The official Arduino blog describes Afrimakers as an initiative “born to inspire young African Makers and plant the seed of local change through social entrepreneurship, digital fabrication and regional collaboration.”
Afrimakers is backed by HacKIDemia, which recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to help create Maker workshops focused on local challenges in 7 key locations: Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Egypt.
“Learning by doing and by playing comes natural to children as they have an innate curiosity,” explained HacKIDemia founder Stefania Druga. “With HacKIDemia hands-on workshops we try to encourage and develop that curiosity and give them tools to transform their dreams into reality. The sooner they start the better.”
Olamide Oladeji, Google ambassador to Universities in Nigeria, expressed similar sentiments.
“My overall goal for the workshops is to imbue permanently the maker culture in many young Nigerians. I hope we can train over 1000 young Nigerians before the end of 2014 to come up with tens of innovative, cost-effective solutions such as intelligent light control, solar lamps, water purifiers, etc. for some of the Nigerian problems afore-listed. Another goal of mine is to have participants learn and make devices which largely incorporate recycled, harmless, e-waste, thus saving costs.”
As part of the initiative, each of the above-mentioned locations is slated to receive a Maker kit packed with equipment, including Atmel-based Arduino Uno (ATmega328) boards. Meanwhile, a local team will be recruited and trained by HacKIDemia to organize and run hands-on workshops in local private and public schools.
Two locations in Africa have already been funded. Check out the project’s official Indiegogo page to learn how you can help!