DIGILOGIC: Fostering European and African Digital Innovation Hubs collaborationOctober 23, 2023
DIGILOGIC Innovators’ Pitch Event Open for RegistrationNovember 20, 2023
AEDIB|NET Final Summit and AfriLabs Gathering
The AEDIB|NET Final Summit took place at Norrsken House in Kigali, Rwanda, on 9th October and brought the opportunity to connect and network with relevant stakeholders from the DIGILOGIC network, discuss the future of the digital economy in Africa and learn about future opportunities for collaboration between Africa and Europe.
Amongst other things, the importance of policy development across Africa and Europe to support digital innovation was highlighted in the frame of a panel discussion. Representatives such as Melanie Mwangi from WeiGo shared diverse perspectives on the topic, who provides a management platform for construction sites representing the entrepreneurship scene and panellists from academia, policymaking and the Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) ecosystem.
Many thoughts were also spent on the support of DIHs in the frame of AEDIB 2.0 and the involvement of the ecosystem. H. Tomi Davies, president of the African Business Angel Network, highlighted that it is the responsibility of the African DIHs to involve the local ecosystem players, especially the local investors and business angels, to ensure sustainable growth and unlock the potential of the local ecosystem.
Overall, the concept of collaboration amongst African DIHs and the potential of collaboration between European and African DIHs will stay in focus for the future project AEDIB 2.0 - a flagship project of the EU-AU Summit 2022. European Commission Policy officer Georgiana Macovei from the Directorate-General for International Partnerships(DG INTPA) presented the key focus points for AEDIB 2.0:
- Evidence-based policies and a regulatory environment conducive to innovation ecosystem and private sector development.
- Strengthening of the Pan-African network of DIH, intra-Africa and Europe-Africa collaboration.
- Sandbox for innovative financing mechanisms, direct and targeted financial support to start-ups in early stages of development, leveraging investors’ networks and DHIs.
Exciting opportunities, therefore, lie ahead for the DIGILOGIC consortium members, their established network, and the collaboration between DIHs across Europe and Africa.
The AfriLabs Gathering took place from 11th-13th October 2023 at the Kigali Convention Center and brought along lots of interesting insights. For the DIGILOGIC project, especially the sustainability, collaboration opportunities and development of Digital Innovations Hubs were very interesting. For example, three learnings for African DIHs or tech hubs to become sustainable were highlighted by the panellists discussing hub sustainability and management:
- African DIHs must be strategic about funding sources and rely on multiple sources.
- African DIHs need to create meaningful programmes with clear added value.
- African DIHs need to think long-term and be strategic about the choice of their programmes and projects.
Alexandra Fraser from Viridian highlighted the importance of open innovation and mutually beneficial collaborations for the innovation ecosystem. He presented a toolkit developed with Make-IT in Africa to approach open innovation. The methodology has been tested and implemented with Serverausfall partners and DIGILOGIC partner BongoHive.
Overall, the AfriLabs Gathering brought along lots of inspiration and food for thought on leveraging the results and achievements of the DIGILOGIC project and intensifying collaboration between DIHs in Africa and Europe.