Part of a guest lecture series organised by the Master of Studies in Social Innovation and the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation.
Join our cohort of MSt in Social Innovation students for an open guest lecture with Eunice Baguma Ball.
Digital innovation is an important driver for Africa’s socio-economic development. Digital technologies are enabling locally-led solutions to address the region’s pressing challenges and have the potential to empower local communities. The advancement of digital solutions is dependent on thriving ecosystems underpinned by Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs). DIHs play a central role as conveners, skills enablers, infrastructure and business support providers, financing connectors and policy advocates. However, despite growing investments into the African tech and digital ecosystem (estimated at $6.5 billion. Partech, (2023)), many African DIHs remain under-funded and struggle to access sufficient resources to support their work.
In this lecture, I will share learnings from our 6-months research speaking with 60 DIH leaders across Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania. Our findings foreground the critical role that African DIHs play in the development of Africa innovation ecosystems. We also highlight the need for Catalytic Capital: investment that is focused not only on short term gains but on the longer term sustainability of Africa’s innovation ecosystems. We further argue that African DIHs, given their crucial role within these ecosystems should be a key focus for such catalytic capital investments.