Welcome Note by Almaz Negash
African Diaspora Investment Symposium (ADIS21) is the sixth annual global convening that celebrates and champions the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of Africans, Diasporans and friends of Africa.
Hosted by African Diaspora Network, the symposium inspires participants to be agents of change and active contributors to Africa’s development and the communities we live in. The conference activates the potential of partnership, drawing over 1,300 delegates from across the globe over the last five years.
The ongoing pandemic has devastated the world and hit Africa hard. At the same time, it has forced a renewed focus on accelerating development across sectors. This focus presents an opportunity to leapforward African development, bypassing physical infrastructure that the continent has lacked for the most part of a century. We foresee acceleration across four areas: connectivity, education, healthcare, and finance. ADN intends to be at the forefront of this momentum.
Join us as we build bridges among high-level, entrepreneurial leaders and bring speakers from Africa who are innovating to find solutions to pressing issues on the ground and leading the fight against COVID-19. Engage in dialogue on the future of Africa leapfrogging via innovations, investments, and policies that accelerate the continent’s progress in health care, connectivity, education and finance.
The historic COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the trajectory of the decade and remarkably shaped the priorities of the global community. As nations rise to meet the challenges and effects of the novel coronavirus, Africa stands at a unique inflection point in its history to accelerate changes that were already underway. Decades of development are anticipated to be concentrated in the next few years.
The sixth annual African Diaspora Investment Symposium explores the possibilities of accelerating key aspects of Africa’s infrastructure that are essential to individual, community, and national well-being.
October 28, 2020 / Wednesday, 8:00 AM PST, 11:00 AM EST, 3:00 PM GMT
Across the continent, several countries have taken various approaches to building strongholds of investment and innovation. Rwanda is actively planning an innovation hub, Kigali Innovation City, to transform the country into a knowledge-based economy. In West Africa, Nigeria has partnered with U.S. officials to launch a West Africa Trade and Innovation Hub.
What are some unique approaches adopted by different countries in Africa to building innovation ecosystems? What role are public-private partnerships playing in amplifying Innovation hubs in Africa? What are the most pressing challenges Africa innovation hubs are facing today? What effects is Covid 19 having on innovation ecosystems? What are some unique ways in which the African diaspora can engage in amplifying African Innovation hubs?
Prior to 2020, trends across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia demonstrate the traction of online education as a cost-effective approach to making educational opportunities more accessible. Today, remote learning has transformed into a key component of the new normal, proving that wide-scale implementation is not only possible, but necessary.
Technological innovations in Africa can drastically reduce barriers and bring millions of African students online for the first time, provided that we can overcome connectivity infrastructure challenges and hardware/material costs. There is an unprecedented opportunity for Africa to accelerate education through technology, which is why investment in the sector is a priority for Africa. The global digital economy will enable millions of young Africans to partake and contribute to the sustainability of the continent’s development.
How do we align the AU Continental Education Strategy for Africa with technological integration? What are the opportunities and challenges that the continent will need to address to systematize both in-person and remote educational opportunities? How do we ensure pedagogical continuity and the opportunity that e-learning represents in this context?
This panel seeks to explore models of online education and need for investment in catalyzing digital education to meet the immediate and long-term needs of the continent.
Builders of Africa’s Future (BAF) is a session that celebrates innovation and impact in early stage African enterprise. BAF serves to showcase and award entrepreneurs who are running early stage for-profit and not-for-profits that are addressing Africa’s unique needs through technology or differentiated business models. These unique needs are in health, education, energy, financial inclusion, gender inclusion, nutrition, commerce, industrial development, and other socio-economic good. This session invites the 2021 awardees to share their work and accomplishments with the broader ADN community and ADIS21 participants.
The digital payment space has transformed everyday lives across the continent, from the introduction of mobile phones to the adoption of digital payment systems by merchants to streamline their finance systems. How does Africa continue to develop its digital economy through innovation? What existing and new models have provided game-changing tools in various industries?
How do digital processes reduce the cost of wiring for remittances reaching individuals? How do various payment systems boost the transparency and efficiency of investments in Africa? What policies are essential for a secure finance system online?
This panel takes a deep dive into examples such as Facebook with Novi, BitPesa, Flutterwave, PayPal, and Mastercard to examine how these technological solutions will further advance economic growth.