Notes from the Maker Faire Africa 2009 in Accra, Ghana from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th August.
Follow the MFA09 aggregator on Maneno.
The event was a journey and a collective effort
People that came here are
- people that understand – Africa really needs to take off
This is a networking opportunity, especially for Africans
The event is about
what already already appears, fostering entrepreneurship, but also having fun
Makers Show & Tell
William Kamkwamba – created a windmill producing electricity on his own in rural Malawi
- movie: moving windmills
- you have to start with a first step
- hopefully we come up with finding out about innovations as great until Sunday
Where did the idea come from?
- 2001 – hunger in Malawi, no money for going on to school
- -> reading books to keep up with colleagues, especially diagrams
- picture of windmill
- got stuff from the scrap place and just started building one
- Later – applying knowledge acquired from travel to the US – building a bigger windmill to pump water
What happens if something breaks?
- Williams cousin knows how to repair stuff
- more people want to learn it, one already built an own working windmill
Where do the things come from?
- most things are locally available
- short term: teaching people
- long term: commercial company
IDDS – refridgerator team
Notes from IDDS final presentation
How was working with the community?
- was the greates part, many ideas/advice, great feedback
- they tried stuff out and helped in testing -> fostered innovation
Which design principles?
- Direct feedback by endusers
- Letting users see and try it – exploring & improving
Pat – multi machine
Nowadays everything has to be built using a machine tool – which are very expensive
- device which is easy to build
- combines several machine tools
- using old (from 1830s) technology
- anybody can build it
There are no actual plans but there is a DVD with instruction -> which is handed out for free
Feedback of people?
- it’s built all over the world
- the machine can be used for virtually anything
- now working on a treadle mechanism
Q & A
William: what were the difficulties with the first prototype?
- didn’t convince the community, only the family
- had to get the old bicycle of his father
Pat: which website?
- Yahoo group: multimachine newsgroup
IDDS team: where is everything documented?
William: things that didn’t work and had to be redone?
- couple of things: eg bicycle chain went off all the time
William: what are the costs for a windmill and how many people does it serve?
- about 50$, Williams family can live from it & it is used for charging mobile phones
- Pat: Persistence is vital
- IDDS team: Sometimes the problem has to be reformulated
Amy Smith – founder of IDDS, D-Lab
Involving everybody in a design activity
5 water sachets -> build something from it!
Various solutions of the teams