Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said with the advance in digital technology and the progress attained by innovators in the continent, the dream of Africa’s founding fathers of building a continental economic powerhouse and prosperous continent is now attainable.
Osinbajo stated this on Wednesday evening in Abuja at the 10th anniversary dinner of AfriLabs – a network organisation supporting Innovation Centres across African countries since 2011.
Speaking about how technology and innovation hubs are now able to bring the vision to fruition, the VP in a statement by his media aide, Laolu Akande, said “Our advantages are obvious, we are the youngest continent on the planet, the vast majority of our population are digital natives, born in the digital revolution.
“Barely 60 years ago, the first leaders of independent African States dreamt of a united and prosperous Africa. They spoke of one continent, one people, a people capable of becoming a political and economic powerhouse. As it turned out, that objective is yet to be attained.
“But today that dream of Africans working in collaboration to create an economic powerhouse is achievable and at hand. The key lies in a planned digital future, innovation, and the creative use of technology for enterprise and development.”
On the progress made in the technology and innovation space, the VP noted that “in 2015, African start-ups struggled to raise about $200million, but in 2021 we will have more than 6 Unicorns. In FinTech alone, we have Flutterwave, Paystack, Opay, and Interswitch, all valued at more than $1billion each.
The VP, however, called on stakeholders, especially governments across the continent to support the revolution taking place in the sector, noting that ‘‘much of the growth of African startups has been organic. Mostly operating as individual enterprises or at best as city initiatives. National effort is still usually missing.”