In 2012 Mark Kaigwa introduced the “Silicon Savannah”, Africa’s dynamic and innovative technology scene, to Berlin during his keynote at re:publica. Technology innovation hubs, like the iHub in Nairobi where Mark Kaigwa lives, are mushrooming around the continent and are playing a central role in the fledgling tech and entrepreurial scene in Africa.
Across Africa, in cities from Cairo to Addis Ababa to Dar es Salaam these “islands of innovation” are being established to foster and promote local technological innovation. These hubs serve as business incubators, meeting places for the local technology community as well as points of knowledge exchange. Their purpose is to encourage collaboration and act as physical nexus points between investors, academia, various technology communities, technology companies, and the wider private sector. Similar developments are taking place in Asia and also South America, co-working spaces and technology hubs, fablabs and hackerspaces are developing and supporting the growth of local communities and technology industries.
In 2013 we are bringing these hubs to re:publica. In cooperation with the GIZ Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit and Afrilabs – a virtual network of African hubs – we will invite hubs from Africa, Asia and Latin America to re:publica and to share their experiences in promoting local tech and business innovation and community building. Amongst the hubs from Africa, all representatives from Afrilabs, a virtual network of African hubs, will be joining. The get together will be the first time all Afrilab members get to meet in person. You can meet all the hub representatives at the Global Innovation Lounge hosted by GIZ and Afrilabs at re:publica 2013! Of course, the topic of technology and innovation in Africa will also be presented on stage at re:publica – we are glad to announce that one of Africa’s most influential bloggers, Erik Hersman, founder of Ushahidi and the iHub will be joining us at re:publica.