If you happened to be in Johannesburg just before Christmas, you might well have caught one of our favourite events of the year: the first Maker Faire Africa. It was a celebration of all that’s awesome about maker culture and hacker hardware, from 3D printers to brick making machines to Arduino work and more.
The good news is that it’s coming back this year: and it’s going to be much bigger and better than before.
Organiser Omar-Pierre Soubra says that he’s planning to bring makers from the US, Europe and as far afield as China.
While the three days of Maker Faire will be filled with demonstrations from local and international makers and celebrations of maker culture, the conference will have three key themes, says Soubra.
The first element will be to look at the business of making; Soubra says he wants to help people understand that there are real, commercial opportunities out there. The second is aimed at helping to develop a curriculum that can be used to introduce maker tools and concepts into schools, and the third is focussing on making to solve social issues.
Soubra says that while the maker community in South Africa is strong, a high profile event like Maker Faire can help to expand.
“What I want to help is the perception among parents and the people with money is that making things is about treadmill – the global trend is that everyone wants their kids to enrol in science and STEM schools.”
If you want to attend here are some useful links for you: