A journey towards mobile innovation in Africa
The Mobile Innovation Roadshow was an exciting, month-long event that saw the SAIS PMO travel across Africa’s ‘southern cross’ of innovation to join up with their country partners in regional events that explored the potential of mobile developments to drive innovation in the region.
The Mobile Innovation Roadshow was made possible by a partnership between SAIS and infoDev, and collaboration with the SAIS partner institutions, who worked tirelessly in their regions to make the regional roadshows a success. A vast range of stakeholders were engaged in the roadshows in each region, from developers and entrepreneurs, to industry specialists, government officials, academia and financiers from within the private sector.
There were five full days of activity in each region, including dynamic presentations, showcases of cutting-edge content, interactive discussions, and valuable networking opportunities to address the latest developments within the mobile innovation sector. Although each region tailored the roadshow to meet their specific local challenges and needs, the entire event served to open up discussions on how to advance local initiatives, which in turn could lead to the start up and growth of innovative enterprises in the mobile sectors.
The roadshow activities resulted in the creation of awareness, capacity building and networking between developers in their respective localities. It also served to highlight the need for the identification of key barriers to building the mobile industry, including the need for deeper research and skills development in the sector. It was recognised that in order to support young entrepreneurs, there should be active engagement with the mobile industry and the facilitation of meetings in order for collaboration to take place amongst the emerging technology entrepreneurs in the mobile sector.
Speaking at the Botswana roadshow, SAIS’s Juha Miettinen highlighted the importance of establishing and sustaining a holistic and interconnected environment built upon both knowledge and practice, in order to unlock individual ingenuity. He said, “Innovation is about a mindset; thinking about things in new and different ways.”
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