The Government of Rwanda, the Government of Cabo Verde, the European Union, Luxembourg, and the African Development Bank, have formulated a partnership aimed at empowering entrepreneurs from across the continent.
Together with the Development Bank of Southern Africa, NEPAD, the United Nations Development Programme and organisations that include Enterpriseroom and Accenture, the groups will sponsor this year’s edition of the Africa Innovation Summit (AIS), a platform that seeks to build robust innovation ecosystems in Africa.
AIS this week announced its list of innovators selected from across the continent to exhibit their solutions at the forum, which will take place from the 6th to the 8th of June, 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda.
The event will kick off under the patronage of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and Pedro Pires, ex-President of Cabo Verde and 2011 Mo Ibrahim Laureate.
The AIS serves as a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue and a catalyst for coalition and action towards building robust innovation ecosystems in Africa. AIS 2018 will focus on innovation as a tool to address Africa’s pressing challenges.
An important aspect of AIS 2018 will focus on profiling and supporting solutions that are already examples of how Africa is addressing her challenges with new and innovative thinking. As such, AIS 2018 Innovation Track and Exhibition is an integral part of the Summit.
The exhibition will showcase home-grown innovations on the continent.
“It is heartwarming to see so many Africans engaged in trying to find solutions to the pressing challenges facing the continent,” said Dr. Olugbenga Adesida, Director of the AIS .
“We need all Africans, especially those with the power to act, to actively engage in building innovation driven societies in Africa,” Dr. Adesida added.
The list of AIS 2018 innovators includes, among others, Jackline Kemigisa of Parliament Watch Uganda; Pidson Abaho of PedalTap, Uganda; James Dick of Food Security for Everyone, South Africa; Victor Shikoli of HYDROIQ, Kenya; Immanuel Hango of Chlorine Production Using Solar Energy, Namibia; Venuste Kubwimana, who founded School Water Kiosks in Rwanda; and Chifungu Samazaka, of Recyclebot, Zambia.
Applications were accepted in one of three categories; either idea stage, ready to commercialize or ready to scale.
The focus is on innovators who are tackling the challenges in Water and Sanitation, Food Security and Agriculture, Healthcare, Governance and Energy.
Over 600 innovation submissions were received from 44 African countries, including Morocco, Tunisia, Mali, Gambia, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan, Chad, Congo, Comoros, Mozambique, Lesotho and Namibia, with the majority being submitted from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania.
AIS has partnered with Enterpriseroom, a transformation consultancy specializing in starting, sustaining, and accelerating enterprises, to drive the sourcing and selection process.
“The evaluation process was extremely thorough, and we are grateful for the valuable support of a panel of 25 leading African experts from across all sectors and regions, who served as evaluators in the review process. We ensured that we had French speaking sector experts vetting the francophone countries to ensure that every application received an equal chance in the process,” commented Tracey Webster, CEO of Enterpriseroom.