The second day of the AfriLabs Annual General Meeting 2023 has witnessed influential speeches from key board members, shedding light on the organization’s past, present, and future. AfriLabs, with its 11-year history, has embarked on its third phase of growth, promising significant expansion and development.
Moetaz Helmy, the Board Chair of AfriLabs, emphasized the importance of this new phase. He explained,
“AfriLabs has been in existence for 11 years. During this period, we experienced two phases of growth that involved building different structures for the organization. Currently, we are entering the third phase, which will see a significant expansion in the secretariat. As a member of the new board, my responsibility is to work with my colleagues to identify areas for improvement and come up with a strategic plan for the future growth and development of AfriLabs in the coming years.”
However, a prevailing theme within these speeches was the critical importance of African ownership in the tech and innovation ecosystem. Rebecca Enonchong, Founder and CEO of AppsTech and Co-Founder of IOSpaces, passionately highlighted the need for African investors. She stated,
“Why is it important for us to own? Who will benefit when the benefits of ownership come? It is those who invest their money that receive the investment. If the investors are not Africans, they put their profits back into their own countries. We can’t blame the investors for investing in people who look like them. We need our own investors. We need to make sure that Africans invest in Africans, that Africans believe in Africans, and that Africa will grow Africa. That’s the only way we will claim ownership.”
To subject and significance of data accessibility Dr. Itoro Emembolu, Director of TechQuest and Board Member of AfriLabs stressed,
“In order to make good use of data, governments must provide open access to data for beneficiaries.”
This call for open access to data underscores the vital role of information in propelling Africa’s digital transformation.
In addition to these profound insights, Ajibola Odukoya, Chief Operations Officer of AfriLabs, introduced the audience to Phase 1 of the AfriLabs Connect Platform. He shared exciting updates about the platform’s redesign, with a shift from OTP sign-ins to LinkedIn sign-ins. This platform serves as a hub for AfriLabs members, providing access to an extensive range of activities, resources, and community data. Mr. Odukoya also introduced Amari, Africa’s first Gen AI assistant, promising a new dimension of connectivity and innovation.
— AfriLabs (@AfriLabs) October 12, 2023
As the AfriLabs Annual General Meeting 2023 progresses, it’s clear that these visionary leaders are shaping Africa’s innovation ecosystem with a profound commitment to African ownership and growth. Their wisdom and insights, along with a dedicated focus on data accessibility, will undoubtedly pave the way for a brighter future of innovation, collaboration, and shared prosperity across the continent.
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— Africanian News (@africaniannews) October 5, 2023