“Connecting with Digital Innovation in Africa through Social Media”

 hosted by GIZ  in Nairobi, Kenya

GIZ idea behind this workshop with African hubs was to network with pioneers

m:lab East Africa

and practitioners, to share experiences, create new ideas and discover opportunities in Africa which will eventually help promote international cooperations for sustainable development.

The event brought together a dozen of African hubs including,  iLab Liberia of Liberia, iHub of Kenya, ActivSpaces of Cameroon, Klab of Rwanda, RLABS of South Africa, iLabAfrica of  Kenya, icecairo of Egypt, Wennovation Hub of Nigeria, BongoHive of Zambia, iceaddis of Ethiopia and of course our AfriLabs.


In attendance were representatives from the KAIPTC of Ghana and a hosts of GIZ representatives from  head offices in Germany and other African Countries.

During the workshop, we had the opportunity to visit Hubs, (iHub, M:Lab, iLabAfrica, Ushahidi) Incubators like(Nailab & iBizAfrica), and Strathmore University which houses the Safaricom Academy, iBizAfrica and iLabAfrica.

The Impact of hubs:

  • Develop skills

    iLab Africa

  • Create jobs
  • Serve as implementing partner for both governments and development cooperations
  • Serve as a focal point for the  community
  • Identify skills and bring them together under one roof where their potentials can be utilized effectively not only on the national scene, but globally as well.
  • Help with local development since it creates local linkages

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Ladies in ICT- Social Media

Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.

As more and more young Liberians log on and use social media, technology is becoming an important source of change in the country, Liberia has seen an explosion in the use of online and mobile technology, particularly social media platforms like Facebook.

Much of the criticism of social media are about its exclusiveness as most sites do not allow the transfer of information from one to another, disparity of information available, issues with trustworthiness and reliability of information presented, concentration, ownership of media content, and the meaning of interactions created by social media. However, it is also argued that social media has positive effects such as allowing the democratization of the internet while also allowing individuals to advertise themselves and form friendships.

Most people associate social media with positive outcomes, yet this is not always the case. Due to the increase in social media websites, there seems to be a positive correlation between the usage of such media with cyber bullying, online sexual predators and the decrease in face-to-face interactions. Social media may expose children to images of alcohol, tobacco, and sexual behavior.

At ILab Liberia we are presently training 15 ladies on social media, discussing how individuals and small organisations can use social media to promote equality and good community relations. The various social media sites used  for the training at iLab are: Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. and Google+ It will run for five days, 2 hours each day.

Social Media Training for Journalists

Today iLab Liberia wrapped up a training for Liberian human rights journalists in social media. The training started on December 8th and finished today. There was one session each day that lasted for two hours. Fifteen journalists from both print and electronic media institutions participated in this training. The social media training covered blogging, particularly Tumblr and Twitter. Some principles of using social media were also discussed, such as including tags in a blog, mentioning your blog or post in a tweet and styles of writing posts as a journalist.


During the training all of the journalists started tumblr and twitters accounts. For example Ms. Tecee Boley started http://teceeboley.tumblr.com/, Mr. Sam Zota started http://samzota.tumblr.com/, and Mr. Oniel Bestman started http://onielbestman.tumblr.com/. At the training we were told by the journalists that many of their stories are not heard due to the lack of space in the dailies to publish them. The Journalists saw the training as a new tool through which their untold stories could be heard, seen and read.


After this training, iLab Liberia confirmed that there is a great need for such training for Liberian journalists, and as such iLab Liberia plans to host another social media training soon. Please check back later.
Here are some photos from the event.
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Luther D. Jeke
Training Director
*iLab_ Liberia