Innovation is finding solution to a local problem

“Innovation is finding solution to a local problem,” agrees experts at Verdant Zeal’s #InnoventionSeries2017

This year’s #InnoventionSeries2017 hosted by multidisciplinary marketing and communications company, Verdant Zeal couldn’t have been made more relevant as the invitee discussants set forth to dissect the tenacious theme: “How Technology Is Driving Africa’s New Narrative”subtitled #InnoventionDrivesAfrica.

So the approach is of what benefit is technology innovation across Africa, if it does not impact and improve the business and economic independence of Africans who are start-ups and SMEs business owners? That was the pivotal question addressed by the widely experienced panelists assembled at this year’s Verdant Zeal 10th anniversary seminar ‘The Innovention Series 6.0’. So in rendering their expertise these well resourced panelists with firsthand experiences ranging from financial advisory to venture capitalists and human resources expert took an uncommon path to avail their cumulative insights succinctly.

Compellingly, the unassuming lead panelist Joel Chimhanda set a clarion Pan-Africanist tone to reawaken resilient the African spirit to overcome against all odds as dictated by western world’s institutions who by design are setup to benefit western nations alone whilst African countries remain largely underdeveloped due their imperialist institutions that determine what Africans can achieve because they the west controls everything.

The Civic Center event hall on the second floor was filled to capacity with participates, who became silent and spongy by the uncommon perspective and elucidative insights and provocative analytical presentation of Joel Chimhanda, one of Africa’s finest investment banking expert whose keynote presentation systematically unlocked the strategic challenges in: Politics, Media, Banking, Power, Film Industry afflicting Nigeria businesses and debunking the myth that technology acquisition is the only solution to African businesses technology upgrade as the continent struggles in its path from a resource based economy to a knowledge driven economy as recent statistics updated in June 2015 indicates “Africa has 28.6% Internet penetration with Nigeria having 11.3%” – This shows that Nigeria is a big player in the African market.

However, in spite of the huge technology acquisitions across Africa in the bid to spore innovative African solutions, yet there hasn’t been sufficient impacts.

“It is not innovation that is disappointment, and it is own hands and it is politics,” chides Joel Chimhanda.

According to Joel, the #UN is politics, #AU is politics, the #WorldBank is development services financing Road, Telecommunications, Electric Power Infrastructures.

The media informs, when you are informed you make informed decisions and when you are misinformed you make misinformed decision; 90% of Africans make misinformed decisions.

In Africa’s quest to advance there is the urgency to setup an African leadership academy to attract and work with young African entrepreneurial talents to start thinking and solving problem in technology, banking, engineering, telecommunications e.t.c. To effectively and efficiently solve challenges in Africa and provide solution is technology, berates Joel. Who stresses further that attracting well paid talents is strategic to leading the way forward.

Joel Chimhanda’s prognostic perspective is clearly uncommon as he passionately to unravel the misfortunes bedeviling the Africa’s economic advancement and wastage in crafting technological enhance solutions to Africa’s challenges, whilst overlooking necessary issues that ought to be considered appropriately. Towards this end, Joel highlighted that the financial economic power of Africa has to be aggregated and fortified as exemplified by a group of “Afrikaans” who control the South African economy by replicating the “Jewish model”. He said “those 20 guys have financial power to determine what would happen economically, and are all listed in Forbes magazine”.

“You can’t control anything in Africa without Aliko Dangote; he’s the father of industrialization in Africa,” Joel reaffirmed.

“The time is right for Africans to think as Africans,” says Joel, who lamented that the idea of #AfricanCurrency and #NEPAD were thought of sixty years ago.

The idea #SiliconValley is a place a number of financially powerful people have put 5 trillion USD to invest in profitable viable ideas.

“When Aliko Dangote is raising its funding, why is he paying 5% – 10% advisory fees to Goldman Sachs Joel queried, when Tony Elumelu and Sekibo are there. The same structure that raises and brings the funding is there and it’s called Syndication.”

“So innovation is nothing to do with innovation, innovation is something to do with finding solution to a local problem,” says Joel Chimhanda.

In closing, Joel Chimhanda admonished that Africa needs a different education system, and you do not need three years to learn. You can become an IT engineer in 6 months, so the question is how do we find solution for that Woman whose son sent $1000USD and finally received $600USD because there is no “Switch” in Africa.

“We are participating in an immoral exercise instead of creating a switch in Africa that aggregates 200 million Africans that lives on less than a Dollar per day. So when you talk of technology it has nothing to do with technology, it has something to do with solving a problem in Africa by Africans.

Written by Mudi Mustapha
Analyst at Large,