The reality today is that very few African countries can claim to have successfully transformed their economies. For the most part, the majority of African economies continue to be mono-economies with a high dependency on the exports of primary products. The result is an Africa with only 3 percent share of world trade and that is specialized in low technology products. The changed global landscape of the 21st Century requires major upgrade in African economies. Change will require that African economies be driven by innovation and creativity. Creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship are the keys for socioeconomic transformation.
The Africa Innovation Summit is a response and it serves as a platform to bring together entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, policy makers, researchers, academics and political leaders in one place to conduct extensive dialogues on innovation in Africa. The Summits are an integral part of a much broader effort to speed up and build a broader constituency for innovation in Africa both at the level of policy and at the level of entrepreneurs. The AIS also includes a core knowledge component used to undertake studies and to publish research findings. The Africa Innovation Summits are to explore and exchange ideas on how best to promote innovation in Africa, showcase emerging innovation hubs on the continent, and link entrepreneurs for professional networking and entrepreneurs with potential investors. Crucial element of the Summits is the exhibits to showcase innovators/innovative enterprises on the continent as well as their innovations.