Africa: innovation to skip the stages of development
The symposium on the state of Africa is one of the events expected from the meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. On April 21, the discussions focused on the potential of innovations to accelerate the development of the African continent, particularly in the field of agriculture and energy.
“Harnessing the potential of innovation to transform the agriculture and energy sectors”. That was the slogan of the symposium on the state of Africa, held on April 21 at the World Bank headquarters in Washington. A flagship event for the annual meetings and spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), this summit meeting is a regular way of reviewing the continent’s economic activity.
Moderated by Gugulethu Mfuphi, journalist and presenter on CNBC Africa, the symposium on April 21 has, on this first point, brought some good news: “Growth has rebounded in sub-Saharan Africa, but not fast enough,” said Albert Zeufack, Chief Economist of the World Bank for Africa. “Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal are growing in West Africa and have been joined by Guinea and Ghana, whose performance is promising.”
After having again evoked the evolution of the composition of the public debt of the countries of the continent, the speakers could arrive at the heart of the debate.
Around the table, entrepreneurs, public officials and development experts have highlighted successful innovations and their potentials, which some already see as an accelerator of Africa’s economic development. “Kenya is resolutely turning to renewable energy to meet its energy needs, and we can be proud! “, Congratulated Rebecca Miano, KenGen’s Executive and General Manager.
“Thanks to the adoption of new modes of energy production, Senegal has been able to reduce the price per kilowatt hour to four cents,” said Makhtar Diop, vice president of the World Bank for Africa, before to express a wish: “Africa must create an environment conducive to new technologies. And it must rely on the local private sector to accelerate its development. ”
A position that also defended Thierry Tanoh, Minister of Petroleum, Energy, and Development of renewable energy in Ivory Coast: “Public funding alone will not be enough to ensure energy production in our countries . We must therefore improve the macroeconomic framework to attract the private sector. ”
Train the creators of tomorrow
This innovation that comes directly from Africa could boost the entire economy of the continent. On condition of being well accompanied. “It is imperative that Africa has the right human capital to avoid reliance on international experts,” said Makhtar Diop.
A conclusion to which Esther Kunda, program and operations coordinator of the Next Einstein Forum, also added: “Innovation is not an enemy, and our public authorities must welcome it positively to help solve problems faster. The right conditions must be created to enable young African innovators to bring their discoveries out of the laboratory, to promote them on a national scale. ”
This inertia of the public authorities would be visible at all levels and prevent the development of large-scale projects. “The public authorities are sometimes afraid to collect data for fear that this exposes the problems. But the data must be our friends, “said Ugwem l. Eneyo, co-founder and CEO of Solstice Energy Solutions. “Without the data, we sail on sight. It is difficult to make informed decisions for research and development at all levels of our ecosystem. ”
Key to its food and energy security, Africa’s technological leap has just begun.