TechCamp workshops in countries around the world connect participants with technology experts to co-create innovative tech solutions to real-world challenges. These camps harness the power of everyday tech to help find local solutions to local problems. In July, the U.S. Embassy sent ten Burkinabe youth to attend a U.S. State Department funded Tech Camp in Abidjan. The Abidjan alumni were so inspired with what they did there they wanted to host similar workshops and expand their network and tools in Burkina.
On September 9, five tech camp alumni led a young Burkina audience in a Mini Tech Camp hosted by the Ouagalab, a digital manufacturing laboratory and incubator created in 2011 by young entrepreneurs in Burkina Faso. Groups focused on Citizen Participation and Access to Information and Transparency. One solution born from the camp was a website and mapping collaboration that will identify informal trash dumps and allow city officials to better deploy trash management resources. After a successful mini tech camp in Ouagadougou, the alum traveled to Bobo-Dioulasso to replicate the activity on September 16. Twenty participants worked on solutions to stimulate Civic Engagement and Citizen Partnership.
In the spirit of self-help, Embassy Officials encouraged participants to continue to work together and build off the network and ideas they created together. Tech Camps are excellent opportunities to harness the enthusiasm of the Burkinabe and mix it with the power of tech to find Burkinabe solutions to Burkinabe problems.