Africa Open Science and Hardware Summit Heads to East Africa in 2019!

Jenny Molloy Events, GOSH! News Leave a Comment

Africa Open Science and Hardware (Africa OSH) Community is excited to announce Dar es Salaam, Tanzania as the next host of the Africa OSH Summit. Africa OSH 2019 will be the second edition of the summit, and the first time the event would be hosted in East Africa. It would be held in April 2019. Final dates would be confirmed.

‘Dar’ is Tanzania’s largest city, known for its arts, culture, and tourism. It also holds the distinction of being the biggest Swahili-speaking city in the world, with excellent international outlook. The University of Dar es Salaam and other great institutions of higher learning are situated in the city, making it a hub for learning, innovation, and enterprise. Tanzania, like many countries in Africa, has a growing technology and innovation community, driven by young entrepreneurs and creatives, many of whom are affiliated with local innovation hubs.

The local host for Africa OSH 2019, STICLab, is a makerspace particularly focused on developing technical, scientific and engineering solutions to social and industrial problems, utilizing locally available resources as much as possible. This philosophy ties in with the goal of the Africa OSH movement – creating an alternative path to education, research, scholarly communication and manufacturing through an ecosystem for innovation that is locally adapted, culturally relevant, technologically feasible, economically viable, and environmentally sustainable.

Co-Founder of STICLab Valerian Sanga on receiving the news reacted:

STICLab is excited and dedicated to host the summit with no compromise in quality and content, believing that this is the perfect event to foster the process of closing the technology gap through a proper utilization of Open Science and Hardware as well as promoting innovations that provide solutions to the local problems around our communities. It has come at the right time, a time where Africa needs to have its own made solutions tailored to our African environment.

The maiden edition of Africa OSH Summit was hosted by Kumasi Hive in Ghana’s ‘Garden City’, Kumasi, from 13 to 15 April 2018. The groundbreaking event brought together about 80 technologists, researchers, students, and innovators from 22 countries and five continents. The programme featured presentations, panel discussions, and workshops covering open hardware, DIY Biology, education, open access, field biology, innovation, health, policy and sustainability. Aside its rich content and educational value, Africa OSH 2018 was very interactive, engaging, and dynamic, fostering many friendships and collaborations. A key outcome of the summit was the contextualisation of Global Open Science Hardware Roadmap for Africa, initiating a process of africanizing open science and hardware. The three day summit also set the pace for initiatives that are advancing the agenda of making open science and hardware relevant to Africa and making African open initiatives ubiquitous to the rest of the world. The launch of the AfricArcxiv pre-print server to help African researchers to quickly share their work is a case in point.

I believe that open science is a catalyst for sustainable development. This idea is not reduced to technology; the community is the most important aspect. That is why for the first Africa OSH in Ghana, we learned from our father Kwame Nkrumah and launched a pan-African conversation around Open Science and Hardware. For the next step, it is crucial to consolidate, educate and empower our community. For this purpose, it is so brilliant for AfricaOSH to learn from Tanzania by exploring Ujamaa taught by Mwalimu Julius Nyerere – Thomas Herve Mboa Nkoudou, Co-Organiser of Africa OSH and President of Association for the Promotion of Open Science in Haiti and Africa (APSOHA).

Africa OSH has built considerable momentum since its inception. The enthusiasm and tangible contributions of the community evidences the importance of adopting open science and hardware in our bid to advance socio-economic development through science, technology, and innovation.

About Africa Open Science and Hardware Summit
Africa OSH is a movement geared towards promoting the adoption and utilisation of open science and hardware in Africa. The founding partners are Kumasi Hive, Association for the Promotion of Open Science in Haiti and Africa (APSOHA), The Exploratory, and Global Lab Network. We have received support from Gathering for Open Science Hardware (GOSH), Makery, PLOS, OverLeaf, Global Innovation Gathering (GIG), Open Air, r0g and Prac-Science Lab.


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