With the advance in digital technology and the progress attained by innovators in the continent, the dream of Africa’s founding fathers of building a continental economic powerhouse and prosperous continent is now attainable, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Prof. Osinbajo stated this Wednesday evening in Abuja at the 10th-anniversary dinner of AfriLabs – a network organisation supporting Innovation Centers across African countries since 2011.
Speaking about how technology and innovation hubs are now able to bring the vision to fruition, the VP said “our advantages are obvious, we are the youngest continent on the planet, the vast majority of our population are digital natives, born in the digital revolution.”
His words: “barely 60 years ago, the first leaders of independent African states dreamt of a united and prosperous Africa. They spoke of one continent, one people, a people capable of becoming a political and economic powerhouse. As it turned out, that objective is yet to be attained.
“But today that dream of Africans working in collaboration to create an economic powerhouse is achievable and at hand. The key lies in a planned digital future, innovation, and the creative use of technology for enterprise and development.”
Continuing, Prof. Osinbajo explained that “despite developmental constraints, Africa is still on course to disrupt the fourth industrial revolution itself with the sheer numbers of youthful talent and energy available. This has been proven with the disruption we continue to see across various sectors.”
On the progress made in the technology and innovation space, the VP noted that “in 2015, African start-ups struggled to raise about $200million, but in 2021 we have more than 6 Unicorns. In FinTech alone, we have Flutterwave, Paystack, Opay, and Interswitch, all valued at more than $1billion each.
“In e-commerce, we have Jumia, Ashraf Sabry’s Fawbry, an Egyptian e-payment company that allows customers to settle bills online and digitally, and is now on the Egyptian stock exchange with about 30 million customers.