Interview with Gertrude Goh from the Africa Makerspaces Network

Interview with Gertrude Goh from the Africa Makerspaces Network

The Africa Makerspace Network seeks to harmonize all makerspaces under one umbrella for growth and sustainable development in Africa. They achieve this by researching and contacting makerspaces in Africa, building makers' businesses, technical and entrepreneurial capacity, and enhancing prototype-to-product development and manufacturing. In this interview while in Berlin, Gertrude Gosh explains the Africa Makerspace Network and her work with Kumasi Hive in Ghana. https://youtu.be/_MhbhGWfkyo ...
Read More
The r0g_ way or the hard way

The r0g_ way or the hard way

  On a sunny Monday afternoon, wandering through the streets of Charlottenburg, quietly tucked away on Knobelsdorffstrasse directly near Schloss Char  lottenburg lies r0g_agency, co-directed by longtime friends of GIG, Stephen Kovats and Susanne Bellinghausen.  “open culture” is plastered on the window in bold yellow lettering that if the sun hits it directly, it reflects perfectly over the white arched walls inside, further echoing core values of r0g_: accessibility, innovation, and peacebuilding. r0g_agency works with local grassroots organizations in the Global South to support openness within a developmental context.  As we walk through the front doors, we are warmly welcomed by our hospitable host, Stephen, and their summer intern from the University of Alberta, Lisa. Looking around, the walls are decorated with various educational materials, including a mock game board highlighting the dangers of irregular migration and the struggles migrants often face.  Currently, the list of ongoing projects is somehow interconnected and related to one another. From counteracting online incitement to violence with #defyhatenow...
Read More
Labmobile: on the road in Northern Uganda

Labmobile: on the road in Northern Uganda

Young people between the ages of 18 and 30 in Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement and surrounding communities in northern Uganda face many problems, two of which GIG and Platform Africa proposed a project that seeks to address: Youth unemployment and lack of media literacy. With a youth unemployment rate of almost 70% and a high percentage of people who could not complete their school education but were traumatized by war and flight as schoolchildren, misinformation often leads to outbreaks of violence. Tensions have increased over the past year, particularly following the Ugandan government's restrictive measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and the World Food Program's (WFP) simultaneous 30% cut in food rations for refugees. Platform Africa foundation was in 2017 in Uganda by South Sudanese refugees. It is a non-profit organization that supports young people of all nationalities, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations through capacity-building programs (SDG 4). It focuses on media skills development, entrepreneurship, social-technological innovation, and establishing an open, peaceful...
Read More
#BorgaLife: Our Innovators and Migration project is coming to a close

#BorgaLife: Our Innovators and Migration project is coming to a close

Over the course of the past six months we implemented our project “Young Innovators: Using Digital Media to inform about Regular and Irregular Migration Issues”. Together with our partner organisations Kumasi Hive, Impact Hub Accra and Wikimedia Ghana User Group and with the support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, we aimed at improving the information base on business and knowledge exchange related travel for young Innovators. Globally about 28.2 million international migrants are aged 15 to 24 and live outside their birth country for various reasons (United Nations, 2017) and the issues of innovation, technology and migration are mentioned in 9 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), reflecting their significance in economic development and advancing people’s lives (IOM, 2018). Young people’s migration has a crucial role in fostering innovation. Their movements does not only improve their personal potential and capabilities, but contribute to creating opportunities for those around them (UN Development Program, 2009), bringing knowledge and new...
Read More
i4Policy Task Force Meeting

i4Policy Task Force Meeting

After the convention of hubs organized last year by i4Policy, during which innovation community leaders from across Africa co-created the Africa Innovation Policy Manifesto, the first meeting of the Africa Innovation Policy Task Force took place at Impact Hub Kigali in Rwanda.  i4Policy is a pan-African movement gathering over 140 Innovation Hubs from 43 African countries. The 21 members of the Task Force include several GIG members: Sheila Birgen of iHub, Kenya; Markos Lemma of iceaddis, Ethiopia; and, Jaiksana Soro of Platform Africa, South Sudan & Uganda. Jon Stever of The Office & Impact Hub Kigali in Rwanda hosted the meeting and convened the task force as lead of the i4Policy secretariat. I was invited to take part in both the 2018 and 2019 events as an observer - and I did observe history in the making! https://twitter.com/i4policy/status/1127263908551692290 After three intense and long days of co-creation to update the Manifesto (one evening ended after 3am!), the Task Force presented a new outline of...
Read More
Meeting your neighborhood friends, activists and makers – open:fora at r0g Agency

Meeting your neighborhood friends, activists and makers – open:fora at r0g Agency

Together with Open Source Ecology Germany e.V., and with the support of the Guerrilla Foundation and GIGgers in Berlin we from r0g Agency held our first open:fora 'street meet' … a rather spontaneous artistic and cultural action intended to complement the week of re:publica. At a time where we felt that cultural activism and open culture is being subverted by a growing political rejection of societal freedoms we ran a series of thematic events and cocktails bringing our friends and colleagues from the open tech and culture communities, artists and social activists together to zoom in on specific projects and stories we are working on. It was a great opportunity to meet new and old friends and get their feedback on new initiatives, such as the Migrant Media Network (MMN). Based on our #defyhatenow initiative in South Sudan, MMN, conceived by our colleague Thomas G. Kalunga, focuses on social media as a peacebuilding and migrant information system. Piloting with Ghanaian...
Read More
Calculative Making: The Fear of Failure in Kenya’s Makerspaces

Calculative Making: The Fear of Failure in Kenya’s Makerspaces

When I first entered a makerspace in Nairobi in 2016, I was surprised that most people were sitting in front of their computers. My imagination of a messy makerspace where everyone tinkers with 3D printers and materials to build clumsy prototypes was disenchanted. A makerspace is a collaborative workshop equipped with tools and machines to process various materials. Contrary to the origins of makerspaces in hacker and do-it-yourself cultures that are aimed at an anti-capitalist appropriation of mass-produced goods (Maxigas 2012), the contemporary global phenomenon of emerging makerspaces focuses predominantly on entrepreneurial workplaces providing access to digital fabrication machinery like laser cutters, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines, and 3D printers. Nairobi’s first makerspace – the epicenter of my three-year ethnographic research - joins the chorus of celebrating digital machinery for the development of cutting-edge prototypes to attract investment. On a state level, developing and innovating technology is seen as a path-breaking driver of national development in Kenya and as a historic moment for...
Read More
Digital, transparent and self-determined: development cooperation can do more

Digital, transparent and self-determined: development cooperation can do more

An outdated self-understanding prevents Europe from working with developing countries towards a common digital future. Europe, the fortress that everyone wants to storm. A Europe whose values and economy must be protected against immigrants from Africa and other parts of the world. This is the rhetoric that the leading development politicians are applying in Germany today: "Europe's fate and future is decided on the African continent," said Development Minister Gerd Müller in the Presse Release about the Marshall Plan with Africa of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Unfortunately, this does not mean that Africa is becoming increasingly important as a business partner and engine for digital innovation. Instead, their concern is about ensuring that jobs are created in Africa and that we limit the effects of climate change to prevent millions of people from migrating to Europe. As response to the provocative question: "Are hundreds of thousands sitting on packed suitcases in Africa?" posed by the BZ-Journalist, Günter...
Read More
Emancipation through Technology in Africa 4.0

Emancipation through Technology in Africa 4.0

Geraldine de Bastion, radio interview Africa produces an amazing number of technical developments and applications for technical developments, according to Geraldine de Bastion, curator of re:publica and founder of the NGO Global Innovation Gathering. For the Arte documentation " 'Digital Africa', she reports in a cross-media project on mobile payment in the countryside, drones to monitor the harvest, 3D printers that supply spare parts and traffic control robots. According to de Bastion, many young people in African countries took the opportunity to innovate so that they no longer have to be petitioners in their own countries. Jan 25, 2019 – SWR2, Geraldine de Bastion: Emanzipation durch Technik im Afrika 4.0 | [Engl: Emancipation through technology, Africa 4.0] | Download audio (4,43 MB | mp3 | German) ...
Read More
GIG @ re:publica Accra 2018

GIG @ re:publica Accra 2018

re:publica Accra, the very first re:publica conference held in Africa, took place on 14-15th December 2018 at the Trade Centre in Accra, Ghana and was attended by over 2000 people from 32 countries. 1st @republica in Africa was a blast. More than 2000 attendees came to Ghana to debate the rising digital society. 274 spokesperson, 110 Hours of program. It was hot, exciting and mindblowing. I learned so much about Africa! Thank you everyone who was involved doing it. #RpAccra pic.twitter.com/RcBpAHSSYV — netzpolitik (@netzpolitik) December 15, 2018 GIG was a supporter for this African edition of re:publica. Many GIGers were among the curation & organizing team as well as speakers. GIG also  hosted the makerspace through Kumasi Hive. Kudzai M Mubaiwa (iZone Hub, Zimbabwe), Nanjira Sambuli (World Wide Web Foundation, Kenya) and Jorge Appiah (Kumasi Hive, Ghana) curated the tracks around the topics ‘Business and Innovation’, Politics and Society’ and ‘Science and Education’. Nanjira Sambuli gave the first keynote speech right after the opening...
Read More