ICT Clinic (Punch Newspaper)

How well is Africa playing the innovation game? [ICT Clinic]

Africa, as it were, seems to be serious in taking its rightful place, in the comity of nations, by embracing changes in technology, as it is evolving through the years. This is, more so, that the continent cannot afford to be at the back seat, in the face of all these changes.

Mimicking the growth of economies in Asia in the 1970s, Africa too, is now finding it necessary to grow its economies, so, that it will not be left out of the race.

The transformation seen on the continent, so far, has largely been due to the deliberate willingness to embrace change. Over the last few decades, a revolution in technology has swept across the continent, either, through embracing technology-driven solutions by companies or individuals with creative innovative minds, who have founded start-ups.

In many areas in Africa today, the benefits of technology is not yet felt to the fullest and it would be interesting to see that it does. Some assistance is still required in terms of investment to make this creative innovation, spread its impact across the continent.

In a few years to come, the population of sub-Saharan African subscribers to mobile phones would have increased drastically; an indication that the continent is fast becoming a ground for mobile technology. This is sufficient to launch the continent into a platform for commercial innovation.

David McDonald, Founder of The Global Millennial, once commented that, “Africa will change more, in the next century, than it has in the past ten years.” Recently Africa has been on trade terms with some countries which will see that the continent can benefit from the innovations, emerging from having ties with these countries. Such ties would assist in establishing a positive direction for economic development on the continent.

With all these senses of innovation emerging on the continent, socio-economic challenges still exists, causing setbacks for the full impact of creative innovation on the continent.

Zipline, a pioneering start-up for delivery of blood and medical supplies, in a remote area in Rwanda, was a Silicon Valley project that was rejected in the United States Airspace, as it tested fixed-wing drones. The East African country saw the need and embraced it.

Challenges and opportunities play a major role in the impact of innovation on the continent, but a comprehension of the cultural and economic difficulties in investing in Africa would assist in the eventual success.

Making prices affordable, while also providing quality products and services, is a major factor towards achieving success. With the right value proposition and a great team of innovative minds, these challenges would be solved.

Investors are seeking spaces in innovation to invest in, on the continent and with the prevailing trend in impact investment. Africa is poised to benefit from it. The African continent is an ideal platform for Startups, to offer new challenges and explore potentials.

Recently, the level of innovation in Africa has grown to a point of interest among other member nations of the world. This got spurred by the nature of technology the continent has adopted, coupled with the proliferation of mobile phones, among its teeming population.

A couple of years back, the growth of the African economies has been average, globally and this has led to a boom in agricultural practices. During the boom, China’s demand for agricultural raw materials increased, but later went down; however, the African economies are going through a new phase.

Urbanisation in Africa is the highest around the world, although, its poor level of infrastructure which has been a cog in the wheel of — Finish Reading on the Punch