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Africa Gathering: Podcasts From the Latest Forum on Innovation

Presenters discuss surviving civil war and harnessing new technology in this latest series of LIDC-commissioned podcasts. The recordings were made at Africa Gathering - a two-day event dedicated to innovation and charitable causes in the continent.
World famous rapper and former child soldier Emmanuel Jal performed and spoke about living through the Sudanese civil war at the conference in London. His moving account was the finale of an event which featured many speakers discussing communications and technology initiatives in Africa, including members of LIDC discussing their project to monitor cattle disease in Zanzibar.
Personal stories
Jal highlighted his campaign to build a school in Southern Sudan, one initiative of Gua Africa (Gua means peace in the local Nuer language) – an organisation he founded to help overcome the effects of war and poverty. Other inspirational presentations included Kevin Allen speaking about his journey from Merseyside to South Africa to feed fruit to AIDS orphans, earning him the moniker ‘Bananaman’. Allen was handed a prize worth £5,000 (including cash and advice) by Africa Gathering’s organisers to continue his work.
Discussing solutions
The popular event on 9-10 October was the second conference organised by Africa Gathering – a forum to share ideas for positive change – and more gatherings are planned for next year, including five in Africa. LIDC hosted the first Africa Gathering in April 2009.
Presentations about innvoation at the popular event on 9-10 October included:
  • Ken Banks, of FrontlineSMS, on his pioneering software which enables group messages to be sent between mobile phones and computers without access to the internet. The system is used to assist grassroots organisations in developing countries, including election monitors in Nigeria.
  • LIDC members Nick Short and Andrew Hagner, of the Royal Veterinary College, and Niall Winters, of the London Knowledge Lab, on using mobile phones to monitor cattle disease in Zanzibar.
Click on the headings below to listen to edited versions of the presentations, interviews, and a 10-minute conference roundup.
October 9
October 10 
These podcasts were produced at OpenAir - an online radio station based at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) - by Alexandra Jacobs, Neal MacInnes and Becky Wild, of OpenAir, Peter Goodwin, of AudioMedica, and Guy Collender, of LIDC.