Wits University to Host Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival 2015

Wits University will be hosting the second Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival in conjunction with the City of Johannesburg spanning over three weeks during August and September.

The 2015 festival will be held at the Tshimologong Innovation Hub in Braamfontein and will include a spectacular audiovisual laser performance on the opening night. The festival is aimed at programmers, artists, digital entrepreneurs, gamers, musicians, 3D makers, dancers, choreographers, and hackers and just about anyone wanting access to inspiring digital innovation.

In a statement, Prof Christo Doherty, co-founder and Director of the Fak’ugesi: African Digital Innovation Festival and Head of Digital Arts at Wits University: “Africa needs innovation and the tremendous possibilities of digital will be the basis for an explosion of technological and artistic innovation. We are offering participants an excellent opportunity to learn, network and play again. The 2014 Fak’ugesi Digital Africa Festival was a great success and we are looking forward to another stimulating programme focused on digital innovation through the fusion of technology and creative arts.”

Doherty says that the 2015 programme will bring together top African, South African, and international talent adding that previously they have had excellent talent exchanges with the Goethe-Institut; British Council; French Institute, and Pro Helvetia and many more exciting events lined up.

The opening event at the historic Alexander Theatre will feature a live audiovisual laser performance by Robert Henke entitled Lumiere II. Henke is an artist working from Berlin in the fields of audiovisual installation, music and performance.

“I am very excited to come to South Africa. It will be my first time and I only have a vague idea what to expect. Lumière is about rhythm, about perception of time, about repetition and change. A lot of music, which is important to me, has been hugely influenced by African music. The American minimalists inspire me, and also there is a connection between some types of early techno music and African rhythms and instrumentations. Thus, bringing Lumière to South Africa is in a way closing a circle, and then hopefully turning it into a spiral that repeats and evolves.” said Henke.

Dr. Norbert Spitz, Regional Director Goethe-Institut South Africa says: ”We are proud to continue our partnership with the Fak’ugesi: African Digital Innovation Festival in 2015, by presenting an extraordinary audiovisual laser performance of Berlin based artist Robert Henke, which will explore the limits of what can be done with computer generated sound and laser technique.”

The event is also open to digital artists and game developers from all over the continent to the 4th AMAZE Games and Playful Media Festival in Johannesburg, which will also be part of Fak’ugesi Festival.

The Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival will run from 21 August to 13 September in Braamfontein.  For more information about the events of the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival go to www.fakugesi.co.za

Kenyan, Ghanaian startups invited to apply for Ye! Social Enterprise Boost Camp

Social entrepreneurs from Kenya and Ghana – along with the Philippines – are invited to apply for the Ye! Social Enterprise Boost Camp, a week-long acceleration and networking event taking place in the Netherlands in October.

The Ye! Social Enterprise Boost Camp will give startups the opportunity to receive intensive training on startup acceleration, network with European entrepreneurs and pitch to investors.

Ten startups will be selected from each country, with Ye! offering two full scholarships, covering return flights, lodging and participation fees for the Boost Camp, and eight partial scholarships, covering return flights and lodging. Those on partial scholarships will need to pay EUR300 (US$330) participation for the Boost Camp.

Those wishing to apply must sign up for a Ye! account online, submit a pitch video of a maximum duration of two minutes, and then promote the video and encourage people to vote for it. The deadline is July 31.

The 30 finalists will be announced in September, with Ye! seeking social businesses providing innovative solutions, particularly in the fields agriculture, education, IT, health and clean energy.