Enterprises Must Promote Innovation

Image Source: New African Magazine

The improvement of entrepreneurship education in Africa has witnessed innovation in African businesses rather than the traditional objectives of economic transformation and job creation. Entrepreneurs should create businesses by solving problems in the society.

Africa is gradually catching up to the rest of the world on tech advancement, however, there’s no pressure on the continent to leap-frog other regions in innovation. For African enterprises to grow exponentially, they must become centers for technological learning and not solely on wealth creation.

Tech-oriented companies are considered important players in the entrepreneurial ecosystems because of their abilities to develop internal competences, while competing in tech advancements around the world. Africa’s latecomer status in the technology industry is an advantage if new businesses can be created, while leveraging on the existing technologies available in more developed regions.

The emergence of mobile banking technology in the Sub-Saharan nations caused a major disruption in the continent’s banking sector. Many commercial banks have no option than to integrate technology into their banking systems. This technology wasn’t new to developed continents, but the efforts made by tech entrepreneurs in Kenya paid off and was subsequently used as a model for other African nations to adopt.

The diverse skills, capabilities and resources needed to run an enterprise can be aggregated in a geographic location to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Such an ecosystem can then boast of being a leader in a specific aspects of innovation. This ecosystem can also serve as a breeding ground for young innovators to learn and attract quality expertise in the region.

Promoting industrial development in the continent will be pivotal in achieving tech industrialization in Africa. Sovereign nations should prioritize human development over dependence on natural resources. Policies and laws aimed at encouraging these young innovators should be introduced rather than formulating archaic laws that will stunt innovation in Africa’s business environment.

There is growing need to provide mentorship programs for these innovators, to help them make informed decisions. Professionals in various technologically oriented institutions should be matched with these entrepreneurs while advocating for investors, venture partners and incubators. The gap between professionals in the public institutions and their private sector counterparts should be bridged in order to promote a highly competitive industry.

Africa’s growth is dependent on the quality of innovation of the entrepreneurs, with the thought that these innovations will span across agriculture, education, health care and other sectors critical to the development of the continent.

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