Afrotech fest 2018

26TH – 27TH JANUARY 2018

A two-day tech festival by and for black people of African and Caribbean heritage. Offering talks, workshops, installations and much more.


Afrotech Fest is a two-day tech and digital festival by and for black people of African and Caribbean heritage. The festival won’t replicate models for tech events, festivals and conferences that currently exist. It will instead explore where technology meets the arts, history, news, activism and representation. Afrotech Fest provides a space where people across a variety of backgrounds can imagine a future that’s free of the problems of the present.


A host of amazing speakers, workshop facilitators and artists sharing their unique perspective on the tech world and what they’re doing with technologies they use.

  • Abiola Babarinde

    Abiola Babarinde

    Co-founder, WAVEMAKERS

  • Carl Konadu

    Carl Konadu

    Co-founder, 2-3 degrees

  • Ian Forrester

    Ian Forrester

    Senior 'Firestarter' Producer, BBC R&D

  • Ade Adewunmi

    Ade Adewunmi

    Public Sector Industry Consultant, Think Big Analytics

  • Andy Ayim

    Andy Ayim

    Product Manager, World First

  • Urenna Okonkwo

    Urenna Okonkwo

    Founder, Cashmere


We've put together an exciting programme covering everything from working in games, to exploring possible futures using Wakanda as a touch point. Afrotech Fest offers interactive events across three venue spaces, including talks, workshops, and parties on both nights. There will be hubs across the venue space where the like-minded can jam, pair programme or just discuss what the possible impacts of AI and machine learning are on the Black community. We hope that everyone who attends finds their people.


  • friday

  • saturday


  • Opening and registration


  • Welcome to Afrotech Fest
  • Abiola Babarinde, Carl Konadu
  • TalkMain Space

2:30pm – 3:30pm

  • YSYS Founders Stories
  • A panel on using technology to drive inclusion and diversity in today's fragmented communities: Hear from members of YSYS on how they are building tech startups to empower their communities, and the importance of surrounding yourself with like-minded people.
  • Andy Ayim, Dayo Akinrinade, Darren Tenkorang, Urenna Okonkwo
  • PanelMain Space

4:00pm – 5:00pm

  • Self-love with p5.js
  • An introduction to p5.js (which is a javascript library) and using p5.js to make a random quote generator with quotes and affirmations based on self love/mental health. By the the end of the workshop attendees will become more aware of mental health issues, what self love is and have a broader understanding of p5.js
  • Perola Da Cruz, Erica dos Santos
  • WorkshopVenue 2
  • The Showcase Hour
  • An informal hour in our programme where we invite attendees to show their upcoming projects, present ideas and abstracts on papers they are working on. This is a chance for attendees to connect further at the festival and perhaps collaborate on future projects.

    We'll have a laptop on stage for you to show any slides, images or videos. Spotlights in the showcase are a maximum of 5 minutes
  • Open to all
  • EngagementMain space

5:15pm – 5:35pm

  • Literary Activisim: Archiving for the future
  • This talk centres on the topic of digital activism as seen through digital African literary magazines. These digital magazines are documenting our times, an essential task that might determine the future.
  • Yovanka Paquete Perdigao
  • TalkVenue 2

5:15pm – 6:15pm

  • Fake News and the Social Media Generation
  • The aim of this workshop is for us to discuss and reflect on how fake news is communicated and spread across through social media platforms on the internet. Social Media has its positive benefits, however to make social media beneficial for everyone without harm - reflection and consideration of potential ethical issues is key.
  • Alexander Fefegha
  • WorkshopVenue 2

5:45pm – 6:05pm

  • How simple technology can deliver life-changing solutions
  • This talk will look at how simple technology, used in a very specific context, can deliver life-changing solutions to millions of people. We’ll also look at the ways in which we are cultivating and supporting African tech talent from education to seed funding and commercial support.
  • Joseph Nwosu
  • TalkVenue 2

5:45pm – 6:45pm

  • What does Open Source at Microsoft Look like?
  • In recent years Microsoft has become a strong contributor to open source. They've integrated open source into projects, while also collaborating on open source projects and initiatives. In this talk we're going to show you some of the areas how embracing open source has changed the way we build products and engage with the community.
  • Cecil Phillip, Jasmine Greenaway
  • TalkMain Space
  • Service design Talk and workshop
  • Daniel Blyden, Florence Okoye
  • WorkshopVenue 2

6:00pm – 7:00pm

  • An Introduction to Android Development
  • The workshop will be an introduction to android development using Java. We’ll cover the basics of android development and how to build a simple android app.

    The participants will be need a laptop with Android Studio already installed, an Android device (if they have one) and its usb cable.
  • Funmi Adewodu, Teresa Ng
  • WorkshopVenue 2

6:15pm – 6:35pm

  • Codeyourfuture: Refugees diversifying tech
  • CodeYourFuture is a volunteer-run organisation that teaches programming to refugees. This is the story of its origins, its journey so far and how it embraces diversity to create a community that transcends coding and gives a sense of hope and purpose to both students and volunteers.
  • Mozafar Haider, Sentayhu M Ali
  • TalkVenue 2

7:00pm – 7:45pm

  • Keynote
  • In his talk, Ian will take a look at the external and internal challenges of diversity, he will put forward why it matters, show examples of progress and have the audience try practical steps during the talk.
  • Ian Forrester
  • TalkMain Space

8:00pm – 8:15pm

  • Closing poem
  • Nikky will also be filling herself with all the words in the air at the festival to create a plenary poem to close the day.
  • Nikky Norton Shafau
  • EngagementMain Space

8:30pm – 9:30pm

  • CBT: Pull Request
  • CBT: Pull Requests is a performance-installation combining the practices of coding and braiding; an experiment in digital activism and critical aesthetics. In this networked-salon, each strand of hair that is woven and unwoven; signals information passing, the encryption and decryption of private messaging. Inspired by cryptology, biometrics, feedback loops and the possibilities of cybernetic resistance.
  • Tamar Clarke-Brown, Isaac Kariuki
  • PerformanceLower Cafe

9:30pm – 11:00pm

  • Interactive dance party
  • The Friday opening party showcases visual and sound artists who have created special pieces for the festival.
  • Hayden Anyasi, Lula Mebrahtu, Mwen
  • PerformanceMain Space


  • Registration and Welcome
  • Abiola Babarinde, Carl Konadu
  • Venue 1
  • Youth Programme opens
  • YouthMain Space

10:30am – 11:30am

  • Keynote: Responsible Disruption
  • Africa’s potential for technological leapfrogging – the digital hubs, investors and tech practitioners – is exciting. But, even with African 'techpreneurs' in the lead, a truly equitable version of this future might not happen. Today we question the sustainability, societal cost and workings of the disruptive technologies powering the ‘sharing economy’. How might the replication of such models play in contexts without legacy institutions that protect the citizenry if this technologically enabled disruption is given free rein? Ade asks what, if any, responsibility technologists bear in shaping the technological disruption but also the systems that underpin it.
  • Ade Adewunmi
  • TalkVenue 1
  • Build a balloon-powered car
  • In this workshop you will learn how to build your own powered car using a balloon. The project will test your patience, dexterity and creativity. All you need is tons of positive thinking!
  • Rijole Bitata
  • YouthMain Space

11:00am – 12:00pm

  • Text-based adventure games in Java
  • A short and gentle introduction to programming by making a simple text-based adventure game. For ages 10+
  • Coders of Colour
  • YouthMain Space

11:45am – 5:45pm

  • Afrocrowd Editahon
  • This workshop explores how to become a wikipedia editor. It explains and discusses the impact of Wikimedia and suggests projects you might like to join as an editor.
  • Kelly Foster
  • WorkshopVenue 2

11:45am – 12:45pm

  • Hands-on visual thinking and visual note-taking
  • Dr Makayla Lewis
  • WorkshopVenue 2
  • An Introduction to Git and Github
  • A beginner's overview of how git and github work. I intend to show how to use github in the simplest use case (add, commit and push) and to show more advanced workshoppers how to use github pages.
  • Olu Niyi-Awosusi
  • WorkshopVenue 2

11:45am – 12:15pm

  • Lightning Talks
  • African Women who are #Bossing in Tech: Black female founders receive less than 1% of global venture capital. Despite this, African women are defying the odds to build successful businesses and make an impact in tech. For my book Founding Women, I interviewed 20 female tech entrepreneurs originating from 13 African countries. In this talk I will share some of their inspiring stories and why I believe it is important to celebrate and highlight these role models for young women everywhere.

    Consenting to what? And how much is it work?: This talk will be a short introduction into the ethical issue surrounding giving permission to your personal data and where it goes and for how long. It also proposes whether we should consider personal data boundary and where should it start or end.
  • Eunice Baguma Ball, Abi Mohamed
  • TalkVenue 1

12:00pm – 1:00pm

  • You Got A Dope Idea, Now What?
  • Momo will walk you through how to take a game idea from inside your head, onto paper, and into production. Age: 10+
  • Momo Pixel
  • YouthMain Space
  • Tech Fair Challenge
  • Rise to the challenge! We have a number of head scratchers for young people to invent solutions for from cleaning up Londons air to building an app that helps them study. Prizes will be given out to the most daring and community driven ideas.
  • Jay Richards
  • YouthMain Space

12:30pm – 12:50pm

  • Wakanda, Africa, and alternate futures
  • This talk will explore: the implications of a fictional African country rapidly outstripping the West; the history of African development; where we are now and whether a real Wakanda could be possible. In essence, if colonisation and imperialism had never happened, where would we be now?
  • Helen Gould
  • TalkVenue 1

1:00pm – 2:00pm

  • Lunch
  • Venue 2

1:50pm – 2:50pm

  • Virtual Reality + Architecture Futures
  • If you could design your own communities and cities better, how would you envision them to be? We're giving you the tools and challenging you to create and play with your future realities.
  • Alisha Fisher, Bola Lasisi-agiri
  • YouthMain Space
  • The Microbit Robot Challenge
  • Participants will be given an introduction to the MicroBit with an ice-breaker, and then given a simple task to flash code on to the Microbit. The second part of the challenge will involve teams using the Robo:Bit Buggy, and downloading the BitBot library to complete increasingly difficult challenges.
  • South London Raspberry Jam
  • YouthMain Space

2:30pm – 2:50pm

  • Democratising Venture Capital
  • This talk examines how Block chain technology and the rise of ICO's presents a significant opportunity to disrupt traditional VC models and present a more inclusive, democratized model for financing startups within the community.
  • Paris Petgrave
  • TalkVenue 1

2:30pm – 3:00pm

  • Lightning Talks
  • Life as a “junior” developer can be intense, overwhelming, but rewarding. How can juniors move on to the next level? And, what can employers, mentors and communities do to support the next generation of developers?

    The Truth About Technoculture: 'The Truth About Technoculture' aims to highlight some interesting topics gleaned from ongoing research into the space where technology meets culture. Come and find out how our behaviour, lifestyle, and future may be affected by the digital landscape being built up around us.
  • Tara Ojo, Ashley Patricks
  • TalkVenue 1

2:30pm – 3:30pm

  • What the Matrix can teach us about D&I
  • This workshop will break down and address common diversity and inclusion problems using 'The Matrix' as a case study. There are interesting parallels between the film and many issues employee groups/D&I teams are facing within their organisations. Initial context will be built as we share some patterns we've noticed as working to build up a D&I space at a global level within Pivotal.
  • Chisa Nwabara, Papa Akuffo
  • WorkshopVenue 2
  • New to Functional Programming? Meet Elixir!
  • A short workshop introducing Elixir, the functional language that's taking the programming world by storm. Learn how to get started with thinking in terms of functions, and find out why Elixir is used by a growing number of companies around the world to build scalable, fault tolerant and concurrent web and mobile apps.

    Bring your laptops and install Elixir before the workshop
  • Chi-chi Ekweozor
  • WorkshopVenue 2

3:00pm – 3:20pm

  • Tinker Tailor Coder Spy
  • In this talk, Wale uses code samples and other content to help listeners identify where they’re plumbers, first responders, legislators, and repair-people. This way they can approach programming with more humility and/or few feelings of intimidation!
  • Wale Ogundipe
  • TalkVenue 1
  • Youth Programme closes
  • YouthMain Space

3:20pm – 3:50pm

  • Lightning Talks
  • Data Science In Government: Algorithms And Diversity: Around the world, governments are getting ready to use data science, AI and algorithms to support decision-making and improve efficiency. With the rise of algorithms and AI, we need diversity in the government tech industry now more than ever.

    Anti-social Media Facebook's unparalleled ability to reach millions of people make it an attractive way to spread the word about protests, actions, and events. But whose rights to free speech and assembly are protected on this massive, privately run platform? Story after story has emerged about Facebook disproportionately censoring POC activists. This talk will examine the current state of social media censorship and put forward simple to advanced solutions.
  • Dawn Duhaney, Erin Burns
  • TalkVenue 1

4:00pm – 4:20pm

  • Jack of all trades, Master of diversity
  • This talk discusses the benefits of being 'a Jack (or Jill) of all trades' and how it naturally drives diversity in the creative industry.
  • Clàudia T. Lopes
  • TalkVenue 1

4:00pm – 5:00pm

  • The Good and Evils of Machine Learning
  • There has been some discussion in the media recently about bias or deficiencies in machine learning algorithms. For example, facial recognition software being unable to process darker skin tones or chatbots which can be trained to spout racist tweets (Microsoft’s Tay). This panel discusses, in beginner-friendly terms, why this is occurring and in particular how biased algorithms can have a negative impact on the quality of life for people of colour.
  • Brian Akperi, Dawn Duhaney, Abi Mohamed
  • PanelVenue 2
  • An introduction to cryptocurrency
  • This workshop is a beginner’s introduction to the concept of cryptocurrency. We will teach you how to engage securely with the internet by using a password manager and how to send and receive crypto-tokens from your own personal private wallet.
  • Dre Ferdinand, Lynette Lalero, Kieran Gibb
  • WorkshopVenue 2

4:30pm – 4:50pm

  • A Glimmer of Hope - The Modern State of Web Components
  • The browser support of web components has been getting increasingly better over the past few years and besides other component libraries, including Polymer or X-Tag, the Ember community presents its own new library - Glimmer.js - enabling you to create easy-to-use web components today.
  • Jessica Jordan
  • TalkVenue 1

5:00pm – 6:00pm

  • Electronic Live Performance Workshop
  • This workshop consists of Loraine demonstrating her live set, then thoroughly deconstructing it, going through each gear she uses, and explaining its purpose towards her live sets.
  • Loraine James
  • WorkshopVenue 2

5:45pm – 6:45pm

  • BAME in Games
  • Afrotech Fest offers BAME in Games a vital opportunity to engage with the black African and Caribbean community directly and hopefully build relationships with organisations and people beyond the games industry to encourage inclusivity. Games are an exciting medium that offer new ways to tell stories and the panel explores ways people can get involved and may even inspire them to make their own games.
  • Chella Ramanan, Adam Campbell, Michael Anderson, Albert Marshall, Momo Pixel
  • PanelVenue 1

7:00pm – 7:30pm

  • Closing Poem
  • Nikky will also be filling herself with all the words in the air at the festival to create a plenary poem to close the day.
  • Nikky Norton Shafau
  • EngagementVenue 1

8:00pm – 8:45pm

  • Cryptoparty: Black Lives Matter
  • A guest talk by BLM UK activists on tech activism during protests, and engagement online and within community.
  • BLM UK
  • TalkVenue 1

8:45pm – 9:45pm

  • Cryptoparty: Investigating Metadata
  • What is metadata and why does it matter? Data traces are an important part of your digital footprint, it also allows services and companies to build a picture of who you are from the details embedded in your photos, bills and travel. But where does this information go? This is an introductory workshop on the data traces you leave behind and understanding metadata as a tool for tracking.
  • Xana
  • WorkshopVenue 2
  • Cryptoparty: Boosting the browser on your phone
  • Understand browsers more and how you can improve your privacy and security while on the move with small changes which make a big difference. We'll also cover topics around mobile security and activism.
  • Erin Burns
  • WorkshopVenue 2


  • Festival Close


Our installations explore the impact and presence of black people in the tech space. From an exploratory VR film that examines the idea of 'black worlds' and accessible space, to an immersive coding and braiding session that ties algorithmic patterns to the steady rhythm of plaiting hair.

We can't wait for our attendees to interact with our digital and digitally-inspired art installations.


We're seeking engaged, empathetic and enthused people to help us make Afrotech Fest the best tech festival it can be. If you're interested in volunteering at festival, send us a message using the contact form below and we'll send you a volunteer pack.


All festival volunteers are encouraged to read our code of conduct and accessibility information.

Volunteers will also be asked to agree to our Participant Pledge, which helps us ensure Afrotech Fest is a safer space for all attendees.

Contact form


Rich Mix is an independent arts venue in the heart of East London. It was established in 2004 and has gone on to become one of the largest and most relevant arts venues in the capital. Rich Mix is spread over five floors, is fully accessible, contains three cinemas, flexible performance spaces and plenty of room for a big ideas festival like ours.


We would love you to get involved if you are interested in inspiring young people to develop an interest in making things and problem-solving, or in helping create a space to address issues of access in tech industries for black peoples of all ages and abilities in the UK. Supporting our work is a great way to show your commitment to marginalised communities, and for you to access a wealth of talent.

Afrotech Fest wouldn’t be possible without the sponsorship and support of these organisations and companies:





We would love to hear from interested sponsors, possible speakers, or workshop facilitators or anyone interested in knowing more about the event.

General enquiries can be sent to