Why Africa's Growth depends on Cross-Collaboration of Open Movements

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Title Why Africa's Growth depends on Cross-Collaboration of Open Movements

Presenter Simeon Oriko


Africa as a continent faces unique challenges in sectors such as education, health and energy. Various Open movements on the continent are implementing projects and building tools as a way of addressing these challenges with a view to bring about transformative, root-and-branch change. Some movements, are taking it a step further by creating and experimenting with different models and policies aimed at creating an alternative reality.

Unfortunately, the lack of agreed-upon priorities and strategies based on shared values among these open movements leaves these projects somewhat isolated and adrift. One part of the open movement focus primarily on practical projects and tool-building while the other concentrates on developing alternative visions and a larger paradigm shift in culture and discourse. The two sets of movements can clearly complement each others work. The question we need to answer is how to achieve this.

A shared strategy could potentially unite the movements and it may be worth exploring what general approaches the respective movements may share – and then to build on any overlapping approaches. Starting a dialogue among the movements about first principles could help identify missing connections between system-changing tools and practices on the one hand, and new theories and paradigms on the other.

The aim of this session is to share current thinking around converging movements and increasing collaboration among them and also to take a stab at scoping principles and building a shared strategy for increasing collaboration among open movements in Africa with a focus on the Wikimedia and Creative Commons communities on the continent. In particular, it would be interesting to explore the following:

• What are the constraints to building a united movement? • Where are the common ground areas and potential for joint action? • What needs to be negotiated and where are the blockages?

The session will probably be a mesh of a presentation and discussion.

Etherpad link