‘Accelerating Africa’s Industrialization through “Digitization” & Youth“Techpreneurship’

By; Stephen Tashobya, Wekebere Lead Innovator

The objective of the 9th Private Sector Forum is to be a platform for vibrant discussions between telecoms, technology companies, local actors of Africa’s industrialization and the public sector on forging Private-Public-Partnerships to digitize the African economy and prepare it for the 4th and 5th Industrial Revolutions. It promotes both global and intra-African collaborations in order to harness the benefits of digital technologies and techpreneurship to accelerate Africa’s economic transformation and sustainable development in the digital era.

This Forum took place from November 13-15, 2017 at international convention center in Pretoria South Africa.

Excitingly I was named as one of the 10 young technopreneur in Africa changing the world based on my work with the Wekebere project a hand held device self-diagnostic device that  continuously monitors the conditions of unborn babies and provides  better information to doctors to improve birth outcome.  The 9th AU private sector forum was a powerful event with my main take away being; understanding principles and elements required to form successful and high-impact private public partnerships to bring rapid technological advances in digitization, data analytics and artificial Intelligence to turbocharge productivity, performance, efficiency and safety of my products, us innovators and next generation leaders, -we must appreciate the existing structures to be able to make them better. As we create new products, we must make sure we understand the existing solutions. We were trained and empowered to take on the position of leadership in the fields suitable to each one of us.

We were also given the opportunity to pitch projects that offered us on spot a advice, knowledge that address crucial needs of our projects and companies from a panel of industry and investment experts . We had several meeting with industry experts, mentors who continuously encouraged and inspired us on the journey of innovation we are taking as we are creating the 5th industrial revolution. To make the Forum more interesting, guest speakers and facilitators joined the young techno preneurs to share practical examples and life experiences real time. Such exercises helped participants come up with more brilliant ideas to address diverse problems in various sectors.

I am more than excited having been part of the 9th AU private sector Forum this year. I am grateful to have been selected and invited into this very competitive knowledge generation and sharing space. Thank you African Union, Department of science and technology of South Africa for the opportunity. I feel like my direction of thought for innovation and technology is raised to its height and I was more challenged and exposed to a variety of new and never-heard-of-before resources to launch me into the next level as an impactful young tech entrepreneur on the African continent. I am also additionally powered to boldly go all the way to see wekebere device impacting millions of people in the world.

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