Brilliance & Resilience: A Continent Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts
...And the platform that is putting Africa 4.0 on the map.
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, December 22, 2022/ EINPresswire.com / -- By Hyatt Antognini-Amin, Chief Creative Officer at Africa House
As the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit and Morocco’s impressive run in the World Cup demonstrate, Africa is garnering increasing attention on the global stage for all the right reasons. A vast and complex continent, Africa is home to fifty-four countries, over two thousand languages, and more than one billion people. Its rich and varied landscapes are abundant in oil, diamonds, gold, and other precious resources, and its wildlife is diverse and captivating. The people of Africa are equally varied, with over three thousand ethnic groups, each with its own culture, traditions, and history. From the Khoisan in the south to the Amazigh in the north, and from the Igbo in the west to the Somalis in the east, the continent is a tapestry of cultures.
Today, powerful stories about African economic transformation and resilience make the headlines. A wave of achievements over the years has fostered a fresh new narrative. In truth, it is the minds of Africans, their brilliance and strength, that give the continent its advantage.
In recent years, the world has been navigating the fourth industrial revolution and creating an enabling environment for Africa and Africans is crucial. According to data from Briter Bridges (1) , African tech start-ups attracted close to an estimated $5 billion in total funding in 2021 alone. ICT in Africa has promoted massive growth in a relatively short amount of time. The continent had nearly half of the world’s global money accounts in 2018, and mobile phone-enabled technology services have created nearly 2 million direct jobs on the continent. (2) Much has also been achieved in relation to climate competitiveness. For example, farming in sub-Saharan Africa is being transformed by digitalization. The de-risking of agriculture via digital devices and real-time farm data has enormous potential thanks to innovations led by companies such as Agrocenta, a Ghanaian-based company, and UjuziKilimo based in Kenya. Moreover, pioneering IoT-enabled health-tech projects have demonstrated African entrepreneurs’ willingness to improve access to and mobilize available resources despite economic hurdles.
The acceleration of Africa’s economic success in the fourth industrial revolution is no surprise when we look at the numbers. Africa currently has the youngest population in the world, with over 60% of sub-Saharan Africa under the age of 30. (3) This younger generation has grown up in an era where digital technologies have provided the world with easy access to communication. Today, nearly 650 tech start-up hubs are active in Africa, and a new digital ecosystem has emerged that has dramatically shifted the odds for Africans. International organizations, multilateral and regional institutions have taken notice and have heavily invested in supporting the mass digitalization of Africa. The goal of the World Bank’s Digital Moonshot Initiative is to digitally connect every individual business and government in Africa by 2030.(4)
A Platform Of Action: Africa House
This new landscape offers opportunity and potential the world hasn’t seen before. Africa House, a project launched in 2020 at the 50th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, is a platform that brings together multiple stakeholders interested and engaged in activities on the continent. The project focuses on harnessing the uniquely intense set of socio-political circumstances that has churned the continent into an innovation powerhouse.
The transformation of Africa is something to be reckoned with, as is the speed at which its expansion is impacting the continent’s inhabitants. Africa is more than the sum of its parts – its diversity, resilience, and innovation make it a unique and powerful force on the global stage. At the 2023 WEF conference in Davos, the Africa House team is laser-focused on putting Africa 4.0 on the map – a map designed by Africans themselves. The project aims to facilitate collaboration and support the development of innovative solutions to address the challenges facing the continent, ultimately helping to drive the transformation of Africa into Africa 4.0.
The continent has undoubtedly experienced an assortment of hardships and setbacks, but what is most impressive is that despite these calamities, Africa still rises – bigger, faster, and better than ever.
1 Tage Kene-Okafor, “Reports say African startups raised record-smashing $4.3B to $5B in 2021,” Tech Crunch, February 8, 2022
2 Njuguna Ndung’u & Landry Signé. “The Fourth Industrial Revolution and digitization will transform Africa into a global powerhouse,” Brookings Institution Report, January 8, 2022 : https://www.brookings.edu/research/the-fourth-industrial-revolution-and-digitization-will-transform-africa-into-a-global-powerhouse/
3 World Economic Forum, Why Africa’s youth hold the key to its development potential: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/09/why-africa-youth-key-development-potential/
4 Nima Elmi, “Here are 4 technology trends from emerging economies,” World Economic Forum, September 9, 2020
Project Africa House