A few years ago I saw Gregor posting on Twitter about a trip to explore the East African tech scene. This was about the time when I started to hear more about the emerging African tech hubs. Which was surprising to me because until then I was actually pretty ignorant and had no idea what was going on in that part of the world. My view of Africa was mostly shaped by the general narrative we see in the western news, learn in school and the billboard advertisements of some NGOs. Prejudices imagining poverty (defined by a low GDP), malaria, safari tours, and everything but booming, creative tech and innovation hubs. :)
So when I heard about Gregor’s idea of an AfricaHackTrip I got super excited and wanted to join and learn more about what is going on there. And I am very greateful that I got a chance to become part of the AfricaHackTrip team.
What is the AfricaHackTrip?
The AfricaHackTrip is basically a bunch of developers and designers from Europe exploring the East African tech scene. Before we had been working with people from all over the world, but not yet with hackers from Africa. We were curious and we changed that.
At the same time we also wanted to share our experiences with our local communities in Europe and kick off a continuous exchange.
Part of that plan was to shot a video and to do interviews to learn from people we met exploring the tech ecosystem of East Africa.
It took us ages to finish the movie but it is finally here! \o/
The trip was already a few years ago and a lot has happened since then as the tech ecosystems have been growing super fast and have gained more attention. But the topic is very relevant and many still belive the narrative of the Africa of the 80s and 90s. I hope the movie and all the projects that happend and happen related to the AfricaHackTrip help a bit to change that.
The 30 minutes documentary contains material from the barcamps and hackathons in Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali and Dar es Salaam and a lot of interviews with some of the incredible people we met.
You are invited to the movie screening on August 5th in Berlin at the Mozilla offices - or if you have a good excuse and can not make it, here you can watch it online:
We have more clips on the website and here is even more around that topic, partly with material and content from the AfricaHackTrip:
- African Webmuses - portraits of women in tech that the AfricaHackTrip team met during the trip
- Africa’s Hackers - Africa’s Hackers - A Giant Leap | Global 3000
- Drones, robots, mobile payments - Africa’s growing digital business
The whole trip was self-funded but GitHub (who also joined) and Mozilla supported the events and the generous contributions of our patient supporters made the movie possible. Thank you so much for your support!!
I also want to mention that this is nothing special and I encourage everybody to do the same and simply go there and learn. If you’re interested in tech or even work remotely you should really consider a trip and work a while from one of the tech hubs there. ( that is assuming you’re from Europe or the US… because we are extremely priviliged to be able to do that as our unfair visa requirements in the EU/US sadly make doing an EuroHackTrip like we did the AfricaHackTrip next to impossible. Please hear Jasper Grosskurth’s interview on that.)
Thank you so much and I am looking forward to your thoughts.