The African Union Commission’s (AUC) Department for Trade and Industry is collaborating with i4policy and other members of the innovation hub community to deliver the largest gathering of community innovation hubs in Africa.
This gathering will take place on May 6-7 during the Transform Africa Summit, which is happening in Kigali from May 8-9. Transform Africa will take aim at creating a single African digital market, in line with African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) negotiated at the AU summit in Kigali last month.
By recognizing the role of innovation hubs as important convenors and enablers of local innovation communities across the continent, the convention will focus on ensuring governments utilize their hubs’ on-the-ground knowledge and experience in crafting policies and regulation design.
Co-organizing the convention with i4policy are JamaaFunding, Kumasi Hive, the African Agribusiness Incubator Network and Impact Hub Kigali, with additional support from the International Organization of la Francophonie (OIF).
Jon Stever, co-founder of Impact Hub Kigali and one of the i4policy organizers of the convention says, “This is all about supporting authentic voices from innovation communities and hubs to engage in the policy conversation at the national and continental level.”
The hub convention will also be looking to bring together innovators and policy makers across the continent to co-design better innovation and entrepreneurship policies. As Nanjira Sambuli, Digital Equality Advocacy Manager for the Web Foundation, points out, “Local innovators across the continent are developing solutions. i4policy was formed, because policy will either make or break the future of what we want to do.”
The goal here is to ensure strengthened policy conversations by involving stakeholders – who will be affected by these policies – in the policy development and formulation process.
Last month, i4policy organized national “policy hackathons” in Nigeria’s political and economic capitals together with the Civic Innovation Lab in Abuja, Impact Hub Lagos, Nigeria’s national Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the Make-IT in Africa program.
Innovation Hub managers and leaders all over Africa are invited to represent their communities at the hub convention, and are asked to indicate their interest in attending by filling out this registration form.