Innovation Summit Africa will take place on March 6th 2018 in Nairobi.
The rise of a “smart”, connected Africa is allowing countries across the continent to leapfrog several stages of development in key areas such as banking and telecommunications and is reshaping business and society. Ericsson, a technology company, estimates that the number of mobile phones in Africa will rise to 930m by 2019—almost one per person—pushing internet penetration to 50% within a decade. This tech revolution, along with an expanding labour force and large consumer market, holds the promise of significantly accelerating growth for the continent.
Despite this, growth in several African countries has slowed in recent years after more than a decade of solid expansion. Rickety infrastructure, skills shortages, weak governance and a reliance on commodities continue to plague the continent, underscoring the need for economic diversification for sustained, inclusive growth in areas such as agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, education and banking.
Africa undoubtedly offers potential, but the question remains: how will it be achieved? Are African governments doing enough to improve infrastructure, train their workforces, modernize regulations and ensure inclusive growth, to create a better business climate and boost trade? How can companies innovate and capitalize on advances in technology to scale up their businesses across the continent? Can Africa’s tech-driven start-ups become engines of future growth? And will a connected Africa be better for business and improve lives for people overall?