August 2nd, 2011
03:09 PM ET

African innovation: Doing more with less

Journalist Dayo Olopade tells Inside Africa that advanced economies can learn from Africa's innovative spirit. This post is part of the Global Innovation Showcase created by the New America Foundation and the Global Public Square. FULL POST

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Topics: Africa • Innovation
July 7th, 2011
10:30 AM ET

Pivot 25 and the Silicon Savannah

Editor's Note: Dayo Olopade is a Nigerian-American journalist and a Bernard Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation. This post is part of the Global Innovation Showcase created by the New America Foundation and the Global Public Square.

By Dayo Olopade – Special to CNN

In Silicon Valley, the word “pivot” has a specific, even hallowed meaning. “Pivot means you adjust as necessary,” says Mbwana Ailly, an entrepreneur in residence at I/O Ventures, a startup investment company in San Francisco. “When a tech investor bets on a project, they’re betting on the team and their chops not only to develop a product, but to adjust as needed… Pivot means okay, this didn’t work, but let’s go!”

This spirit of maneuvering, creativity and clever workarounds is second nature in east Africa. If necessity is the mother of invention, the world’s youngest, least developed continent is the mother of necessity. Nairobi, Kenya was thus the perfect host to Pivot 25, a competition and showcase for the latest in mobile technology born on what’s being termed the "Silicon Savannah." Teams of developers from Kenya, Uganda, Rwandaand Tanzania descended on Nairobi for a grueling two days of presentations to potential users, fellow technologists and - most importantly - investors.  FULL POST

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Topics: Innovation
Dialing up development
Men speak on mobile phones at the Adjame market in Abidjan on June 23, 2009.
June 23rd, 2011
12:09 PM ET

Dialing up development

Editor’s Note: Dayo Olopade is a Nigerian-American journalist and a Bernard Schwartz Fellow at the NewAmerica Foundation. This post is part of the Global Innovation Showcase created by the New America Foundation and the Global Public Square.

By Dayo Olopade – Special to CNN

The global explosion of mobile phone technology has spawned a host of applications, products and services facilitating development outcomes from financial inclusion to improved maternal health. While these innovations have proven an essential lifeline for the world’s most vulnerable, most ignore the basic function of a mobile phone - its voice capacity. FULL POST

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Topics: Africa • Development • Innovation
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