Bring Africa ‘into the Digital Age’

Digital technology is expected to play a major role in Africa’s Century and in recognition of this, the University of the Witwatersrand will host its inaugural Fak’ugesi:Image

Digital Africa Festival, from 11 August to mid-September.

The festival will showcase all things digital. Organisers say it will bolster the significant synthesis between technology, art and critical thinking within the digital technology domain.

If Africa wants to succeed in the digital sphere, it needs to play a key role in becoming a source of digital technology as opposed to being simply a consumer.

By doing this, Africa will be able to establish itself as a leader and innovator in the digital technology space.

Prof Barry Dwolatzky, the director of the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) at Wits and a co-founder of the festival, says:

“It is where digital hardware meets digital software and digital content, where the sweet spot lies for us to make our mark.

There is huge room for us to innovate and do great things to change the world.”

Digital technology and the Rise of Africa are two major forces shaping the 21st century, Dwolatzky says.

Image“If Africa is to achieve its expected economic prominence, Africans will need to become major innovators and developers of digital technology.

It lies at the heart of the ways in which we manage our lives and run our companies, cities and countries.”

Fak’ugesi is Zulu street slang for “switch on the electricity” or “shine more light”.

Dwolatzky elaborates: “As a name for the festival, the phrase emphasises the energy and excitement of the forces of Africa and digital technology, which the festival will draw upon and magnify.

“The Fak’ugesi: Digital Africa Festival is an umbrella event, aimed at coordinating and curating a number of standalone conferences, exhibitions, workshops, short courses and other activities to promote the fusion of creative and technical development of digital culture in Africa.

“The festival will attract students, researchers and entrepreneurs with an interest in digital technology throughout Africa.

“Each event will turn the spotlight on some aspect of digital technology including software, hardware, networks, digital content and games.”

The event will mainly take place on the JCSE’s new Tshimologong Precinct, while making use of venues on Wits’ East and West campuses and the fashionable inner city areas of Braamfontein, Maboneng Precinct and 44 Stanley Avenue. – SAInfo Reporter

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