Innovation Africa 2016 ends in Nairobi with calls for partnerships

The three-day Innovation Africa 2016 Summit ended in Nairobi with calls for enhanced collaboration and partnerships between government and private sector organizations to spur the use and adoption of ICTs in education sector.

The sixth edition of the Innovation Africa Summit, billed as Africa’s flagship annual Education and ICT forum, was convened under the theme “designed and made for Africa by Africa” and formally opened Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i on Wednesday September 21 at Safari Park Hotel.

The three-day Forum was organized by UK-based AfricaBrains with the Ministry of Education acting as the local host.

After deliberations around integration of ICTs in Africa’s education sector, the sixth edition of the Forum came to an end on Thursday September 22.

In his closing remarks, ICT Cabinet Secretary Joseph Mucheru urged participants to continue and advance the conversations initiated at the forum to the next level in order to realize Africa’s digital and innovation aspirations.

“Innovation Africa 2016 summit has been an opportunity for government officials, educationists, universities and captains of industry to meet under one roof and engage in conversations that help to advance public–private partnerships in education, science, ICT and research in sub-Saharan Africa. Indeed, as you must have realized, the public sector and the private sector have a complementary relationship in which the public sector plays the enabler role for the private sector to innovate and create opportunities,” said CS Mucheru, adding that the high number of participants recorded at the meeting is a show of genuine interest to take part “in meaningful discussions on how Africa can play a critical role in contributing to innovation and new knowledge.”

The CS further urged participants drawn from education ministries to work towards embracing innovation and nurture the right environment by developing requisite policies and allocating adequate resources.

“Indeed, this forum has been an eye opener and has challenged us to embrace innovation fully, align our education curriculums’ accordingly, allocate adequate resources for technology and develop appropriate policies for a structured and coherent environment that encourages high-level support from all stakeholders,” he said.

The high-level meeting drew participation from 43 ministries of education, higher education and ICT from 27 African countries, providing them with an opportunity to share experiences and also gain knowledge about best practices from other African countries.

The event organizer, AfricanBrains, is a division of the international Brains Network Group. AfricanBrains is dedicated to attracting investment into education and technology in Africa through building public-private partnerships.

Kenya played host to the sixth edition of the Forum after previous sessions that had been held in Morocco, South Africa, Botswana, Rwanda and Uganda.

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