African Innovation Ecosystem Roundtables
There is an opportunity for Mozilla teammembers and other innovators across the globe to join hub mentorship networks across the African continent. This would improve entrepreneurs business acumen and support internationalisation of products and services. 5. Early stage funding: Innovators across the continent are in desperate need of early stage funding to support product development and testing. There is an opportunity for Mozilla to support early stage product development and amplify the call for more investors to support innovations early on to ensure that more market relevant innovations see the light of day. Mozilla could also plug into Catalyst, which is an African Business Angel Network and AfriLabs partnership that aims to increase the pool of capital available to promising African growth-stage entrepreneurs, as well as support the startup ecosystem including hubs and angel network. Catalyst operates as a co-investment fund that will match investments from qualifying angel investors into African growth-stage companies. This initiative is supported by the French Development Agency.
An African proverb says:
“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Africa has not been able to go quickly and has fallen behind on innovation and entrepreneurship (compared to some western countries). Although the continent is making good progress, it is only in its quest to work together (across regions as One Africa) that it will be able to create a sustainable ecosystem. This will require far greater collaboration and improved policies to enable sustainability. The Afrilabs/ Mozilla partnership has a key role to play in ensuring that Africa will rise as an innovation giant.
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