Tech4Africa

Top speakers at tech conference

2010-08-10 14:43

Special Report

Information wars begin - expert
Information wars begin - expert

The expansion of the internet in developing countries and the resistance by governments signals the start of the information wars, an expert says.

Cape Town - The Tech4Africa conference in Johannesburg will focus on international technological trends with an African perspective.

Organiser Gareth Knight said that the event was designed to change the thinking of South Africans about the internet and what was possible in a practical sense.

"Ordinary people in the US come home from work and edit Wikipedia (the free online encyclopaedia) and download shows to watch. In fact, many people use the internet as a replacement for TV. We don't have a sense of those changes here in South Africa," Knight told News24.

Participants at the conference are expected to gain insights into what new models like cloud computing and mobile internet mean for business.

Leading internet thinker Clay Shirky will be a keynote speaker at the event and is expected to expand on the themes in his book, Here Comes Everybody, where he discusses collaborative efforts for internet content.

The conference also has a number of local and international female speakers who have broken the myth that technology is an exclusively male domain.

Andrea Böhmert who co-founded Cape Venture Partners and launched Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa will speak at the conference as will South African Barbara Mallinson, who used her own money to create Obami, a social networking site specifically for schools.

Knight said that he designed the conference so that attendees can rub shoulders with the experts in technology.

"I went to the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in 2006 and it was a life-changing experience for me. I was able to interact with these great people and it gave me a new perspective. So I thought: 'Let's create the environment here so people can be inspired'," he said.

The conference runs from August 12 - 13 2010 at The Forum in Bryanston and pre-event workshops will be held on August 10 - 11.


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