Africa’s Innovation Story — The future of African Economies Preamble

Africa’s risks are mainly perceived and not real. Unfortunately for us in Africa we are not really very good at telling our own story. But things are changing and people are beginning to understand that things are going very, very well. — Aliko Dangote

Her name is Mai Chipo, she spends most of her time away from her 8 year old child traveling across the border to buy cheap goods in South Africa, Zambia or Tanzania to sell at a flea market in the middle of Harare’s central business district. She makes enough money to pay for a child’s school fees, to put food on the table and to rent a room in the high density suburbs but, very little else in terms of savings.

Events: 2018

  • The Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) deal (2015)
  • Global commodity price shifts
  • Global economic collapse based on oil prices, food crisis and climate change
  • Key shocks in African economies

Trends 2023, 2028, 2033, 2050

  • The issue of a young population: employment creation, education, entrepreneurship
  • Urbanization and smart cities: sustainable living, opportunity creation
  • Free trade or protectionism
  • Technological change: increasing adoption of mobile phones and the internet
  • Formalizing Small scale artisanal and informal businesses

Disruptions 2023, 2028, 2033, 2050

  • Digital Ubuntu (growing digital collectives) tech hubs and networks across Africa
  • Inclusive markets and innovations (ease of doing business — Rwanda)
  • Local technological solutions
  • Gender parity? The question of equal opportunities.


  • The growth and expansion of the digital economy
  • Regional market integration
  • Inter-country trade
  • Growing small and medium businesses
  1. What will the future be like?
  2. What are the emerging patterns? (trends)
  3. What are the hidden assumptions of the future? (trends)
  4. What are the emergent possibilities? (trends and discontinuities)
  5. What may change? (disruption)
  6. What steps can we take to move forward? (milestones)



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Musi Sam

Love writing about life and anything inspirational. I try to life forward.