NexTech Africa 2017: Microsoft Is Committed To Fostering Innovation In Africa

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Africa is undoubtedly one of the continents in the world with thriving entrepreneurial spirits. Even despite the high number of infrastructural and financial burdens facing these entrepreneurs, there is still a high percentage breaking the barriers in the developmental front. It is actually these challenges that make us more innovative, creative and more willing to bring up more solutions to the obstacles we face every day; and the rise of technology plays a key role in making this dream possible.

One of the devices that has played a significant role in shaping technology advancements in Africa is the mobile phone. Solutions like M-Pesa and M-Tiba have helped deliver local one-stop shop solutions in some of the most remote areas and with increasing developments, there lies extraordinary capabilities in the mobile sector that have the potential to change the face of Africa’s economy.

Microsoft recently held a one of a kind flagship technology event, NexTech Africa, which primarily aimed at bringing together minds that are passionate about exploring local innovations and those keen on advancing the discussion on what it means for technology to be innately African.

 

Image from http://x254.co/2017/02/03/nextech-to-help-microsoft-build-innovators-and-creators-in-africa/

The 2-day event saw hundreds coming together to help bridge the gap between creators and innovators and ultimately ensuring that Microsoft as a company is providing the best technological solutions to better shape African innovation for the world. The meeting included a series of talks, sessions and forums that involved discussions touching on the Cloud, digital transformation, technology in emerging markets and the continuing innovations occurring in the healthcare sector.

Healthcare is no doubt one of the main priorities in our lives and with a society that rotates around technology and all things encompassing it, it is only right that the most precious part of our existence be largely compartmentalized by this digital revolution.

Think of how the world was without technology. Think of the days when penicillin was just a dream and surgery was a far-fetched reality. Think of an era where there were no definitive places where one would get basic health care; now come back to this age, an age where you can remotely and continuously track your heart rate using a smart watch, surgery is becoming less invasive and we are even capable of printing organ using 3-D reconstruction!

Breakthroughs in research, treatment and information storage have provided medical providers new tools to work within the healthcare industry and more innovative ways of practising medicine; and Microsoft cloud is one of them.

Microsoft Cloud is one of the futuristic innovations in health with the maturation of technology in areas like social networking, universal connectivity through cross-border data flows and promoting digital literacy in developing countries. Using the cloud’s efficiency, doctors around the globe have been able to do so much more to increase the quality of healthcare for their patients and a lot awaits the growth of quality healthcare provided in African countries.

From the discussions held, it was clear that the support of local entrepreneurs, businesses and technologists and the innovations of Microsoft like the Cloud and Azure, the digital transformation process in Africa will only be efficient if these technologies are co-created with the community’s first hand needs.

An innovation like M-Kopa is one that is revolutionising solar energy use in Kenya with an average of 1.4 million people having been impacted by it. M-Kopa now has the largest Azure implementation in Africa and has helped the company sustain its growth momentum through working with Microsoft Azure.

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