The Chief Executive Officer of Wits Tshimologong Digital Innovation, Johannesburg, Lesley Williams, has tasked Africans to consider COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to identify and showcase indigenous solutions to the multifaceted challenges confronting the continent.
Speaking at a two-day virtual Annual Breakfast Dialogue, fourth edition of the Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT) with the theme: “Tech for Good: Fostering Social Innovation and Digital Investments for Transformative Change”, Williams challenged policymakers and innovators to consider the pandemic as an avenue to explore African solutions to the problems.
In a statement, yesterday, she said the problems arising from the COVID-19 outbreak across the continent, in the wake of global economic decline, has resulted in developing nations putting their national interests first, adding that Africa, like the rest of the world, is caught up in the same COVID-19 problem and its attendants challenges.
Williams urged Africans to have confidence in their innovative solutions to challenges confronting the continent. She sai d: “Africa, like the rest of the world, is caught up in the same COVID-19 problem, and everyone is focusing on his or her respective country. We need to trust ourselves, we need to trust our solutions and bring them to the fore.”
At the first ever virtual edition of the dialogue, which featured conversations on the role of technology in fostering social innovation and digital transformation, experts harped on the need for upskilling management executives across diverse establishments to facilitate digital transformation, develop technological solutions to challenges, and an inclusive technology device for disabled people as well as rethinking the operational designs of technovations for rural communities.
The panelists were drawn from technology-driven organisations in the Nigerian economy while discussants included, Professor Olayinka David-West, Academic Director, Lagos Business School; Nkemdilim Begho, Managing Director of Future Software Resources Nigeria Ltd and Bosun Tijani, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB).
The two-day event also featured a breakout masterclass anchored simultaneously by the trio of Ololade Otayemi, Chief of Staff, Ventures Platform Hub; Emilia Asim, Founder/Practice Director, AML; and Chidi Koldsweat, Founder, Donors for Africa; who took sessions designed to educate participants on the effective use of technology to optimize social impact, storytelling and writing bankable proposals to secure grants for social impact projects, respectively.