rd Barcamp Lomé will be held in Togo on December 15th.
International resource BarCamp.org has few African BarCamps slated for 2012. However, a we can also be assured that a few more BarCamps will occur this year based on historical cadence and general social media activity from past organizers:
- Ghana: Barcamp Cape Coast, Barcamp Tamale, BarCamp Ho, BarCamp Takoradi, and BarCamp Ghana are all likely once again
- Kenya (4 of 5 past years)
- Cameroon (past 3 years)
- Ivory Coast (past 3 years)
- Nigeria (past 3 years)
- Tunisia (past 3 years)
- Malawi (past 2 years)
- Garage48 events are in the works for new African countries (other than Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa)
The question is: who will host a BarCamp for the first time? We’re guessing Benin will finally hold its delayed event from 2010. Rwanda, Namibia, and Liberia have good chances of holding an inaugural BarCamp. Tanzania has momentum after holding the nation’s first. Also, we hope that Nigeria can engage areas other than Lagos to host a BarCamp. Three were scheduled for last year but never seemed to come to fruition. Perhaps South Africa can revive its BarCamp fever of years past.
BarCamps can really complement tech hubs, hackathons, and developer contests. After all, great ideas and passion are key elements to creating successful businesses that improve upon a facet of daily life. We look forward to reading about the ideas BarCamps generate as the year progresses.
We also maintain a list of all African BarCamps prior to 2013. Enjoy!