BarCamp is an international network of user-generated conferences (or unconferences) typically geared around technology, media, startups, open data, society and so on. They are open, participatory workshop events, the content of which is provided by participants. In keeping with tradition, there is no set speaker list before the day of the event and everyone is invited to deliver a presentation.
So far, over 400 BarCamps have been held all over the world with different thematic focuses, also in several other African countries. This year alone past and upcoming African BarCamps include Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Cameroon, Ghana, Ethiopia, Senegal, Uganda, Benin and Tunisia.
The first ever BarCamp Ethiopia was organized in 2010 and drew an unexpected 350+ attendees. This year, the organizers are anticipating around 500 people to attend the event in Addis Ababa and provide dormitory housing for up to 100 at a local university. BarCamp Ethiopia kicks off with a party this evening and runs from September 23rd through the 24th. Coincidentally, BarCamp Cameroon is being held on Saturday the 24th at a new venue provided by AppsTech, a leading Oracle solutions provider located in central Douala.
The intersection of these two watershed African tech events is an opportunity to connect innovators and entrepreneurs on opposite sides of the continent. To this end, both camps have agreed to link up via live video in a show of solidarity and mutual support. The hope is that these two BarCamps will be a practical example of how techies are able to collaborate and share ideas both within their respective communities and across borders.