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Perspectives on ICT and Innovation in Africa

1.1.2009 0:00 - 1.1.2009 0:00  


Escaping the global downturn, ICT and innovation in Africa are poised for growth today. However, the landscape for creating and implementing knowledge in Africa is markedly different from anything else in the world. While some regions excel in stability and social cohesion, mounting social and economic challenges frame development efforts elsewhere. This variety of national, regional and local conditions is giving rise to uniquely “African models of innovation”, whose closer understanding is prerequisite for successful innovation and sustainable contribution to development.

Our experience and understanding of how ICT and innovation unfold in Africa is fragmentary. At the same token, several on-going trends, such as open innovation and bottom-of-the-pyramid-innovation, are reshaping the way African communities and people create, adopt and implement technologies. Combined the challenges and transformations offer tremendous opportunities for Finnish organizations to contribute to development in Africa by mobilizing Finnish capacities in ICT and innovation.

Often overshadowed by China and India, Africa is to play an important role in globalization in the coming decades, as its population is estimated to be close 2 billion by 2050 and its capabilities in economy, science, technology and innovation assume momentum. With the on-set of new stage of developments in Africa, also Finland must examine how to continue to forge special partnership with Africa in the future.

This seminar is devoted to discuss and analyze the prospects of ICT and innovations in Africa, as well as to network people who share interest in the theme. The event is sponsored by VTT. Attendance is free of charge but registration is required.

Seminar program

SESSION I: Finnish Policies and Strategies Stimulating Innovation and ICT in Africa

13.00 - 13.05 Welcome
Technology Manager Heli Talja, Ph.D., VTT Organisations, Networks and Innovation Systems

13.05 - 13.10 VTT and ICT and Innovation in Africa (pdf)
Dr. Hannes Toivanen, Senior Research Scientist, VTT Organisations, Networks and Innovation Systems

13.10 - 13.30 The Development Cooperation Strategy of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy (pdf)
Permanent Under-State Secretary Markku Wallin, Ministry of Employment and the Economy

13.30 - 13.50 Finnish Development Cooperation – Support for Information Society Development in Africa (pdf)
Advisor, Ilari Lindy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (tbc)

13.50 - 14.10 Open Discussion: What Is The Role of Public Policies and Development Cooperation in Fostering ICT and Innovation in Africa?

14.10 - 14.30 Coffee Break

SESSION II: Lessons learnt: Cases and experiences

14.30 - 14.50 What does it take for the Village Connection to Work (pdf)
Mika Skarp, Nokia Siemens Networks

14.50 - 15.10 Knowledge and Solution Transfer – Experiences of a Finnish Start-Up in the Great Lakes region
Dr. Edward Mutafungwa, partner and co-founder, Buddusoft Ltd / Researcher, Helsinki University of Technology, Department of Communications and Networking (Comnet)

15.10 - 15.30 Development of Local Economy and need of electricity
Mervi Suni, Nokia Siemens Networks

15.30 - 15.50 Supporting South African National Innovation Strategy (pdf)
Maija Kaltakari, FCG

15.50 - 16.10 Nokia/NSN co-operation project with South Africa goverment - Mobile learning for formal education for mathemathics
Riitta Vänskä, Senior Manager, Mobile and Learning solutions, Sustainable Operations, Nokia

16.10 - 16.30 Open Discussion

16.30 - Refreshments and snacks

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