Tech4Africa turns five. Feels all grown up and SxSW like.
In 2006 when founder Gareth Knight first conceived of Tech4Africa, his vision was to bring SxSW to Africa, so that people wouldn’t have to travel to Austin to soak up the knowledge, inspiration and networking it is well known for.
2010 saw the first event in Johannesburg, and, next week the 5th event will be held in South Africa’s biggest city. Tech4Africa is also in its 4th African city, having been to Nairobi, Lagos and Cape Town so far.
Says Knight: “I’m proud to say that this is the first year where I believe we’re well on our way to being the SxSW of Africa. Because we’ve been able to get the community to submit 258 talks and vote over 14 000 times, we’re able to put out a schedule with 85 speakers in 10 rooms, over two very full days. There’s something for everyone.”
In addition to that, Tech4Africa is putting on a space for people to showcase the weird and wonderful things they are working on – a hacker space, a demo area, a cloud room for people interested in leveraging the cloud, a space for 3d printers, vacuum formers, robots, flying things, solar & green innovations, an electronics showcase, and a BYO (Bring Your Own) product showcase for anyone to demo their products.
Tech4Africa places extra emphasis on networking and social interaction, so, as in previous years, there will be an after party both evenings, and delegates can expect the coffee to be free!
Says Knight: “This year we’ve grown our reach substantially by going to Nairobi, Lagos and Cape Town, and next week in Johannesburg we’re expecting to see 570 people, so it’s going to be fun!”.