Innovative use of technology helping to solve challenges in Africa, says VP | The Guardian Nigeria News

• Urges continent to sustain momentum to realize potentials

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged Africa to sustain innovative use of opportunities offered by the digital era. He said: “It is imperative that we keep the momentum going, so that the continent thrives, backstops innovation, creates wealth and contributes to overall global development.

“I think, there is no question at all that with the right spirit of hard work and problem solving that we see all over the continent, the green shoots of technological innovation will transform the continent and impact positively on the rest of the world.”

Osinbajo stated this in his remarks delivered virtually, on Saturday, at the Stanford Africa Business Forum, themed: ‘African Innovation Shaping the Global Future’, and hosted by the Stanford Business School.

He asked: “Why would Africa play a pivotal role in the global future? After all, Africa is home to most of the least developed countries in the world and many African countries are at the bottom of the rung of human development indicators.

“It is certainly not a global leader in research and development. In terms of digital technology, Africa seems to have a high mountain to climb as its Internet penetration is at 39.3 per cent compared to the world average of 58.8 per cent.”

Osinbajo explained: “It is precisely because of its developmental limitations, its distance from the frontier of economic development, that Africa needs to innovate, and in so doing, will catch up or indeed set the pace for the rest of the world.

“First of all, digitalization offers opportunities for innovation that are not so readily available with other forms of technology and will enable African countries to leapfrog, while at the same time contributing to the global future.

“It is now well acknowledged that the tech sector in Africa holds a lot of promise. There are said to be almost 700 innovation hubs on the continent and venture capital funding continues to expand at a rapid pace.

“This last frontier continent offers opportunities for using innovation to solve the huge deficits in financial inclusion, human capital development, access to electricity, clean energy, access to credit and payments processing.”

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