About 200 African top policy makers, developers, entrepreneurs and private enterprises are currently engage in a three day intense debate at the Open Innovation Africa Summit (OIAS) holding in Nairobi, Kenya from today May 28-30,2012.
The OIASis put together to stimulate discussion whilst exploring the role of entrepreneurship, innovation and ICTs in Africa, among participants. It will also explore the transformative innovations necessary to successfully address many of the challenges facing Africa today. The summit is also meant to empower African thought leaders to find ways to spur technological innovation within their own local context.
The theme of this year’s summit is “Leadership in Innovation’’ and is the second of its kind which would bring to spotlight, the leadership required to drive acceleration of African entrepreneurship and innovation, in order to reach ambitious targets for socio-economic development across the continent. The summit is organized by Nokia, CapGemini and infoDev, a technology, entrepreneurship and innovation program in the World Bank.
According to Nokia’s Vice President, Corporate Relations and Business Environment for the Middle East and Africa, Jussi Hinkkanen “This event underscores the fact that Nokia and infoDev believe in the power of partnerships and Africa is ready for an entrepreneurial revolution.“Without open innovation, enabling business environment and seamless collaboration, creation of new innovative enterprises and locally relevant solutions becomes incredibly challenging” he said.
Also speaking on the summit, the Program Manager of infoDev, Valerie D’Costa says, “We want that ‘switch’ to click in the minds of the policy-makers, innovators and business leaders who can envision change and make it happen. In the end, we want it to lead to new sustainable businesses creating new jobs. Both Nokia and infoDev believe that mobile innovations can change lives for the better, leading to improvements in education, health, agriculture and overall livelihoods”.
After years of lagging in ICT, Africa is now emerging as a recognized innovator in areas such as financial inclusion and mobile app development, demonstrated by the growing number of firms from the continent now competing on the international stage. The summit will also celebrate the winners of the open ‘Ideas to Innovation’ challenge, an online competition held earlier in the year for turning ideas into successful businesses.