HacKIDemia launches crowdfunding campaign to empower Africa’s makers


Afrimakers is an initiative that has just launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo with the aim to inspire and encourage young participants in Africa to solve greater social problems. The idea is pretty straightforward — plant a seed that will encourage and foster social entrepreneurship, digital fabrication and regional collaboration.

This specific project kicks off with the HacKIDemia Makers Box — a toolbox for hands-on learning and inspiration. It’s described as being a mobile invention laboratory and includes tools used to tweak, hack and bend technologies to solve issues.

Through projects such as HacKIDemia, Afrimakers wants African makers to use digital fabrication to solve local challenges.

Seven hubs in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Egypt will each receive one HacKIDemia Maker Box. Each box includes exciting materials and tools necessary for the hands-on workshops in schools.

Some of the exciting tools found in a Maker Box include a Raspberry Pi, which is the world’s cheapest computer and is most popular for being very hack friendly, and for promoting the teaching of basic computer science in schools.

Other devices include an Arduino which is, like a Raspberry Pi, a piece of open-source hardware which means it isn’t constricted to any license. It could be used to record data from any type of sensor (air pollution, humidity, temperature, different types of gasses) or to control any sort of engine, ventilators, or lights remotely. There is also a Microscope, Makey-Makey and a bunch of tools like sensors, lights, cables, batteries and so forth in each box.

Each hub will receive one of these boxes together with recruiting a local team to be trained by HacKIDemia to organise and run hands-on workshops in local private and public schools. Maker fellowships will be offered to members of each team to go and train other hubs and makers in the region and nearby countries.

Afrimakers is currently raising funds with an ultimate goal of US$50 000 on the popular crowdfunding platform Indiegogo until 15 January 2014.

Image via Square Space

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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