A great product or service usually begins with a single idea. Through innovation processes, an idea can be successfully created into a finished product or service. However, the journey to reach intended audiences requires work, dedication and understanding of important aspects. One of these important aspects to understand is the ecosystem. What is the ecosystem? Who are the players in the ecosystem and how do they play a part in the innovation process?
The African Innovation Ecosystems Study (AIESyS) Output 2, which is a study commissioned by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and carried out by UCL and the University of Rwanda defines an ecosystem as,
“A dynamic framework consisting of a set of stakeholders-start-ups, hubs, investors, academic institutions, public institutions, corporations- who interact and engage with each other to seize new opportunities, support innovation and strengthen the overall business environment for entities at different stages, sectors, and geographical locations.”
The report seeks to better understand the range of existing innovation ecosystem support interventions and programmes in Southern and West Africa. Further, the aim of the study is to identify ways to achieve better-connected ecosystems that deliver improved uptake of innovations and outcomes for stakeholders and best practice approaches to strengthen networks for facilitating cross-border innovation partnerships across the regions.
The report takes a wide approach to innovation ecosystems and explicitly includes work beyond the more commonly reported digital and financial sectors and innovations. It focuses on innovation ecosystems and support initiatives in 10 African countries being South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe in Southern Africa; and Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon in West Africa. This is with a view to identify best practice, gaps and opportunities for the design of potential interventions to improve ecosystem facilitation methods. It also seeks to identify collaboration and partnership opportunities for a wide range of national, regional and global development partners and stakeholders across the region.
This information is particularly useful for stakeholders within the ecosystem, as it extensively discusses the ecosystem in 10 different countries revealing opportunities for collaboration with partners. This therefore gives great insight for businesses, government entities, startups, or the private sectors to appropriately position themselves and to streamline specific areas for collaboration within the region.
The report discusses the ecosystem in Zambia and the southern and west African region with a view to identify best practice, gaps and opportunities for the design of potential interventions to improve ecosystem facilitation methods, as well as, new collaboration and partnership opportunities. The findings in the AIESYS report greatly help to plot a map on how to create an enabling environment for growth in various sectors through innovation.
Owing to our contribution and proven work in the development of the innovation and technology ecosystem, we are excited to have been highlighted by way of case study as an innovation and tech driver in Zambia and the region at large.
“In terms of development of the innovation ecosystem itself, this appears to be driven largely by Zambia’s technology hubs, the first and largest of which is BongoHive”, the report states.
As Zambia’s first and largest tech and innovation hub, BongoHive continues to be a trailblazer in creating platforms for growth in the innovation ecosystem. We work with various partners to equip startups, corporations and organisations on their innovation journey ranging from helping them to create tangible products from the idea stage, providing tech support and bespoke training on technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.
As BongoHive, our premise lies in working with great minds to create viable solutions that change the world. Therefore, we understand that collaboration and partnerships are key to making this a reality. Are you an organisation looking to improve your business strategy? Are you looking for networking opportunities within the ecosystem, looking to test an idea or wishing to be more innovative in your internal and external processes?
Get in touch with us at https://bongohive.co.zm/consult/ and we shall be happy to guide you on your journey to innovation success!
To find out more on the AIES report follow the link https://www.ucl.ac.uk/steapp/sites/steapp/files/final_output_1_report_w_appx.pdf