In 2019, people in African countries continued to connect digitally. And in 2019 the major geopolitical powers continued to enter Africa to increase their influence. With NextAfrica in 2020 I will concentrate on bringing together purpose-driven companies from Europe and Africa to collaborate and co-create.
Europe has laid the foundations for an interconnected global society. So also for the upswing in Africa. With our false image of Africa we cannot see that at all. The two narratives – hopeless Africa, the break-up of Europe – reinforce each other.
In Africa, the entrepreneurial mindset is the norm, the “default” position of African societies. That makes a big difference for the digital transformation.
The small East African country Rwanda has discovered its competitive advantage in our interlinked global society. It offers a greenfield for proof-of-concept of digital innovations. And expects a contribution to its development.
Rwanda is different. Driving from the airport to the center of the capital Kigali, you feel a bit like in the Tuscany in Italy. Green alleys and red-roofed houses in „the land of a thousand hills“. As an European you might forget that you are only some 200 km away from the equator, in the middle of the African continent.
End of January we were 18 Mzungus visiting Nairobi. It was the third so called “Learning Journey to Silicon Savannah” making us explore “Digital Africa”, “Urban Africa” and possibilities for “Co-Creation”. We went for an experiment and checked in at the Madaraka railway, Kenya’s first big infrastructure investment built by China.
I am looking forward to my keynote in Dornbirn next week (in English):
Only when we realize the realities in Africa, Europe will be able to deal with migration and the interconnected global society.
Gado, Safaricom, M-Pesa, Kibera and other events and meetings have been part of our Learning Journey to Silicon Savannah, Nairobi.
We will be looking for the ‘missing link’ in understanding ‘Africa’ – the innovators. We will meet innovators, entrepreneurs, managers, professors, thinkers, writers…