It has been a slow year in my minds eye of what would have happened in Africa’s technology scene. And instead taking the angle of what to watch out for on matters technology, I want to focus on the change that I would like to see across the ecosystem that is more inclined to the supporting issues that often get lost in the hype only to become apparent once the uptake of innovation does not go as expected.
Starting with developer and designer communities, we need to see more collaboration on the building level. It is a difficult task to be the one and all while building something that will become truly great. Establishment of trust networks is key to funneling collaborative effort that will fast-track ideas, into prototypes and get them market ready.
It is people who lead organizations and often times it is these same organizations that lead disruptive change by adopting technology to help them meet their objectives. Executives need to deal with their ignorance and unearth the possibilities presented by tech. Boldness will most certainly carry a big competitive advantage payload while also seeding the market for service providers.
Government comes first, a more concerted effort at creating an enabling environment for innovation to flourish. I have talked about strengthening intellectual property institutions, a second would be to finally crack the model that will deliver sustainable retune on funds earmarked for development.
The banking fraternity also has some adapting to do. Having taken time to understand the innards of various industry verticals such as aviation, construction, manufacturing and real-estate, it would be advantageous to apply the same effort towards understanding technology ecosystems. It will make it easier for your managers to see the correlation of code, infrastructure and the bottom-line, and hopefully be more receptive to what creators are churning out.
Academic institutions, more so varsities need to look at way to leverage the knowledge that they disseminate. If it is worth anything, would it not make sense to harness it by way of having programs that would invest in some of the breakout academic and entrepreneurial stars? It would be easier to attract support as an institution as opposed to free radical alumni, each to his own.
Less on the actual ideas as many will fail, and more on the framework and culture.