On May 2nd, 2018 the Make-IT Alliance convened in Berlin at re:publica – Europe’s largest digital festival – for its 7th network meeting. The meeting was attended by members old and new: The Make-IT Alliance is growing. There will be seven new members officially acceding at this year’s CEBIT in June.
For that matter, Dr. Katrin Bornemann, acting head of the newly created BMZ division “Digital technologies in development cooperation” recalled the vision and mission of the Make-IT Initiative: The network-based initiative aims at supporting start-ups in emerging and developing countries to foster inclusive growth and sustainable innovations. “We want to merge the experience and the knowledge of established companies with the innovation potential and the Ideas of young tech-entrepreneurs.”
Also present as a Special guest: Oliver Boachie, Special Advisor to the Ghanaian Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, who showed his appreciation that the re:publica will have another edition in Ghana at the end of the year. “Ghana and Germany have long history of development cooperation there is great potential for small digital enterprises to create Jobs!”
The inspire input was provided by Dr. Nicolas Friederici from the Oxford Internet Institute who provided the participants with a detailed analysis on the state-of-the-art as well as on the potential of digital ecosystems in Africa. In his presentation, he underlined that Innovations have the potential to “flatten the world”. He attested furthermore great varieties on the African continent with respect to kind, quality and degree of digital entrepreneurship.
Next to an update on the current acitvities and success stories of the Nigerian and Kenyan ecosystems, the meeting also provided an outlook into the future in Asia: Through an ideation challenge that will be held in the Indonesia over summer and fall 2018, the expansion of the Make-IT Initiative to Asia will be kick-started. Ces Rondario (Impact Hub Manila) provided a short introduction, for those not yet familiar with local challenges, like low electricity penetration or plastic waste.
Picture credit: Kathleen Ziemann/GIZ