Creating Wakanda: Youth, technology and entrepreneurship across Africa

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Blavatnik School of Government, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG
Open to the public
This event is free
11
June 2018
Lecture

The Marvel Studio’s Black Panther movie recently inspired a generation of Africans to see themselves as technological leaders in a sci-fi world and saw them portrayed with powerful voices defining their own futures. What does a real-world technologically driven future vision of Africa look like? How can this future be created by people from the continent themselves? And do Africa’s young entrepreneurs hold answers for Africa’s development challenges such as youth unemployment?

The answers to these and more questions will be discussed by Professor Ngaire Woods, dean of the Blavatnik School of Government, and Strive Masiyiwa, founder of Econet and co-chair of the Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development. They will be joined by Atherton Mutombwera and Jessica Price, two young entrepreneurs from the African continent who are interested in finding scalable solutions for the continent’s challenges. The discussion will also reflect on the success of digital entrepreneurship in Kenya, and will provide ideas about the eco-systems, regulations and incentives required to achieve that level of success in other countries as well.

This event is co-hosted by the Blavatnik School and the Pathways for Prosperity Commission. 

Biographies

Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and executive chairman of Econet Group, a pan-African telecommunications, media and technology company with operations and investments in over 20 countries. Masiyiwa has been selected twice, in 2014 and 2017, to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. Over the last few years, Masiyiwa has devoted his time to mentoring the next generation of African entrepreneurs through his Facebook page, which has a growing followership of nearly 3-million young people from across the continent. Facebook has identified his platform as the most engaging of any business leader in the world. Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards including Unilever Plc, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Group, and the Hilton Foundation's Humanitarian Prize Jury.

Atherton Mutombwera is the founder and CEO of Hutano Diagnostics Ltd. Hutano Diagnostics Ltd is a start-up developing a diagnostic and surveillance platform for diseases caused by emerging and dangerous pathogens which cause recurring epidemics in Africa. The company is currently developing an Ebola diagnostic and surveillance platform. Atherton has experience in healthcare provision, nanobiotechnology research and business. He graduated with an undergraduate degree in Pharmacy, then obtained an MSc in Nanoscience as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar. He was awarded the Coursework Masters Award in the Science, Engineering and Technology fields by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in 2016. His research focus during the MSc was the development of a rapid diagnostic device for Ebola. He has most recently completed an MBA at the University of Oxford as a Louis Dreyfus-Weidenfeld and Hoffmann Saïd Scholar.

Jessica Price is a co-founding partner of the Rhodes Incubator, which empowers scholars from diverse global communities to use entrepreneurship to drive impact. Jessica is particularly interested in the intersection of entrepreneurship and complex societal challenges, particularly questions of access to healthcare, and improving health systems. She holds a MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) and MPH from the University of Cape Town, and is currently on a Rhodes Scholarship in Oxford studying for a DPhil in Primary Care Health Sciences.