Africa has been underrepresented at Scratch conferences to date. At Scratch2013BCN we had Dorsaf Benna from Tunisia presenting a poster, at Scratch2015AMS we had an ignite presentation on Moroccan Cod Cod Codet program. We hope this year will bring much more. As African Scratchers use the offline version, they are underrepresented in the online Scratch community. During 2016 we heard some amazing stories of African Scratchers.
Taryn Basel, a teenager from South Africa, is creating new ways of Scratch usage while making movies with her peers. Check her out on Scratch, or see how she joined Mitch Resnick on the ScratchMIT2016 stage.
We learned about Mercy Ngoiri of warefab.com Nairobi. Her crowdfunding campaign for Scratch-n-sketch didn’t made it. That suprrised me, as it was an interesting yet affordable extension for Scratch. What suprised me even more was that she persevered and made the product anyway! I’m pretty sure Mercy has some relevant stories to share with us.
There’s more from Africa that we could learn from, like this TED talk by Kwabena Boahen: Making a computer that works like the brain, in which he suggests to bring more from Africa into the computer.
We could have chosen to invite just the mentioned people as speakers for plenary sessions, but as many more people were suggested, we chose to facilitate a meeting where the Africans can work out for themselves how they would like to participate in the Bordeaux conference.
Friday April 28 and Saturday April 29 there will be a small Scratch conference in Nairobi, Kenya. A pan-African Scratch educators meetup with the following goals (in order):
- have fun while exchanging stories and tinkering with code and hardware
- come up with a plan for Bordeaux conference on how best to facilitate the African voice to be heard
- sow some seeds for strengthening the Scratch family on the African continent
Please get in touch if you want to connect with that meeting.