BarCamp Swaziland: The First Technology BarCamp in the Last Monarchy in Africa
Focus on How Technology Can Benefit Swaziland
Mbabane, Swaziland, June 1, 2009: -- BarCamp Swaziland, the first technology conference in the last monarchy in Africa, will take place on June 27, 2009 in Mbabane, Swaziland. BarCamp Swaziland will bring together technology practitioners in the Kingdom of Swaziland to share and learn in an open environment. BarCamps are participatory workshops whose content is provided by participants. The first BarCamp was held in Palo Alto, California, in 2005. Since then, BarCamps have been held in over 350 cities around the world. Building on the momentum of recent BarCamps on the continent of Africa, BarCamp Swaziland will extend the reach of the BarCamp model to engage dialogue on local technology issues.
Swaziland recently created a new Ministry of ICT, and local technology is rapidly emerging. With 90% of the Swazi population within range of a mobile phone network, the first BarCamp Swaziland will be focused on mobiles. Local youth will be participants and report from the conference – conducting interviews and blogging. BarCamp Swaziland aims to encourage local technology by sharing best practices and building partnerships; identifying technology interests and trends in Swaziland; and providing a platform and opportunity to test the capacity of mobile phones for mobile registration, data collection, and real-time international mobile reporting.
Sabelo Dlamini, board member of the YouthAssets non-profit which aids orphan-headed households, says: “Organizing BarCamp Swaziland is quite an experience. Technology is just coming in to Swaziland. To have all the practitioners together in one place is going to spark new ideas – it will be a powerful event. Right now there is not a local tech community – we want to bring people together.”
Dlamini says much of the BarCamp will likely focus on issues of Internet connectivity, technology business opportunities, legislation, education, and how technology can benefit Swaziland.
YouthAssets (www.youthassets.org), a non-profit which focuses on empowering youth in Southern Africa, is a main sponsor of the event.
For more information on this event, please contact Jennifer Sly at Jennifer@youthassets.org or +1 646 262 2633, or visit: