By Metohuey Adoglo
Imagine a voyage where languages unite, forging a tapestry of innovation that transcends borders. AfriLabs unveiled the captivating AfriLabs Pan-African Language Week 2023, a celebration of African languages’ vibrancy and their fusion with technology.
Collaborating with Member Hubs like Ifakara Innovation Hub, HiiL Innovation Hub East Africa, O’Botama, Youth Business Cameroon, Expert’Labs Mali, Sprints, and Jokkolabs Banjul, the event was a testament to words’ power in creating connections.
From August 14th to August 24th, participants embarked on a mission to shatter language barriers and explore language-tech harmony. Swahili, Arabic, French, Wolof, and Bambara took the spotlight, honoring Africa’s linguistic heritage. Beyond words, the celebration was about shaping futures. Attendees dived into the synergy between language and innovation, witnessing ingenious tech that bridged divides. The event ignited collaborations that surmounted language barriers, echoing Pan-African unity.
Swahili: Unveiling Tech’s Path
Language Innovators: Ifakara Hub and HiiL Innovation Hub
In East Africa, Kiswahili’s role in tech and innovation shone brightly. Kiswahili infused into software and platforms made tech more accessible for users. Ifakara Hub and HiiL Innovation Hub, champions of Kiswahili, illuminated its digital relevance. Their platform showcased tech solutions breaking language barriers, fostering digital collaboration among Kiswahili speakers.
French: Nurturing Innovation
Language Advocates: O’Botama, Youth Business Cameroon
French, with its colonial legacy, united over 100 million African speakers. O’Botama and Youth Business Cameroon celebrated its fusion with local languages, spotlighting innovative linguistics projects. Their aim: validating ideas through feedback and fostering entrepreneurship within French-speaking Africa.
Participants embraced the “Webinar // mtandao Breaking the Barriers; Advantages and Challenges of Multilingual Product Design // Kuvunja Vizuizi; Faida na Changamoto za Usanifu wa Bidhaa kwa Lugha nyingi,” hosted by Ifakara Innovation Hub.
The exploration of “The Role of Kiswahili in Technological Innovation // Nafasi ya Kiswahili katika Ubunifu wa Kiteknolojia” on LinkedIn — HiiL Innovation Hub East Africa captivated attendees.
Engagement peaked at the webinar “Role of Language in Digital Innovation// rôle du langage dans l’innovation numérique,” hosted virtually.
The stage was set for riveting discussions, immersive workshops, and hands-on activities that sparked innovation, spotlighting transformative tech that shattered language barriers, fostering seamless connections. The enchantment of languages binding humanity together had propelled the evolution of technology to unprecedented heights.
Linguistic Diversity in Focus: Beyond Language
BAMBARA: Expert’lab Mali
Mali’s entrepreneurial growth was entwined with ICT, yet hurdles like skills gaps hindered progress. Expert’lab Mali’s conference aimed to enlighten entrepreneurs about ICT’s transformative potential and its role in business.
Sprints unveiled an AI program, empowering individuals to master AI’s potential. This journey equipped learners to navigate modern tech, enhancing their daily work efficiency.
WOLOF: Jokkolabs (Banjul)
Jokkolabs Banjul’s Digital Storytelling for Linguistic Diversity celebrated Wolof heritage. Kids crafted Wolof animations, preserving traditions with modern flair. Outcomes included heightened awareness of linguistic diversity, preserving languages, fostering creativity, and nurturing cultural identity.
In the heart of AfriLabs Pan-African Language Week 2023, we witnessed a remarkable convergence of languages and technology, a fusion that ignited the flames of innovation and unity. Imagine the power of words breaking through barriers, transcending borders, and opening doors to endless possibilities.
As we look back at the journey of this week, let us be inspired to carry the torch of linguistic diversity, innovation, and unity forward. Let us celebrate our roots, embrace our present, and forge a future where the fusion of languages and technology continues to illuminate our path.
— Africanian News (@africaniannews) July 3, 2023