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Cataloging the African BarCamps (with timeline)

May 12, 2011  »  Web2 Comments

Updated January 2012.
As many already know, BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born in 2005 from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. In short, a BarCamp is viewed as an “unconference”. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from participants. Content is provided by participants and in some cases revolves around a theme. Although BarCamp itself is not a super-defined entity, a loose network has formed, with events spring-boarding off previous BarCamps (just look at the similarities among BarCamp logos).

To-date, Africa has hosted roughly 60 BarCamps in 20 countries. The first events were held in South Africa back in 2006. Nine events followed in 2008, followed by another 18 in 2009. A similar number of African BarCamps were held in 2010. At least 18 BarCamps were held in 2011 – five of them were in Ghana. Interestingly, 14 African nations have hosted multiple BarCamps – a testament to the lasting success of the event.

There is a downside to BarCamp trends in Africa, however. In the past 12 months, the only first-time BarCamp host has been Tanzania (Benin was to hold an event but it never came to fruition). Certainly, planning a BarCamp in Africa poses substantial challenges. Elections often interfere with events. Finding facilities with adequate power and Internet capabilities is not always easy. Securing sponsors takes hard work. Despite these obstacles, only a handful of planned African BarCamps fail to happen. Still, it would be great to see a greater variety of nations hold BarCamps in 2012.

Unfortunately, three of the best resources for general historical information on African BarCamps have lost momentum:

  1. BarCamp.org lists many upcoming global BarCamps and in 2009-2010 was the resource for African Barcamps. However, the current list of barcamps slated for Africa appears out-of-date.
  2. BarCampAfrica.com once had a substantial variety of articles and resources helpful to planners. The content has since been removed.
  3. Finally, Africamp.com, a once-active haven for BarCamps in Africa, is no longer in service.

What to do? Manually compile a an unofficial interactive timeline of all African-themed BarCamps, past, present, and future:

Algeria

BarCamp Algeria – August 19, 2009, August 30, 2009, September 26, 2009 – Algiers, Algeria

Benin

BarCamp Benin – June 4, 2011 – Cotonou, Bénin

  • @barcampbenin
  • website updated May 2011, announcing new date
  • originally planned for January 29, 2011 but moved due to elections
  • rescheduled for May 2011, but was again moved due to elections

Cameroon

BarCamp Cameroon – November 7, 2009 (Douala), June 12, 2010 (Yaoundé), September 24, 2011 (Douala)

Congo

BarCamp Congo – December 23, 2008 – Brazzaville, Congo

Cote d’Ivoire

BarCamp Abidjan – July 24, 2009, March 5, 2010, October 7-8, 2011 – Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire

Ethiopia

BarCamp Ethiopia – September 17, 2010, September 23-25, 2011 – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Gabon

BarCamp Libreville – March 10, 2012 (planned) – Libreville, Gabon

Ghana

BarCamp Ghana – December 22, 2008, December 21, 2009, December 18, 2010 – Accra, Ghana. Multiple elsewhere in 2011.

  • @barcampghana
  • Good source for past events in Ghana
  • April 16 at Kumasi
  • November 12 at the University of Cape Coast
  • November 26 at the University of Development Studies, Tamale
  • December 3 at the Ho Polytechnic
  • December 17 at Accra
  • Source

BarCamp Takoradi – November 27, 2010 – Takoradi, Ghana

BarCamp Kumasi – September 18, 2010, April 16, 2011 – Kumasi, Ghana

BarCamp Sunyani – 2012 (planned) – Sunyani, Ghana

BarCamp Accra – October 2, 2010, December 17, 2011 – Accra, Ghana

Kenya

BarCamp Nairobi – March 31, 2007, June 21, 2008, June 12, 2010, October 15, 2011 – Nairobi, Kenya

WhereCampAfrica – April 4, 2009 (Nairobi), June 12, 2010 (Nairobi)

Madagascar

BarCamp Madagascar – October 4, 2008, July 4, 2009 – Antananarivo, Madagascar

Malawi

BarCamp Malawi – July 17, 2010, August 13, 2011 – Lilongwe, Malawi

Mali

BarCamp Bamako – December 15, 2009 – Bamako, Mali

Mauritius

BarCamp Mauritius – June 21, 2008, December 3, 2008, April 18, 2009 – Rose Hill, Mauritius

Nigeria

BarCamp Nigeria – April 25, 2009, May 22, 2010, March 11, 2011 – Lagos, Nigeria

  • @barcampnigeria
  • 2009 event linked up with Africa Gathering event in London
  • Great reviews from 2009, 2010, and 2011 by David Ajao

(?)Barcamp Abuja – June 18, 2011

  • unsure if this event took place
  • Source

(?)Barcamp Kaduna – February 5, 2011

  • can’t find recaps of this event – it had been delayed by two weeks
  • Source

(?)Barcamp Port Harcourt – October 1, 2011

  • no sign of this event actually happening
  • Source

Senegal

BarCamp Gorée – January 16, 2010, December 4, 2010 – Gorée, Senegal

South Africa

BarCamp Jozi – September 9, 2006, October 11, 2008, October 9, 2009 – Johannesburg, South Africa

BarCamp Cape Town – June 16, 2006, April 10, 2010 – Cape Town, South Africa

Swaziland

BarCamp Swaziland – July 27, 2009, June 2010 (canceled) – Malkerns Valley, Swaziland

Tanzania

Barcamp Dar – July 11, 2011 – Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Togo

Barcamp Lomé – December 2010, December 2011

Tunisia

BarCamp Tunisie – May 9, 2009, May 29, 2010, February 19, 2011 – Tunisia

BarCamp Tour Tunisie – April 2011 – Tunisia

BarCamp(r) – June 18, 2011 – Paris, France & Tunisia

Uganda

BarCamp Uganda – September 12 2008 – Kampala, Uganda

WhereCampAfrica – October 30, 2009 (Kampala)

Zambia

BarCamp Lusaka – December 19, 2009, 2012 (planned) – Lusaka, Zambia

Zimbabwe

BarCamp Zimbabwe – August 3, 2011 – Harare, Zimbabwe

Austria

BarCamp Graz – November 26, 2011 – Graz, Austria

France

BarCamp Africa Paris – January 2010 – Paris, France (attempted)

United Kingdom

BarCamp Africa UK – November 7, 2009 – London, UK

United States

BarCamp Africa – October 11, 2008 – Mountain View, California, USA

  • @BarCampAfrica
  • website not updated since 2009
  • planned BarCamp Africa for June 2010 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, canceled due to lack of facilities

AfricaCodeCamp – October 4, 2010 – San Francisco, CA, USA

BarCamp Diaspora 09 & Diaspora Camp DC 2010 – July 25, 2009, July 24, 2010 – Washington, DC, USA

  • @DiasporaCamp
  • currently organizing conferences and forums across the U.S.