AfriLabs and Mozilla Roundtables Report



African Innovation Ecosystem Roundtables

came from the private sector and there has been a strong drive towards innovation in the private sector with even a number of NGOs running their own innovation departments.

Funding has remained difficult to access and it is believed that some incentives are required to attract investors to the ecosystem. It is especially at the early stage of innovation (ideation phase) that a lot of support is needed. Similarly in Uganda there has been some growth over the last 3 years with a number of new hubs opening up. The formulation of Start-up Uganda was a strong step in the right direction that led to some of the growth experienced. Currently there are not many policies in place but some good, provoking discussions have been taking place. This is further backed by a big push from Mastercard Uganda and the fact that a number of stakeholders are starting to recognise successes in the ecosystem. The government also took a big leap in formulating and launching an initiative for funding and local innovation support.


Tanzaniahas acknowledged the importanceof open source solutions, especiallywhere equipping African youth with skills. Further focus is also placed on Artificial Intelligence as a key skill for the future. Rwanda has not adopted the use of open source to the same level as Tanzania and a lot of training is required to up skill people on the use thereof. There is also some fear of data protection when it comes to open source solutions.


In Tanzania there has been a lack of digital skills and it has been noted as a key challenge that requires attention. Furthermore there is a great need for improved policies and frameworks for innovation. In Rwanda people would rather invest in land than in innovation (which is generally seen as a riskier investment) and a lot of support and education is required to change this. Currently their greatest need would however be for access to markets and customers across the region.

Uganda indicated that capacity building, resourcing and funding (with improved access to innovation networks) were some of their main support needs.

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