Building a Framework for a Pan-African Science and Technological R&D Capacity Building
Silicon Valley is a global center for high technology, innovation, and social media. With a population of eight million people, Israel also has over 6,000 startups and attracts more risk capital per person than any other country in the world. Both entrepreneurial ecosystems were built on a knowledge base that required billions of dollars of government investment and a culture that was influenced by their local context.
The billions of dollars invested by the US government to meet the technological needs in a context of the second world war and the space race with the Soviet Union, fueled Silicon Valley’s growth to become the world’s leading tech hub. The Military-Industrial Complex, NASA and DARPA provided the science and technological R&D base of new and unproven technologies like the internet, which Silicon Valley companies took full advantage of to fuel their exponential growth.
Similarly, Israel’s success story in becoming the fastest growing startup nation can be traced back to the knowledge base that was created by the billions of dollars invested by the government into military and intelligence due to Israel’s geographical location in a tumultuous region with very few allies.
Creating a science and technological R&D base that is so critical in cultivating a strong startup ecosystem is a nearly impossible task for one African country alone. A more collaborative approach is therefore necessary. As the host of the Headquarters of the African Union and the UNECA, Ethiopia must continue to embrace its role of the capital of Africa and drive the continent’s digital future. This will require creating regional frameworks for world class science, technological R&D and Innovation, and cultivating local and interconnected startup ecosystems by accelerating Intergovernmental, Government-Private-Sector and Academia collaborations starting from the East African region and setting the pace for other African regions.
This framework for Science Technological R&D and innovation will define and execute on joint strategies for research and development by bringing together African and global technology companies, centers of excellence, researchers, academics and industrialists. It will foster Intensive interactions and operational synergies between stakeholders to exchange knowledge and expertise for an effective technology transfer and information dissemination to startup ecosystems.
Andalem has a vision to become the driving force for a vibrant, job creating Pan-African digital economy that stays on top of accelerating and converging technology trends and that leverages the current Ethiopian and African demographic dividend. Taking into account the factors underlying the most prominent tech hubs in the world, Andalem is currently conducting reseach on A Pan African science, technological R&D and open innovation framework
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