In the past few years there has been a marked growth in the number of technological innovation and adoption in the continent. From the Atlas through the Sahara to the Cape, this is mostly in the areas of ICT, majority of them have been around mobile broadband adoption, which has spiralled across a variety of different economic sectors.
The development has led to a surge in “techopreneurs” solving many social problems in their society with different technology tools. An example is the Apps4Africa climate change challenge. Series of mobile and web applications developed in late 2011 and early 2012 to solve diverse climate change issues across different communities in Africa were submitted by developers.
Despite the surge, there are still many hurdles to address in navigating technological changes. In my opinion, part of the problem has been a lack of incubation ground.
An increase in innovation hubs will help developers operate a practical, affordable and flexible business model.
For young entrepreneurs, business idea incubation is a launch pad because it provides enabling environment and mentorship from business experts and venture capitalists. The concept is to ensure that start ups are driven through the challenges of business sustainability in the first few years.
One of the hubs I recently visited, Co-Creation Hub in Lagos, Nigeria, has been dubbed as Nigeria’s first open living lab and pre-incubation space designed to be a multi-functional, multi-purpose space where work to catalyze creative social tech ventures take place. It is a one of its kind in the West-African sub-region. It has a lounge fully kitted with leisure facilities to ensure a robust work-life balance.
You might want to checkout a similar space in your country. For a list of Innovation hubs across Africa click here.