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iHub By Jessica Colaço / August 17, 2011

Digital futures and African local agricultural content – can you help?


How can digital technology support story telling and other forms of African local agricultural content?

This question wil be discussed next week on Friday the 26th of August,2011 in Nairobi at the iHub by a small group of people, mainly from Eastern and Southern Africa, who work with rural communities encouraging the capture and dissemination of Local Content, that is relevant to rural livelihoods, are meeting along with the iHub tech community to reflect and plan.

For years experimentation has been done with different digital and other ICTs to support that work. One of the issues that sparks interest is how to capture and share narrative – stories – in ways that makes them accessible to communities. It is well known that there are tools already being used – YouTube, iTunes, projects using radio, such as, and loads of others – but they often aren’t easily available in rural areas. People have been experimenting with videos and sound on mobiles, but the capture and exchange of the content is laborious – so expensive – and slow. Things are changing with mobiles so now is a good time to think about different futures.

They are preparing concept notes to attract grant funding since we have all been working in development for years and know there are funders who are interested in this area. But none of us are actively building software platforms or developing new tools so our ideas aren’t driven by a deep grasp of technology.

They would like to present our problems and ideas to a new audience, technical activists – geeks – and hear from some different brains who have a vision of how digital tools are evolving and can be adapted to support people’s livelihoods in rural areas.

They would like to meet people who might be interested in partnering to develop new ideas for prototypes and projects as well as people who are simply interested to exchange ideas.

A Brief Bio on the honored guests

  • Pete Cranston is an ALIN trustee and has been working for the past 25 years at the convergence of knowledge, information, digital technology, international development and learning.  A significant part of his work in the past 10 years has been with tele-centres and local content exchange while his most recent research has been into global social media trends, with special reference to health communications, and the impact of convergent mobile technologies in rural development.
  • Charles Dhewa, a Knowledge Sharing Specialist based in Zimbabwe with a keen interest on helping organisations to document and share their knowledge. Charles has been thinking and writing about the role of narrative in Africa in community and individual sense-making.
  • Roselinie Murota works for the Zimbawean NGO, SAFIRE, which promotes development in rural communities through the sustainable utlisation, commercialisation and management of natural resources.  Rosleinie has been working on integrating Local Content into their programmes, working a lot with women’s groups
  • Ednah Karamagi is the ED and Maria Nakirya a programme manager from BROSDI (Busoga Rural Open Source and Development Initiative) in Uganda. They have been working for seven years collecting, sharing and documenting traditional knowledge in rural communities in several parts of Uganda. BROSDI is known for it’s innovatory approach to the use of ICT and Social Media.
  • The Arid Lands Information Network, based in Nairobi is collaborating in the running of the workshop. ALIN has been working with Local Content and technology for 12 years – and has just become the first African winner of the Gates Foundation ATLA award.
  • With them will be James Nguo, Anthony Mugo and Susan Mwangi from the management team as well two activists from ALIN’s Maarifa Centres – Flora Nzambuli from Mutomo and Francis Kiarahu from Ngarua. Damas Ogwe from Kenta Telecentre Network completes the home team.

To attend this discussion, register here

Author : Jessica Colaço

Jessica Colaço is currently the Director of Partnerships at iHub. She was the Founding Manager between 2010 and 2011 at iHub and Research Director between 2011 and 2013 at iHub Research. She is passionate about Innovation, Research, Mobile and Robotics Technology, Mentorship and Entrepreneurship in Kenya as she uses her position at iHub to court local, regional and international stakeholders to adopt Kenyan-made and African-made solutions. As an upcoming angel investor, she courts local and international investors to invest in great tech ideas and companies at idea and concept stage. She is also a Mobile and Robotics Tech Evangelist, Co-Founder of WMIAfrica and AkiraChix, ISOC-Kenya Chapter, Treasurer, ACM-W Nairobi Chapter Chair, TED Global Fellow 2009 and upcoming Guitarist. She was named one of the top 40 women under 40 years in Kenya's business scene by Business Daily on 2009, 2011 and 2012. Her endeavour is to put Kenya and Africa on the map for technology achievements and spur innovation within the country and continent! She blogs at:

  • Comark at 11:24:32AM Friday, August 19, 2011

    I am looking forward to this discussion concerning story telling and local content generation with respect to the bread basket in Africa.

    There was a small problem with registration on Eventbrite whereby adding to my google calendar automatically sets it to 26 th september instead of 26th august

  • Simon Kihu at 12:53:26PM Friday, August 19, 2011

    I am veterinary epidemiologist developing spatial temporal disease spread models. I am currently looking at spread of goat plague (Peste des petits ruminants) in Turkana County. I am using a SIRCA software model based on PERL.

    I am looking forward to meeting a PERL developer who can execute the SIRCA model software @ Then customize it to my project.

  • Tekedia » Tekedia Unveils Live News: One Site = 21 News Sources. This Is A New News Ecosystem. “” at 02:57:14AM Sunday, August 28, 2011

    [...] Digital futures and African local agricultural content – can you help? [...]


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