Building a Resilient Innovative Africa in a COVID-19 world

Investing inR&Dtobuild innovation resilience

The role that R&D plays in innovation, invention, enterprise, and economic growth is unquestionable. Stronger structures, policies, and funding for innovation-focused R&D is required on the continent. Building and safeguarding innovation resilience on the continent requires the steering of public and private sector funding in a conscientious and transparent manner towards research and development across key sectors referenced in this report. When asked about the top three issues that impact the resilience of the continent’s innovation sector, over half (55%) of the innovators and entrepreneurs cite investor funding as the single biggest issue that needs to be addressed. The second and third most prominent issues that respondents wish for governments to address are fostering entrepreneurship and eradicating corruption.

Investor funding

Fostering entrepreneurship

Eradicating corruption

Economic growth

Economic reform / diversification

Government policy reform

Political stability / peace

Empowering women


Increased educational opportunities

Eliminating income inequality / rise of the middle class Health and sanitation

Fig. Issues that Governments can address to build amore resilient innovation sector

Insights from the experts involved in developing this report echoe these sentiments. According to Mozilla’s Director, Innovation and Public Policy, Africa, Alice Munyua, policymakers are responding by incentivizing innovation alongside recovery efforts through, for example, ramping up support and funding, as well as supporting entrepreneurs with ideas to keep the economy going in a safe manner as governments ease the lockdowns. However, aswe have seen in previous sections of the report, many entrepreneurs and innovators are not aware of such measures or not finding them adequate. Munyua explains that COVID-19 will accelerate progress in the digital economy, and with technology getting ready to play a much larger role in key growth sectors, the focus on funding and support is paramount and that greater transparency is required, especially when putting measures in place that might be considered intrusive.


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