Technology and innovation are currently making huge strides in transforming Africa. The widespread use of smartphones, with more than half a billion people in Africa having access to mobile services, alongside various innovations has increased efficiency in various industries such as health, agriculture, education, energy, banking and retail. The rise of a ‘smart’ and connected Africa offers the opportunity for many countries to leapfrog several stages of development and is changing how business is done across the continent. However, sceptics have pointed out that the full benefits of innovation can only be reaped by the development of infrastructure and technical capacity, which they believe cannot be leapfrogged. This panel will discuss the role of technology and innovation in development, the feasibility of the leapfrogging theory in Africa, and the effect of digitization on job creation.
David Steinacker (Senior Managing Partner, Sub-Saharan Africa at Google); Dara Treseder (CMO, Business Innovations & GE Ventures at GE); Eric Osiakwan (Managing Partner of Chanzo Capital); Anna Keledo (Executive Director, AfriLabs)
Moderated by Einstein Ntim (Founding Partner of GlobalStartupEcosystem.com, GSE)