Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 about Africa

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Monday 12th March 2012

  • Street-Level Genius: An African Maker Safari

    by Anita Pyke, Juliana Rotich, John Kidenda and Steve Daniels

    From bicycle-powered mobile phone chargers to a helicopter built from an old Honda Civic and the remains of a crashed 747, Africa has been producing a unique strain of innovators long before the maker movement started trending in the US. With projects ranging from the practical (DIY biofuel systems), to the whimsical (home-made robots), street-level makers in the most resource-poor communities show time and again that the only essential materials for innovation are ingenuity and ambition. This example-filled panel discussion will be fun, eye-opening and inspirational. Come and see what lessons constraint-based innovation holds for us all.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Monday 12th March

    In Maximilian, Driskill Hotel

  • iVision Africa: New Media's Role in Reframing Africa

    by Ngozi Odita and Jepchumba Thomas

    Africa is more than AIDS, poverty, civil strife and safaris. With the ever-increasing access to digital tools Africans on the continent and all over the world are using the web to farm a new vision of Africa in the 21st Century. Social media platforms amplify and help spread this “new take” on the continent, both enabling Africans to tell their own stories and offering an alternative to mainstream media’s coverage of Africa. Ultimately, using new media Africans can and are becoming the architects of what very well may be a new “African Renaissance.” This Core Conversation will discuss how Africans are using the mobile and social web, what sort of content is being produced and what are the messages being communicated. This conversation will also examine new media’s social and economic impact as it relates to Africa.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Monday 12th March

    In Capitol View North, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • Your Technology and the Conflict in Congo

    by Sarah Fretwell

    We love the latest technology. Computers, phones, and cameras can enhance our lives. But are we aware of the true cost? In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a war for access to mineral-rich land is being waged on the bodies of girls and women. This war is directly linked to our technology consumption. The sale of minerals for our electronics– Tantalum, Tin, Tungsten, and Gold- fuels the fighting in the DRC. Conditions are so bad that a girl or woman is raped every minute. The war is being funded today by our use of these minerals because consumers have not taken a stand. We need and want technology, but at what price? Join Sarah Fretwell of The Truth Told project as she shares stories and images from her intensive research trip to the DRC. Learn from her experiences and resources to become an educated technology consumer. Making a difference doesn't mean giving up technology. Become an advocate for conflict-free electronics.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 12th March

    In Salon D, AT&T Conference Center

    Coverage audio clip

  • Africa, Tech & Women: The New Faces of Development

    by Isis Nyong'o, Liz Ngonzi, Ebele Okobi, Deborah Ensor and TMS Ruge

    This panel provides a rare glimpse into the multitude of ways African women are applying technology to advance Africa’s development. The panel aims to dispel the myths about African women as breeders and victims -- incapable of participating in their own continent’s development, by: (1) showcasing contributions they are making in the technology field – through entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and community leadership; and (2) providing insights into how they are using technology to raise awareness about, mobilize campaigns against and address human rights violations.

    The panel will specifically explore how African women are using technology to make an impact through:
    - Digital advocacy to protect people’s rights
    - Social media to help grassroots organizations engage new supporters worldwide
    - Mobile advertising to enable small businesses to access new markets
    - Internet connectivity to integrate the often unheard community voices into the global conversation on development

    Throughout the discussion, panelists will provide anecdotes on how the resulting increased access to information is altering the role of women in African society.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Monday 12th March

    In Salon D, AT&T Conference Center

Tuesday 13th March 2012

  • Women Drive Change: Tech in the Global South

    by Zawadi Nyong'o, Kara Andrade, Emily Jacobi, Jenn Sramek and Catherine Harrington

    The use of technology by women in the Global South is growing fast!

    From Africa to South America to Southeast Asia, women in the Global South are using technology tools in new and creative ways with astounding results. Teen girls and senior citizens alike are finding the freedom to use technology to let their voices be heard, to foster an independent living, and to bring about revolution.

    Women in the Global South are using advanced tactics and tools to:

    • Gain support to achieve their right to drive in Saudi Arabia
    • Advance human rights, sexual and reproductive rights and health, governance, and sustainable development in East Africa
    • Raise awareness about corrective rape and other hate crimes against lesbians in South Africa
    • Do Community mapping of sexual violence and harassment in Egypt
    • Mobilize support for women’s representation in leadership positions
    • Organize to topple political leadership

    Sophisticated and coordinated social media campaigns are becoming the domain of women all over the world.

    We will talk about what this means for women in the Global South, how their online personas might differ from real-world personas in societies where women have fewer rights, and where technology tools need to go next in order to meet their specific needs.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Salon E, AT&T Conference Center

    Coverage audio clip