Durban – The M-PESA innovation has transformed Kenya into a global leader in mobile phone payments. According to the President of the Republic of Mauritius, HE Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, “Such innovations have to be sustained and mainstreamed in other sectors, including the health sector to improve delivery of healthcare in Africa.”
President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim was speaking during the official opening of the Innovation Effect event on the margins of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa on 2 May 2017. The theme of the event is ‘Powering African innovation for health and economic growth.’
“African-led innovations will help to create African solutions to effectively address African problems. Investing in Science, Technology and Innovation will ensure that Africa owns her development agenda,” President Gurib-Fakim said.
South African Minister of Science and Technology, Hon Grace Naledi Pandor emphasised the need for public-private partnerships and South-South collaboration to enhance investment in research and innovation in Africa. She said that local health innovation in Africa will help to make the continent less reliant on foreign investments.
“The Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Health in South Africa are currently working together to develop our own pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and medical devices. This will make South Africa less reliant on imports,” Hon Pandor stated.
NEPAD Agency CEO, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki brought to the attention of the audience the need for inclusive growth in a multisectoral approach to effectively tackle the challenges of STI in Africa.
“Innovation is not about centralising policies, to the contrary, it is about empowering local communities for the transformation of the African continent,” Dr Mayaki said.
During the meeting, President and CEO of PATH, Steve Davis stated that entrepreneurship and research capacity in Africa is starting to move in the right direction and this will lead to innovation that will have an impact in the lives of the ordinary people in Africa.
“African led innovation has the potential to move beyond addressing local problems with local solutions to becoming a global public good,” Mr Davis remarked.
African led innovation must be inclusive and bring the public and private sector together to deliberate on the future of innovation. Other African leaders also have to come on-board to increase the political will and commitment to investing in locally driven innovation.
Source: NEPAD Agency