We were in Geneva at the Africa CEO Forum where we met Dr Hischam El Agamy. He shared some tips on how to be a Great Leader. We caught him at the Casablanca room! Here what he has to say! Enjoy!!
The Tanzania brainstorming session took place at the newly opened TanzICT (http://tanzict.or.tz/) in the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology in Dar es Salaam.
It got off to a slow start because of an uncharacteristic downpour that let off enough to let the participants make it out to the venue and then kept on for the rest of the day. Regardless, we had a good crowd come out and heard from some very interesting speakers.
Prof. Adolpho Mascarenhas encouraged us to look at climate change with an open mind, not only as a problem but also as an opportunity for African solutions to take center stage. He encouraged to be curious, to ask questions and in gettting answers tailor the solutions we need to the problems we face. He also reminded the participants that in finding these solutions, in building the right solution, one must not forget the economic equation.
Mr. Yassin Mkwizu, a PHD student specialising in climate change talked about opportunities in the field and how the effects are affecting livelihoods in East African communities. He pointed out the pillars of climate change as being; its science, adaptation and mitigation and about how we as humans are built to adapt and we can do just that to mitigate the effects of climate change on our communities. He ended by reminding the attendees that creating a solution is all well and good but that solution needs to connect to the people that are going to use it.
Ms. Khairoon Abbas talked specifically about climate change and the youth and had a very well crafted presentation to get her point across to the mostly youthful participants. She showed all of us how to work towards living a more sustainable lifestyle. “If everyone lived like the average American, we would need 5 planets,” is one of the eye opening statements in her presentation that was designed to bring youth back to the basics reminding us that you don’t need to own more than one cell phone, you don’t need to have the latest fashion trend because everything has a ‘life cycle’. In purchasing, she encouraged us to consider the life cycle of the product from it’s inception to reaching you, how much energy has been expended to get you a plastic mineral water bottle, then re-consider whether you need to purchase it.
The session ended with the participants abuzz with ideas for applications over a shared meal of mobile shawarmas.
Look through the pictures here
On Friday 21st of October, Dakar, Senegal was the venue for one of the first events for the West Africa Climate Challenge.
Participants gathered at the ESMT International School of Telecommunications in the heart of the city to discuss climate challenges facing Senegal.
The audience came from far and wide. From the public sector, to young people working on environmental issues. Senegalese green activist Adams Tidjani opened the brainstorming session by challenging the attendees with a riveting presentation detailing the challenges faced by Senegal today. Mr. Tijani is the Editor-in-Chief of the website VIE, which informs people about climate change issues. He believes that overcoming the challenges created by climate change in Senegal is more of a mental than physical problem.
Attendees were then divided into three groups – each with it’s own name – to brainstorm on ways in which the Senegalese people can be encouraged to change their behavior.
Group 1 EnvAfrica - This group discussed possible applications for helping people monitor their carbon footprint.
Group 2 Union - This group focused on food security, suggesting an app or social network that will help farmers monitor their food supply.
Group 3 Solidarité - This group suggested a voice application that can send farmers – not all of whom can read and write – mobile phone text messages.
The event was warmly received, many participants said it could have lasted for a week and be held more regularly! It was also agreed upon that software developers need to meet representatives from civil society to share ideas more frequently. Ideas are often not shared between groups. Attendees asked for more to be done in this respect.The A4A team helped participants to register for the contest on the Apps4Africa website and the Director of the ESMT came to encourage them to apply to the contest.
Overall, the Dakar event was a great success as we even had some media coverage from the Senegalese TV represented by Basile Niane at the last minute to cover the Brainstorming.
Video of Mr. Tidjani speaking: http://youtu.be/HXDa9hQ6ZYc
Video of ESMT Director and view on Apps4Africa: http://youtu.be/RuyBHDIvWTw
Marieme is one of the Apps4Africa 2011 organizers. Join her in a special web chat on November 3rd, 2011!
Title: Apps4Africa: Live Web Chat. A Q&A discussion about Climate Change solutions with Mariéme Jamme
Date and Time: November 3rd at 8:30 EDT/ 12:30 GMT
A4A is coming to Dar Es Salaam! An Apps4Africa Brainstorming Session will take place at the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology in Dar Es Salaam on Saturday, the 12th of November, 2011 from 8am to 5pm.
The 2011 Apps4Africa: Climate Challenge builds on the success of the 2010 Apps4Africa: Civic Challenge in which civil society challenged program developers to find innovative technological solutions to everyday problems on issues ranging from transparency and governance to health and education. This year’s challenge is centered around local solutions for climate change.
Winners will receive prizes, including cash awards totaling $25,000 USD, gadgets and travel. Private partners, including TED and Indigo Trust, may contribute technical assistance, prizes, and follow-on support for the new partnerships created by this platform.
The Apps4Africa brainstorming sessions are workshops where software developers, students, policy makers, decision makers and others come together to discuss challenges, propose solutions, and submit their apps and ideas for to the Apps4Africa Climate Challenge.
As the competition in Western Africa continues with us receiving an unprecedented amount of entries, it’s almost time for the competition to begin in Eastern Africa.
The opening event is scheduled for the 19th of October at the iHub in Nairobi. If you would like to attend, please click the link http://apps4africa.eventbrite.com/ to reserve your spot. You, especially, don’t want to miss the winner of last year’s Apps4Africa: Civic Challenge, iCow (http://icow.co.ke/), speak.
See you there.
We’re using Ushahidi’s Crowdmap to keep track of all the Apps4Africa events that will be going on across the continent (and the rest of the world). It’s mostly for fun but if you’d like to keep track of what’s going on and where, this is a resource we’ll keep updated. Some of the event details are sparse right now but will be populated soon!
Visit us at http://apps4africa.crowdmap.com
If you are in Accra, Ghana and interested in entering the Apps4Africa Challenge you’ll likely want to attend the brainstorming session at the Kofi Annan Center of Excellence next month. Apps4Africa brainstorming sessions are workshops where software developers, students, policy makers, decision makers and others come together to discuss challenges, propose solutions and submit their apps to the Apps4Africa Climate Challenge.
Date: 17th and 18th of November
Where: Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT
Day1 - Thursday 17th of November at 1PM till 4PM
Day2 - Friday 18th of November - 10AM till 4PM
Categories for Entry
- Agriculture (Distribution)
- Early Warning and/or Disaster Preparedness
- Resource Management
- Food Security
- Health and Sanitation
Philip Thigo, Jon Gosier (@jongos) and Josh Goldstein (@african_minute), three of the Apps 4 Africa coordinators, will participate in the State Department’s text-only webchat on Friday July 9th at 13:00 GMT at https://statedept.connectsolutions.com/Apps4Africa. Join them to discuss why Apps 4 Africa matters in the East African tech scene, how citizens, mentors and developers can participate, and the bit of fame and fortune forthcoming to the contest winners. See you there!