African Innovation Ecosystem Roundtables
Africa has also started using some open source software especially for prototyping and proof of concept testing but for the majority of the continent, developers have not been contributing much to open software. This comes as a result of an inability to monetize such efforts and a fear of data breaches. This can be overcome by more training and educating of users in Africa.
In order to ensure a resilient African ecosystem, some vitally needed support is required. These include the following main needs:
1. Access to funding and affordable finance 2. Access to markets and customers across the continent 3. Access to mentorship
3.4 Recommendations / Way forward
In order for the Afrilabs/Mozilla partnership to have the greatest impact on the African innovation ecosystem, the following is proposed:
1. Coordination of, and guidance on policy development
African governments are slow to develop and/or adopt policies that will:
● Protect entrepreneurs and innovators (especially start-ups) ● Grow the ecosystem ● Attract investments to start-ups.
Mozilla can assist these efforts by involving some of the multinationals that they interact with regularly but also to assist in accelerating and contributing to drafting of policies that can be further refined for each country. Further to this, Mozilla can also use their goodwill to drive the process at governmental level and to foster opportunities for innovators to interact directly with policy makers. It is noted that Mozilla has supported the work of i4policy which is an AfriLabs partner and lawyers Hub which is an AfriLabs member. A deliberate tripartite or quadripartite partnership may help accelerate the policy making process across the continent.
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