AIDEC Consultancies International Ltd has formally launched the premiere edition of the Africa Technovate Awards and Fair to serve as a unified platform to simultaneously demonstrate established and emerging technological innovations on the continent, whilst recognising and rewarding the minds behind them.
Speaking at the launch, which coincided with the maiden edition of the AIDEC-organised Africa Digital Forum, Chief Executive Officer, Ambrose Yennah, stated that the scheme would highlight and promote Africa-focused innovations. This, he added, is crucial in the light of the demands of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“It is a technology and innovation programme that is meant to recognise top-tech companies in Africa and to encourage us to bring about technology and innovation so that we can also create adequate products and not just to be dependent on the more developed world for solutions,” he said.
Providing further details about the event which is slated for November 2021, Mr. Yennah indicated that it would be a two-day affair, with the first day featuring physical and virtual exhibitions. There would be chat rooms and conferences for participants to network and check into programmes of their choice. The Awards ceremony will take place on the second day.
On the format of the award scheme, he added that there would be regional awards, overall continent-wide awards, and sector-focused awards.
Explaining that the awards will place the highest premium on transparency, he added: “judges will be appointed from credible institutions to be able to objectively decide on who wins the award and criteria will be judges selection process as well as nominations will be published in the media.”
He added that the Africa Technovate Awards and Fair would be an annual affair with the hosting city subject to change based on selection and hosting rights. The purpose of the theme is consistent with the key recommendation proposed by the group of experts who graced the first Africa Digital Forum. There, they stressed that stakeholders must introduce digital solutions “designed by Africa and used by Africa” if AfCFTA is to be prosperous.
These experts include Deputy Minister for Communication and Digitalisation, Ama Pomaa Boateng; Director-General at the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Professor Alex Dodoo; and ‘Africa’s father of the internet’, Professor Nii Narku Quaynor.
Others were the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah; Head of Regulation at the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), Kwame Baah-Acheamfuor; and the Dean of the University of Ghana Business School, Professor Justice Nyigmah Bawole; as well as representation from the German development agency, GIZ, amongst others.