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African Crossroads: ‘Wakanda’ for creatives and tech community

Friday December 27 2019
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Artists at the 2019 African Crossroads event. PHOTO | FAITH ONEYA

By FAITH ONEYA

It’s like Wakanda for creatives and the tech community. That’s the only way one could sum up the 2019 African Crossroads event held in Mombasa, Kenya.

But unlike Wakanda, which is a fictional country located in Sub-Saharan Africa and the home of superhero Black Panther, there was nothing imaginary about the event which is an annual gathering that reflects on revolutionary entrepreneurial, scientific, artistic and technological developments anchored in African intellectual and technological traditions.

The ‘vibranium’ of African Crossroads is on the richly diverse people as the gathering brought together 170 participants drawn from different backgrounds from 30 different countries.

Positive change to African cities

The inaugural African Crossroads was held in Marrakesh, Morocco in December 2018. This year’s “Sense The City” theme asked the participating artists, entrepreneurs, computer scientists, designers, researchers, philosophers and thought leaders to come up with innovations and solutions that would bring positive change and advances to African cities.

This follows last year’s successful “The Fourth Industrial Revolution” theme, focusing on our role in shaping the ongoing technological and intellectual revolution across Africa.

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"Hivos has been keen on expanding alternatives spaces of free expression where change makers – artists, creatives, designers and the tech community – can contribute to societal issues such as good governance, inclusion of repressed voices and minorities, access to sustainable food and renewable energy. The African Crossroads gathering exudes this principle,” Hivos East Africa’s Regional Director Mendi Njonjo said at the event.

About African Crossroads

African Crossroads is a community of future-oriented African thinkers and doers who meet to critically reflect on the most cutting-edge developments anchored in African intellectual and technological traditions.

Hosted and organised by Hivos, the event is also a retreat where African creatives and the tech community convene annually to exchange ideas and debate on subjects that enrich Africa’s development agenda.

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