Ayiba Magazine was present at the MIT Sloan 7th Annual Africa Innovate Conference on April 8th, 2017. This conference brought together visionaries, entrepreneurs, and influential people from Africa and the Diaspora to network and share ideas about their contributions in promoting African development.

The theme of this year’s conference was Africa Innovate: Ideas to Impact. Key Speakers at the conference were Her Excellency President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim (President of the Republic of Mauritius), Ola Oresanya (Managing Director of Globetech Remedial), Ken Etete (CEO of Century Group), Oke Maduewesi (Founder and CEO of Zaron Group) and Zim Ugochukwu (Founder and CEO of Travel Noire).  There were also vision talks by South Africa’s Sbusiso Leope aka DJ Sbu (Co-founder of Mo Faya) and Nigeria’s Abayomi Awobukun.

Each speaker gave valuable insights into projects being undertaken on the continent and the areas that Africa needs to harness for effective economic growth.  One of the major takeaways of the conference was the importance of harnessing the local potentials in a creative and innovative way.  This was a point stressed by both Mr. Ola Oresanya and Her Excellency President Gurib-Fakim. Mr Ken Etete emphasized the importance of being strategic in making a change on the continent. According to him, it is important that the innovation be disruptive and involve no bloodshed. Science and technology are instrumental agents to promote effective African development. According to President Gurib-Fakim, it is critical that Africa move from “rogue” learning to “creative” learning and increase its presence globally in science and research development.

The proverb “Don’t just take your options. Make them. Don’t waste them.” shared by vision speaker Mr. Abayomi Awobukun was visible during the conference. The atmosphere was that of curiosity about current events, hunger to make a change, and the eagerness to share ideas.