Africa innovates Magazine -AI4DEV - Flipbook - Page 4
MESSAGE FROM UNDP AFRICA DIRECTOR
E Z I A KO N WA
Regional Director and
General for UNDP
A F R I C A’ S Y O U N G I N N O V A T O R S B L A Z E
THE TRAIL IN FIGHTING COVID-19
Build forward better. This is the
mantra for global recovery from
COVID-19 and Africa is no exception.
The world continues to falter under
the weight of an unprecedented
pandemic. Nothing is spared – not
economies, not politics – and most
unfortunately, not lives.
But we also observe something
different as prescriptive orthodox
models fracture - paving way for the
previously hidden talent and ingenuity of Africa’s youth to thrive. At the
start of 2020, many would have bet
their gold that sub-Saharan Africa
was not the likely home for inventions
SHOWCASING AFRICAN INNOVATION
in drones, robots, contact tracing
apps, non-invasive testing kits, portable hands-free sanitation chambers,
oxygen-making machines, genome
sequencing, AI-powered healthcare
chat bots and so much more. And yet
here we are, witnessing an incredible
display of possibility. Africa is managing the complexity of the world’s
most denting pandemic – and looking within for solutions against it.
Pre- COVID, Africa imported up to 94
percent of its medication. And even
though we are far from being out of
the woods, we continue to observe a
home-grown PPE revolution – signalling green shoots of capacity. It is in
this footprint that we must invest.
Supporting this untapped potential
is what new generation development
programming demands of all of us.
At UNDP Africa, we are sold to
this approach. It is this promise lens
that underpins UNDP’s renewed
strategic offer in Africa. We choose
to see African innovation as part of
a transformative change process.
The promise lens puts people first propagating a showcase of talent,
investing in creativity, resilience, and