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Microsoft 4Afrika, African Business ‘zine to lead forum on African innovation

The Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative — the effort through which Microsoft “will actively engage in Africa’s economic development to improve its global competitiveness” — has teamed up with African Business magazine and the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) to lead the Innovative Africa Forum, which takes the format of a roundtable discussion on 27 November 2013 in Kampala, Uganda.

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Taking part in the discussion will be leading experts “driving innovation” in Africa, including Su Kahumba, founder of iCow, Simon Rweyongoza, of the Center for Creative Leadership, and Kyai Mullei, co-founder of M-Changa. The Forum will be opened by The Rt Hon. Amama Mbabazi, Prime Minister of Uganda.

With the theme “towards growth and development” the roundtable aims to explore how to create a conducive environment and an ecosystem for innovations in Africa. Conversation topics will include:

  • Developing solutions for innovations to drive social and economic growth in education.
  • Health and agriculture.
  • Africa’s mobile banking revolution.
  • Technology and innovation as levers for business growth.
  • The support role of intellectual and property and patents.

The forum will build on several reports published by African Business over the past few years, and the magazine’s philosophy to help shape the African agenda and create the networks to fast track growth. Furthermore, discussions will be directed at increasing awareness of intellectual property rights among developers. The roundtable seeks to utilise social media to include a wider audience in developing solutions that can be communicated to policy and decision-makers respectively.

Omar Ben Yedder, publisher of African Business magazine, stated:

“The role of innovation in Africa is an important discussion that is being had across several channels. By having this intimate roundtable session we aim to contribute real ideas and real solutions that can be actioned upon. We are pleased to have Microsoft 4Afrika and ARIPO on board this important Forum and we hope to engage participants in the online community as well.”

Tonia Kariuki, marketing director for Microsoft 4Afrika, describes the Initiative’s focus as, “around affordable access, world-class skills and innovation by Africans, for Africans.”

The Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative was launched in February 2013.

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