Africa’s Bill Gate: Herman Chinery-Hesse & Others Speaks At Tech4Africa


Herman Chinery-Hesse @ TEDGlobal 2007

The Tech4Africa 2011 conference to be held from 27-28 October, 2011 at the “The Forum” in Bryanston, Johannesburg, South Africa, will feature a line-up of international and African technologists. The event aims to provide attendees with the opportunity to learn firsthand from technology evangelists about the role that the web plays in African business and development.

The two-day conference plans to bring international experience and perspectives to the African continent, while at the same time showcasing what Africans are doing with mobile, web, digital media and other emerging technologies.

“2010 saw the launch of Tech4Africa and we were met with overwhelming support from both the tech and business communities and our foundation partners, First National Bank and Internet Solutions,” says Gareth Knight, MD of Tech4Africa.

“This year we’re delivering the same high standard of content and looking forward to bringing technologists together to look at what’s current now, with an emphasis on social media and how it’s relevant to digital marketing, mobile convergence, the growing cloud and the applications of BigData. We’re also focusing on great African technologists that really are leading the way.”

Keynote speakers include Josh Spear, one of the youngest and most respected digital marketing strategists in the world, and Herman Chinery-Hesse, commonly known as ‘The Bill Gates of Africa‘.

Fresh perspective from Josh Spear
Spear is a trend spotter, blogger and brand strategist, sought out for his fresh perspective and no-holds-barred style of consulting on everything from design and gadgets to authenticity and word-of-mouth. His recent focus has been the power of the blogosphere, technology, and the impact of digital media on the world. In addition to his internationally recognized trend-spotting blog, he is a founding partner of Undercurrent, a digital think-tank focused on exploring new ways to reach young people without interrupting them.

With Africa rapidly leapfrogging the web and PC experience with a mobile one, the insights into how people and brands interact digitally is crucial, and indeed sets the stage for the foreseeable future. Spear has appeared in publications including Time Magazine, the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune and has presented for such diverse clients as McDonald’s, NBC, Pepsi, Virgin, The American Advertising Federation and The Google Zeitgeist conference.

Tech4africa 2011

Unlocking African prosperity, wealth with Chinery-Hesse
Herman Chinery-Hesse is a renowned Ghanaian technology entrepreneur who co-founded the million-dollar software company SOFTtribe, and then went on to launch BSL, which provides the infrastructure for entrepreneurs across Africa to sell products and receive payment through their cell phones. Chinery-Hesse is passionate about the contribution that technology can make in unlocking prosperity and wealth across Africa, and will be presenting his thesis on this. He has won a number of awards and is also an accomplished speaker who has delivered talks at the Wharton Business School, Harvard Business School, Cambridge University, the University of Ghana, and the TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania.

Spear and Chinery-Hesse are part of a line-up of African and international thought leaders from organizations like Amazon, HP, Johns Hopkins University, Mozilla, SwiftRiver, the African Institution of Technology, SimpleGeo, Motribe, Clearleft and Ultinet Systems.

Gareth Knight adds, “With Tech4Africa our simple aim is to congregate the best practitioners in Africa and the world to provide inspiration, guidance, case studies, and success stories and ultimately experience, so that Africans don’t need to travel the world to gain this understanding and exposure.”

Registration for the event is open and early bird tickets are available until 10 June. For further information or to register, go to http://tech4africa.com, or to contact Tech4Africa, email hello@tech4africa.com or go to http://tech4africa.com/contact/.

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Maker Faire Africa 2011 : Cairo, Egypt


From the Maker Faire Africa Blog:

Maker Faire Africa is pleased to announce our 3rd event, ‘Maker Faire Africa 2011 : Cairo‘ which will take place in Egypt, October 6-8th, 2011.  Join us once again as we continue to cultivate  new and existing maker communities across Africa. As was the case in Accra (‘09) and Nairobi (’10), MFA 2011 will present and spotlight the vibrant and endlessly creative individuals that have come to represent the spirit of ‘making’ throughout the continent.

These innovators, artists and tinkerers will be exhibiting a fusion of the informal and formal; ideas, inventions, hacks and designs both low-tech & high-tech.  From cuisine to machines, come see their re-imagining of products, exploration of novel materials, and original solutions for some of the continent’s most important challenges and opportunities.  Maker Faire Africa 2011 will be a celebratory showcase of unhindered experimentation and curiosity. We look forward to seeing you this October.

Please check back for further updates.

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Re-blogged: Meet The TED Global 2011 Fellows Working Within Africa


Re-blogged via Timbuktu Chronicles

5 spectacular individuals with Africa related connections are part of the recently announced TED Global 2011 Fellows class. They are:

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Call For Application: Young Journalists For Global Civil Society Event


CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, international civil society groups, donors and government representatives will unite at 10th CIVICUS World Assembly in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

This year four young journalists from developing countries have the chance to attend the largest gathering of civil society activists in the world in all expenses paid prize. Read below to see how you can win and find information about the keynote speakers of the event.

What Is The Prize?

Through a full bursary (including travel, accommodation and registration), the four journalists will have full access to all keynote plenary sessions and activity sessions that will take place at the Youth Assembly on 8 September and at the World Assembly on 10-12 September.

They will also have unique one on one opportunity to interview all keynote speakers:

  • Matt Dunne – Head of Community Affairs, Google Inc;
  • Kumi Naidoo – Director General, Greenpeace International, South Africa;
  • Mozn Hassan – Executive Director of Nazra for Feminist Studies, Egypt ;
  • Maina Kiai – Executive Director of the International Council on Human Rights Policy and others

How Do You Qualify?

You qualify if you are an active journalist who:

  • Has a background in covering civil society issues (such as development effectiveness, new technologies, democratic space and climate justice)
  • Is a citizen of a developing country.
  • Are between 18 and 30 years of age.

The journalist will also have a thoughtful and feasible dissemination plan to use their reports as a tool to raise awareness of the human rights or social justice issues explored at the event with a goal to bring about change.
While creative freedom will be left to the individual journalist, they will be required to report on a minimum of two sessions per day in the language of choice (Spanish, English, and French).

How To Apply?

To apply for this prize, submit your CV, a writing sample and a 250 word article on why it is important for civil society to engage with the media to rowena.mcnaughton@civicus.org before 15 June 2011.

The chosen journalists will be informed before 30 June 2011.

About the 2011 World Assembly

The CIVICUS World Assembly is the premier global gathering of civil society organizations, donors and representatives of government, international institutions and business to seek collaborative ways to strengthen the rights of citizens around the globe. This year, the focus is on the essential role of civil society in global decision-making. As governments of varied ideological persuasions crack down ever more harshly against dissent, challenges to their authority or lack of accountability and basic freedoms of expression and association, it is clear that civil society needs to come together in order to strengthen our ability to act for a more just world.

Under its overarching theme of “Acting together for a just world”, the 2011 World Assembly will focus on “Civil Society and Global Decision-Making: Doing It Better” through a programme divided in four thematic tracks:

  • Development Effectiveness
  • Climate Justice
  • Connecting People through Technology
  • Civil Society and Democratic Space

For more information, visit www.civicusassembly.org

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Salif Keita LIVE In Lagos, Nigeria.


Salif Keita - Mali

Internationally recognized afro-pop singer-songwriter from Mali; Salif Keita (known as ‘The Golden Voice of Africa’) would be performing alongside other bands & dancers from Nigeria and Congo at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki/Epe Expressway, Lagos. Nigeria.

Date: Friday, May 6, 2011.

If you are a great fan of Francophone music & Salif Keita, this if for you. Hope to see you there…!

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MTN-Ghana, Airtel & Other Major Telecom Organizations Wins Laurel at Ghana Telecoms Awards 2011


Two telecommunications giants, MTN-Ghana and Airtel Ghana shared honors at the maiden edition of the Mobileworld Ghana Telecoms Awards 2011 held at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel on Friday evening. The two companies won three awards apiece.

MTN-Ghana Logo

MTN-Ghana won:

The Telecom Operator of the Year Award,

The Best Mobile Money Service Company of the Year  and;

The Best Corporate Social Responsibility with its MTN Foundation.

Airtel-Ghana Logo

Airtel-Ghana on the other hand won;

The Best Customer Care Company of the Year,

The Best Marketing Campaign, with the CEO of the company, Mr Phillip Sowah emerging the best telecoms CEO of the year.

Vodafone also won two key awards –

The Wholesale Telecom Company of the Year and the Best Telecom Brand.

Corporate Communications Manager of Vodafone, Mrs. Carmen Bruce-Annan told journalists after the awards ceremony that the latter honour received by her company was the most prestigious of all the awards presented on the night.  That, according to her was because every company’s character and quality of service it delivers to its customers were summed up by its brand. “Without the brand you have nothing,” she emphasized, adding that the award was only a confirmation of a similar one that adjudged Vodafone the 5th largest global brand in the world.

“This is ample proof that we are doing the right things and delivering quality services to our products,” she stated.

Mrs. Bruce-Annan, said despite the award, the company will continue to strive hard to give its customers value for their money.

Prestigious award

In other categories, Helios Towers won the Best Telecommunication Infrastructure Company; Esoko Ghana took home the most Innovative Mobile project of the Year, with Mobile Content Ghana winning the Best Mobile Content Provider of the year.  Mobile phone of the Year went to Samsung while Ericsson won the Vender of the Year award. The Standard Chartered Bank was adjudged the Best Telecom Financing bank of the Year.

Director of the Kofi Annan Center for ICT, Mrs. Dorothy Gordon was honored for her contribution to the ICT & Telecoms sector, while the Communications Minister Haruna Iddrissu was given a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mr Akin Naphtal, Group Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of Mobileworld; organizers of the awards, said the awards were in recognition of the tremendous contribution of the telecom companies to Ghana’s economy.

It was important to recognize the role of the telecoms in nation building and to encourage and motivate them to contribute more to better the lot of the ordinary Ghanaian, he said.

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Ghana ICT & Telecoms Summit and Best Customer Service Awards 2011


The first ever Ghana ICT & Telecoms Summit and Awards Night takes place in Accra, Ghana from April 28 – 29, 2011 at the Kofi Annan ICT Center and the La Palm Royal Hotel respectively.

Ghana ICT & Telecoms Summit

 About:

Ghana ICT & Telecom Summit 2011 is designed to explore the critical business, service and technology strategies needed to ensure market competitiveness and exploit emerging opportunities for increased growth and profitability in Ghana ICT market.

Keynote presentations, dialogues and round-table discussions will feature C-level executives from the major operators in Ghana including Ministry of Communication, National Communication Authority of Ghana, Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES), and Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), as well as government and regulatory authorities, influential institutes and associations.

Selected operators from overseas markets will share first-hand experiences and case studies relevant to Ghana’s broadband development aspirations.

As part of customer’s feedback/response for the Best Customer Service Company category, the organizers of the Awards Night have teamed-up with Ghanaian start-up; NandiMobile who are offering a customized version of it award winning Gripeline service for the purposes of collating votes for the telecoms company in Ghana with the best customer service.

Best Customer Service Awards platform by NandiMobile

Among the different categories, the Best Customer Service Category (bcsc) is the only one open to the general public.

Individuals can vote (i.e. MTN, Expresso, Airtel, TiGO and Vodafone) by sending their choice to 1945 proceeding with the keyword BCSC. e.g. (bcsc Safaricom to short code 1945) where Safaricom is the telecom company’s name.

2 Ghanaians For CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards


CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Award 2011

Finalists in the prestigious CNN MultiChoice African Journalist awards for 2011 have been announced by Joel Kibazo, Chair of the independent judging panel. The competition is now in its 16th year and this year, Ghana has two journalists vying for laurels in the prestigious competition.

They are Kofi Akpabli, Freelance for the Daily Graphic and Portia Solomon for TV3 News.  Kofi Akpabli won the prize for Art and Culture in 2010 for his beautiful piece on soups.

Announcing the finalists, Joel Kibazo said:

“African journalists are becoming noticeably more challenging, showing greater courage and strength which would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. Entries this year have demonstrated this – bolder, more determined on their home patch and with a new found zeal to cover countries beyond their own borders.”

This year the competition received entries from 42 countries across the continent, including French and Portuguese speaking Africa. There are 27 finalists from 13 countries:

  • Kofi Akpabli, Freelance for  Daily Graphic, Ghana
  • Claudine Efoa Atohoun, ORTB, Benin
  • Rabin Bhujun, L’Express Dimanche, Mauritius
  • José Bouças de Oliveira, Televisão Santomense, São Tomé
  • Sylvia Chebet, Citizen TV, Kenya
  • DispatchOnline Team, Daily Dispatch, South Africa
  • Kimani Githae, Citizen TV, Kenya
  • Lamia Hassan, Business Today, Egypt
  • Virgil Augustin Pascal Houesson, L’événement Précis, Benin
  • Mahamud Abdi Jama, Waaheen, Somalia
  • Norman Katende, Freelance for The New Vision, Uganda
  • Farouk Kayondo, UBC, Uganda
  • Mark Klusener, eNews Africa, South Africa
  • Selma Marivate, Record, Mozambique
  • Melini Moses, SABC, South Africa
  • Lindile Mpanza, e.tv, South Africa
  • Kamau Mutunga, DN2 Magazine, Daily Nation, Kenya
  • Nigel M. Nassar, The New Vision, Uganda
  • Fatuma Noor, The Star, Kenya
  • Oluwatoyos Ogunseye, Sunday Punch, Nigeria
  • Nnamdi Okosieme, Next Newspaper, Nigeria
  • Benon Herbert Oluka, Sunday Life Magazine, Sunday Monitor, Uganda
  • Beryl Ooro, K24 TV, Kenya
  • Sonny Serite, Freelance for The Sunday Standard, Botswana
  • Portia Solomon, TV3 News, Ghana
  • Kipchumba Some,  The Standard, Kenya
  • Nkula Zau, Televisão Pública de Angola

This year the recipient of the Free Press Africa Award is Mahamud  Abdi Jama, Editor of Waaheen, an independent private newspaper published in Somaliland.  Waaheen, part of the Waaheen Media Group, is known for its critical coverage of the Government. Mahamud was sentenced to three years in prison and fined in connection with a story alleging public corruption.  After pressure on the Government Mahamud was granted a Presidential pardon and released after spending over a month in prison.

He is awarded this prize for working under stressful conditions, and in the face of opposition and providing the public with important information, regardless of the consequences to himself.

The winners of the competition will be announced at an Award Ceremony and Gala Evening in Johannesburg, South Africa on Saturday 25 June 2011. The hosts for the evening will be Isha Sesay, presenter of CNN International’s weekly programme ‘Inside Africa’ and Robert Marawa, the face of one of DStv’s SuperSports channel and regular host of Metro FM’s Discovery Sports Centre.

Google’s Zeitgeist Announces 12 Winners For Young Minds Competition


Google's Zeitgeist Young Minds Competition

Somewhere in February, 2011; Zeitgeist & Google announced the commencement of applications for the Young Minds Video Competition 2011 via this website: http://www.zeitgeistyoungminds.com/ which saw young people between the ages of 18 and 24; passionate about making a difference in your community apply.

Google has always championed innovation and is proud to help young people showcase their ideas and achievements. Zeitgeist Young Minds is an incredible platform for future world-changers to meet some of the most powerful and inspiring people on the planet today.” Philipp Schindler, Vice President of Northern & Central Europe, Google

The competition was to find 12 exceptional, motivated and inspiring young adults from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa; who are making a positive impact in their worlds. Those 12 individuals have been found and selected. See below for full details of the selected:

  • Orly Keit Setton – South Africa
  • Karabo Thosa – South Africa
  • Phofane Ludwick Marishane – South Africa
  • Brian Magwaro Mogaka – Kenya
  • Grace Ihejiamaizu –  Nigeria
  • Michael Mulunga – Namibia
  • Paul “slim” Banda – Zambia
  • Matheus Zancul Ortega – Haiti
  • Richard Serunjogi – United Kingdom
  • Sebastian Thiel – United Kingdom
  • Anna Debenham – United Kindom
  • Sadiq Miah – United Kingdom

Click here to read their profiles and watch the winning entries!

About

Zeitgeist is Google’s annual European partner forum held just outside London, currently in its 6th year, bringing together around 400 business and thought leaders from across Europe. Highlights from last year’s event can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/user/eurozeitgeist

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Garage48 Opens in Accra, Ghana


Garage48 : 13 - 15 May, 2011. Accra, Ghana.

Garage48 : 13 - 15 May, 2011. Accra, Ghana.

The past couple of months saw several technology focused events happening in the capital of Ghana, Accra. Most recent was the Innovation Week 2011 [iWeek 2011] which again offered me the opportunity to show-case my Social Media know-how to participants and other technocrats who attended.

Just yesterday; I heard about Garage48; an event started in Estonia in April 2010 that have expanded to other countries in Northern Europe and Africa. All Garage48 events are held in English and have about 100 participants from different countries. Participants have different skills, ranging from software development to design, marketing and management.

Garage48 is happening from May 13 -1 5, 2011 at the Kofi Annan ICT Center. The event starts at 5pm on Friday with the presentation of various product ideas.

The teams are formed and derived organically. By the end of weekend, the teams will have a working products or prototypes. On Sunday evening, starting at 5:00pm, every team will showcase their product with live demo on stage in front of other participants and big audience. The jury and the audience will choose their favorite team or service.

“The event is mainly for tech practitioners namely graphic designers as well as front-end and back-End software and mobile developers. But we need also people with business skills – project managers, visionaries and marketing specialist. Everybody with great skills can apply to our event, but we will choose only around 100 best applicants to the event,” explained Ragnar Sass.

Inspiring and supporting environment is an important prerequisite to the birth of new ideas. Business and social network is increasingly important to start a new successful business. Despite that in many countries in Africa the market is huge, tens of millions of people, the IT sector is making its first steps.

According to Ragnar Sass again; while visiting Nigeria and Ghana in March, he met dozens of talented developers. The purpose of the events, in addition to build the local startup community, is to help those talented developers to get connections with successful entrepreneurs in Europe and America.

How does it work?

Garage48 events usually start at 5pm on a Friday evening. All participants gather together in a big room and pitch about 30 to 40 ideas on stage. Each idea is put on the wall and everyone can choose their favorite idea and team. Usually about 12-15 ideas will be selected and teams start working.

If you consider organizing Garage48 event in your country, please contact us info@garage48.org for further details.

Registration and more information for Accra’s maiden event here:  Garage48 Accra

See Map below for direction.

Map of Kofi Annan ICT Center, Accra. Ghana

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