Open Collaboration for African Techies
AfriLabs, the African tech hub association, gathers for first annual meeting at re:publica
AfriLabs (afrilabs.com), a pan-African network of 19 technology and innovation hubs in 13 African countries, is convening for its first annual meeting on Saturday, May 4thin the lead up to re:publica. At this event— Europe’s largest conference on internet and society in Berlin— AfriLabs and GIZ are hosting a global gathering of hubs to stimulate networking, knowledge exchange and collaboration. AfriLabs’ pre-re:publica meeting will provide a unique opportunity for the network to chart the way forward as a community.
“The AfriLabs community is excited to convene for the first time as a network in Berlin, and participate in re:publica,” says Director Tayo Akinyemi. “This is an unprecedented opportunity for us to connect with one another and with a global community of innovators. All are welcome to join us at the Global Innovation Lounge—“hub central” for re:publica—to meet AfriLabs, engage with hubs across the globe, and contribute to the dialogue.”
Africa has witnessed a growing number of tech hubs, each of which serves as a physical nexus for developers, entrepreneurs, and investors, emerge across the continent. In response to this trend, AfriLabs was founded in 2010 by five entrepreneurs active in the hub space —Bart Lacroix, Co-Founder of NaiLab and the 1%CLUB, Ben White, Co-Founder of VC4Africa and Board Member of ActivSpaces, Bill Zimmerman, Co-Founder of ActivSpaces and VC4Africa, Erik Hersman, Co-Founder of iHub and Ushahidi, and Jon Gosier, Founder of Appfrica and Hive Colab—who believed that bringing African hubs together to learn and collaborate would enable them to maximize impact within their local ecosystems and affect change at a regional and pan-African level.
With initial support from Hivos, AfriLabs is working to facilitate knowledge-sharing and collaboration inside the network and beyond. AfriLabs is also partnering with infoDev and four East African tech hubsto pilot virtual incubation in the region. In addition to consolidating the network, AfriLabs seeks to expand. With over 90 hubs on the African continent, there is significant scope for growing the community. In t hat spirit, AfriLabs welcomes six new members to the network: CTIC Dakar (Senegal), The District (Egypt), kLab (Rwanda), icecairo (Egypt), iLab Nairobi (Kenya), and m:lab (Kenya), and hopes to invite many more in the coming months.
The AfriLabs looks forward to engaging with the global community of innovators in Berlin @re:publica from May 5th-8th. Please visit the re:publica website to learn more.
Geraldine de Bastion
M: +49 1799975766
About the Partners:
AfriLabs is a pan-African network of technology and innovation hubs. Each hub serves as a nexus for technologists, investors, tech companies and web/mobile engineers in its community. AfriLabs was formed to support these hubs and bolster technology as a platform for entrepreneurship and innovation. afrilabs.com
What started as a “class reunion” of bloggers, Internet activists, and researchers has become Germany’s and Europe’s largest and most prominent conference on the future of our society and all things digital. Unlike other conferences which focus on marketing and the usual “show and tell”, re:publica brings together communities, leading thinkers of our time with activists and engaged organizations to share experiences. re:publica attracts over 4,000 participants but has preserved an open and familiar atmosphere. re:publica works with national and international cooperation partners and attracts renowned speakers such as Lawrence Lessig and Jeff Jarvis. As Berlin is currently the hot spot for creative Internet industries in Europe, re:publica also offers an ideal floor to meet with start-ups, IT and creative industry representatives and funders. www.re-publica.de
About GIZ -An innovative partner for the global challenges of tomorrow
The wide range of services offered by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für InternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH are based on a wealth of regional and technical expertise and on tried and tested management know-how. GIZ is a German federal enterprise and offers workable, sustainable and effective solutions in political, economic and social change processes. GIZ operates throughout Germany and in more than 130 countries worldwide and has than 17,000 staff members around the globe, some 70% of whom are employed locally as national personnel. GIZ’s business volume was about EUR 2 billion as at 31 December 2011. www.giz.de
This blog is a resource for news, project updates, member profiles and community events at ActivSpaces, an open collaboration space, innovation hub and startup incubator for African techies. Based in Buea, Cameroon.