Annual Meetings 2013: Entrepreneurs to Showcase Work at Roundtable on Fostering Africa’s Innovation Revolution
Panelists of a high-level roundtable, featuring leading policy-makers, technologists and investors from across Africa, will discuss how to create an enabling environment to realize the potential of the innovation and technological shifts occurring in Africa. Taking place at the African Development Bank Annual Meetings on May 28 in Marrakech, the event shall also see finalists from the Meet the Lions entrepreneurs competition showcase their work.
The roundtable event is organized by the “Liberalizing Innovation Opportunity Nations (LIONS@Africa)” initiative, a collaboration of the AfDB, DEMO, InfoDev, Microsoft, Nokia, Startup Weekend, USAID and the U.S. State Department. It mobilizes public and private institutions to encourage and enhance Africa’s innovation ecosystem and to spur entrepreneurship across the continent. Encouraging new businesses creation, the partnership promotes economic growth closely linked to global opportunities for Sub-Saharan Africa.
Launched at the WEF-Africa Forum in Addis Ababa in May 2012, LIONS@Africa has supported innovation summits, entrepreneur boot camps and venture capital roundtables in Algeria, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa and the USA.
The Meet the Lions competition promotes entrepreneurship opportunities for young technology innovators in Africa. It will highlight the entrepreneurial talent and spirit that exists on the continent and motivate the future of African innovators by strengthening the capacity and connectivity of African start-ups, entrepreneurs, and innovators.
The finalists’ presentations will occur in conjunction with an InfoDev global forum in South Africa, held the same week, where competition winners will be announced.
Six of the 10 fastest-growing economies are in Africa and 17 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have maintained growth rates between five and seven per cent annually. Internet and mobile technology usage in Africa is growing faster than any other continent – mobile subscriptions alone number over 700 million.
African entrepreneurs are using the new opportunities presented by these shifts and are creating game-changing solutions to address social, environmental, and economic challenges on a local and global scale, building Africa’s emerging “Silicon Savannah”.