African tech experts and innovators chart way forward in London
Chi Onwurah, MP, Chair All Party Parliamentary Group for Africa, Centre, flanked by the panellists, Bosun Tijani, Barbara Birungi Mutabazi and Robyn farah
By Adesina Idris
London, May 15, 2018 (AltAfrika)-A group of African tech experts and innovators want African governments to invest more in tech education for African legislators to bring them up to the changing speed in technology for the interest of their crucial legislative duties.
The experts, Bosun Tijani, CEO of Co-creation Hub Nigeria, Barbara Birungi Mutabazi, founder, Women in Technology, Uganda and Robyn Farah, chairperson of Women in Tech in south Africa, are unanimous in there belief that given the crucial role of legislation in society, African lawmakers require continuous education in technology to drive the necessary important changes in that sector to make the continent competitive globally
The trio were panellists at a special round table on” Bridging Digital Divides-Pursuing UK-Africa Collaboration For Inclusive Digital Trade” in London. The round table was a collaboration between UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group for Africa and African Tech Summit supported by the Royal African Society.
Bosun Tijani who spoke on “Technology, Change and Africa, also believes that adequate tech education for African lawmakers will impact positively in the area of improved budgeting for research funding for innovators.
He said “How do we get more money to the tech experts so that they can innovate-The sort of resources that you need. For people to have a go in technology solution. The way we have it today is not the sort of capital people understand. Its not just getting funding from venture capitalists , its about patient capital . It is about putting money to actually drive people to experiment , build to fail, and from the process of failing, learn and come up with solutions that are suitable for our society And if you look at the countries that are successful in the game, they have enough of resources for people to have a go.
Barbara gave a person experience of how open dialogue between tech experts and government in Uganda had helped rolled back some of the unfavourable laws against tech innovators especially on taxes and urged fellow tech experts to keep of the pressure. She also wants more attention paid to the need to issues such as copyright of innovators against fraudulent investors, work policy to allow for more flexible working to encourage access for women in technology as well as the cost of internet in Africa.
In her presentation, Robyn Farah drew attention to the problem of capital flight from Africa. “A lot of Africa’s resources are being taken out of Africa. About 2% of the population don’t feel Africa’s problems and it often only becomes a crisis when it reaches these people ” Robyn Farah expressed reservation about lack of data on women in tech. ” Not much data on women and their experience. This data needs to be collected so women can be better included in tech hub”
Chi Onwurah, MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Africa expressed delight in the quality of panellists and their presentations saying that such will assist her group and UK parliament in policy decisions on Africa
She also disclosed that her group would be undertaking a fact finding mission to Nigeria in autum for a much better understanding and collaboration on African issues