The Africa Innovation Summit 2018 (AIS) has officially been kicked off in Kigali, Rwanda as it is set to focus on innovative and disruptive solutions to the major challenges facing Afrika. These include solutions around energy access, water, food insecurity, health systems, and governance.
The summit is running from 6 to 8 June 2018.
“The challenge facing Africa is building robust ecosystems of innovation. I am happy that AIS is helping our countries build a culture of innovation as a way of life. It is a critical element of development and economic growth. In Rwanda, we will be launching a research and innovation fund to address the key needs of our country. Resolutions and recommendations from AIS will play a key role,” said Edouard Ngirente, Rwanda's Prime Minister, at the opening of AIS 2018.
Beyond just being a "talk shop", the summit aims to create a community of Afrikan innovators that will not only meet to dialogue on solutions but also create ecosystems that will enable them to share ideologies beyond the summit. From 600 applications from 44 countries, a selected group of 50 innovators will have a unique opportunity to engage stakeholders in discussing potential solutions to some of the blockages that are preventing solutions from going to scale.
“The AIS puts African innovators front and centre. They are the people working daily to identify Africa’s challenges and develop appropriate solutions to create the continent we all want to see in the future. They do this with very little local support. The basic fact is that Africa cannot outsource its development. We aim to change this by not only creating dialogue around the challenges and opportunities our innovators face, but also to foster concrete, multi-stakeholder action to support and scale their businesses. We will all be better off if African innovators are provided with conducive ecosystems to thrive,” said Dr. Olugbenga Adesida, Co-Director at AIS.