AfriLabs and Mozilla Roundtables Report



African Innovation Ecosystem Roundtables

1. Introduction

The African Innovation Ecosystem has evolved over the years with different levels of success across the regions on the continent. Each region has its unique, yet often also similar, challenges and opportunities resulting in differing levels of maturity in specific regions and countries. Mozilla and Afrilabs set out on an exploration in the form of roundtable discussions tobetter understand this innovation ecosystem, and to explore and identify new product ideas that can solve real-life issues. The discussions were hosted as part of Mozilla’s efforts to reinvest within the African innovation ecosystem and support local innovators with scalable ideas that have the potential to make an impact across the continent. Afrilab’spartnershipwithMozillabrings together two organisations committed to supporting communities of technologists and innovators by putting people first. The partnership will help develop more relevant, sustainable support for African innovators to build scalable resilient products, leveraging honest and candid discussions to identify areas of common interest.

1.1. Background

Afrilabs and Mozilla felt that the time was right to embark on a journey to explore the innovation landscape, its challenges and its opportunities as they form and grow across Africa. It was decided to do this in the form of four regional roundtable discussions withthose at the heart of the ecosystem. The discussions held included representation from innovation hubs/clusters, entrepreneurs on the ground, and various other key informants representing their respective countries and regions. A standard set of questions was formulated to provide some structure to the discussionswhilst acknowledging that these initial, exploratory discussions would be allowed to deviate into the key areas of concern and opportunities for each region. The four regional roundtables were each led by a local facilitator that actively participated in the region's innovation ecosystem, together with four to five key informants representing their views on behalf of their respective countries. The four regions were Western Africa, Southern Africa, Eastern Africa and Central Africa and all the roundtables were conducted in the second half of September 2020 in the form of digital roundtable sessions. 1.2. Overview of Roundtables conducted

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