Transform Africa 2015 Summit ends today in Kigali. Under the theme, “Accelerating Digital Innovation,” the conference has offered a platform for dialogue and deal-making between governments and the private sector on technology solutions and providing a space for young innovators from Africa to showcase their potential in creating home-grown innovations.
VIDEO: Transform Africa 2015 Day #2 Young IT Entrepreneurs. Source: The New Times /YouTube
The New Times’ Eugene Kwibuka caught up with some of the participants and they shared what they make of the summit. Below are the excerpts;-
Ingrid Brudvig, from World Wide Web Foundation, a global civil society organisation that works to promote the web as a global public good and human right.
‘The summit is a very important intervention to bring together multi-stakeholders and to build insights and reflections on successes and challenges to develop new solutions to transform Africa.’
Samuel Sanya, a writer with The New Vision newspaper in Uganda.
‘Transform Africa Summit is a timely and relevant event because East Africa is dealing with a big youthful population who need jobs. Since many of the youth don’t have capital, a conference like this can bring investors who can help them get start-up capital. ICT development is an easy solution to the jobs problem.’
Peter Heuman, vice-president and deputy head of business unit support solutions at Ericsson in Stockholm, Sweden.
‘Being able to see what people can do to develop ICT is fantastic. With a positive agenda, Africa has a great chance of leap-frogging Europe using technology in a much useful way. ICT technology can enable so many benefits for people and governments.’
Cyusa Mucyowiraba, managing director of Kountable-Rwanda, a company that uses IT platforms to identify projects and connect them to investors.
‘The summit is a place to network; to know what is on the market and what is needed. We were able to meet many people, which widened our scope. The fact that the summit happens every two years is good timing because it helps measure the impact of different initiatives.’
Louis-Antoine Muhire, chief executive and founder of Mergims, a company that facilitates people in the Diaspora to pay for services back home.
‘The summit is a good platform to give us visibility and to connect with our investors and clients. The international media should pay attention to what we are doing because some of our services are used by people in the Diaspora. I would like to thank the leadership of our country for supporting start-ups.’
Michel Bézy, professor and associate director, Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda.
‘ICT is the key driver of development in Africa and this summit gets African leaders to pledge their support for ICT development. At this conference, people meet and share ideas on different innovations and get to know that certain technologies exist. They can also see that some of the innovations coming from Africa itself. The world comes here and learns about technologies such as the use of mobile money.’
Fileille Naberwe, co-founder and chief executive of Hire Pipe, a job recruitment platform in Rwanda.
‘The summit connected me to people with many ideas that helped me to think more about how to improve and monetise my mobile application. I also met potential partners with whom to collaborate on my projects in the future.’
Sandra Natukunda, marketing and communications manager at RSwitch, a firm that facilitates e-Payments in Rwanda.
‘The Transform Africa Summit is a good platform for the country to showcase growth and innovation in the digital space. With more companies going online, the summit brings an opportunity for them to showcase their products beyond the local market. At RSwitch, we look forward to coming to the next summit and we thank the Government of Rwanda for putting up such an opportunity.’
Photos by Eugene Kwibuka