Magamba Network’s Hub Unconference goes hybrid

By Gracious Nyathi

Zimbabwe’s biggest annual digital media conference, the Hub Unconference, promises to be exciting as it assumes a hybrid format and welcomes guest speakers from across the African continent.

The event is set to run from 27 September to 1 October at Moto Republik on the sidelines of the Shoko Festival in Harare.

The festival will be running under the theme #PARTYcipate- creatively encouraging young people to engage in the big issues that will define their futures.

The events lined up for the 8th edition of the Hub Unconference include the Annual State of the Internet Address, the Women Create Worlds Summit, the Mayors’ Forum and the Africa Satire Convention.

The most anticipated event is the inaugural Open Data Africa Summit which will feature Africa’s leading open data initiatives from Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Somalia and Zimbabwe converging in one space.

The Open Data Africa Summit will bring together leading activists, bloggers and developers working in the open data field on the continent and will include cutting-edge talks by Nigeria’s Busayo Morakinyo from the award-winning Connected Development (CODE), Caroline Gaita from Kenya’s largest online monitor of Parliament, Mzalendo, and Richard Gevers from South Africa’s Open Cities Lab. Other speakers include Richard Mulonga from Bloggers of Zambia, Reagan Wamajji from Parliament Watch Uganda and Somalian journalist Hassan Ali Osmani.

“We’re thrilled to be able to have the Hub Unconference happen physically this year after two years of doing it virtually due to the pandemic and global lockdowns,” says Shoko Festival Director Samm Farai Monro AKA Comrade Fatso. 

“We have amazing speakers from across the continent and some really inspirational ideas that are going to be presented on everything from open data to climate justice. So, swing through The Hub Uncoference and get inspired!”.

Women Create Worlds Summit will focus on breaking the bias and will look at the representation of women in society.

This year’s conference will focus on The State of Girls Education with a talk from Anoziva Marindire from African Union, Centre for Girls as well as a talk by ZiFM’s Nonkululeko Dube popularly known as Amard.

As Zimbabwe heads towards the 2023 elections, the Hub Unconference also has a panel discussion focusing on young people taking part in democratic processes drawing lessons from other African countries such as Kenya, Zambia and Malawi that recently had elections.

The Mayors Forum will delve into challenges facing local authorities and service delivery with a critical conversation with the Mayor of Harare and the Mayor of Lusaka, Zambia.

The Africa Satire Convention will look at the power of satire in influencing the youth to register to vote and will feature political comedians from Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa.

The State of the Internet Address by MISA Zimbabwe’s Nompilo Simanje will examine the state of the internet in the country focusing on key areas such as accessibility, affordability and laws that impinge on freedom of expression.

On the sidelines, the Hub will also host diverse sessions including journalism master classes, tech workshops, a gaming booth, the Green Cities Expo and much more.

In the past, the Hub Unconference has hosted prominent local and international speakers such as Alice McCool (The Guardian UK), Robyn Kriel (CNN), Raheela Mohammed (AlJazeera) and Lindiwe Zulu from the ANC among many others.

TheHubUnconferene &Shoko Festival are produced by Magamba Network, Africa’s trailblazing creative and digital media organisation.

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