A Resilient Africa 2020 - An AfriLabs Impact Report


2021: A year of celebration, reflection and moving forward

A final note by Rebecca Enonchong, Board Chair, AfriLabs

Africa is at a very crucial crossroad. Whenever there’s a crisis on a grand scale, there are always phoenixes that will rise from the ashes of the chaos. COVID-19 showed us that sustainable growth is the only kind of growth that can stand the test of time. Our structures were tried and we saw what is working and what isn’t. We are in the right place and time to start building what will last. AfriLabs will be 10 years old in 2021, and this says a lot about how far the African innovation ecosystem has come. There is so much to unpack from the last decade but most of all, we are beginning to see our impact on the economy of Africa. Startups have moved from indie spaces to the mainstream, providing daily solutions to an increasing number of the population living in Africa. They are creating employment as they scale, empowering people and improving lives. That’s the vision: a self-sufficient African economy leveraging a thriving innovation community on the continent. Behind the scene are innovation hubs, playing a pivot role in providing support for many of these startups. This year, some structures increased capacity, went into strategic partnerships, launched new initiatives, opened new centres and took in more startups, all in a pandemic! It was no coincidence that we added 70 hubs to the AfriLabs network this year. These superheroes kept looking for more support so that they could do more. That’s the resilience we love to see! 2020 was also a sober year that provided the right ambience for retrospection. We all had to think hard about what we are doing, how we are doing it and how we could do it better. That’s what adapting and surviving during the COVID pandemic meant to many of us.

2020: A Resilient Africa: An annual report of AfriLabs impact

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