Category Archives: Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Event Alert: Barcamp Nairobi ’08 – June 21

Kenya is on the edge of becoming an emerging economy tech hub and is central to African innovation. This can be seen in the increasingly vibrant startup scene and an interest by early tech adopters to experiment in this market. Recently Kenya made encouraging strides in the mobile space and as a sign that the change is here to stay, ten months after opening its regional office in Nairobi, Google launched an online map for Kenya, signaling an improvement in local content generation and innovation.

To strengthen this community, technical professionals, Internet enthusiasts, bloggers, designers and other clever people are coming together at the Jacaranda Hotel, from 10am-5pm for Barcamp Nairobi ‘08 event.

What is a Barcamp?

BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from participants.”

In the spirit of BarCamps worldwide, the event is free and attendees are encouraged to present and participate in the adhoc setting. There are no pre-planned schedule of events, or speakers and the agenda evolves as the day progresses.

You have to be signed up on the Barcamp wiki page but also be sure to check out their Facebook event page.

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Engineering the end of hunger with Jock Brandis

“It makes their work less tedious and increases productivity up to 50 times,” says Brandis. “One machine will work for an entire village, so when we’re talking about 100 machines, we’re not talking about 100 families — we’re talking about 100 villages.”

– Jock Brandis, Full Belly Project

Jock Brandis is the inventor of the Sustainable Peanut Sheller. Jock was on a trip to Mali to fix a small village’s water treatment system where he witnessed the women’s bleeding hands from shelling peanuts all day. He made a mental note and set out to search for a sustainable peanut sheller that would not only mechanize this process but improve the efficiency of the women. Coffee and peanuts out of the husk are 6 times more valuable than in the husk making a significant difference in the revenues the farmers can earn. Brandis’ simple machine can be build by local craftsmen for $28 of locally available material. Brandis refuses to patent the machine and calls it his gift to the world.

CNN did a great portrait on Jock and is available here @ CNN Heroes: Peanut farmers get a big hand from simple device


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Google East African Gadget Competition

Title: ‘Compete to build a Gadget’

Registration Date: Registration opens February 25th; the deadline is March 17th.

Who is it open to: This competition is open to university students across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda,Rwanda, Burundi, and Ethiopia.

Rules:

Participating students will have approximately four months to design and build functioning Google Gadgets either solo or in teams of two.

The competition will provide an opportunity for students to apply theoretical knowledge in a practical, hands-on way, and that a number of the resulting Gadgets will feature regionally-useful content.

Further Details at: http://www.google.com/eagadgetcompetition

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