Digital innovations of the future in the field of flying robotics and drones technology are competing over the African Airspace. Few examples include: The UPS, Zipline, & GAVI partnership to begin aerial transport of healthcare supplies in Rwanda; The AfroTech Spin off Red/Blue testing of cargo drones capable of covering distances of up to 80km (50 miles) as well as the Flying donkeys (robotic flying vehicle) to deliver cargo across Africa?
While it is clear that these companies could benefit from scale economies due to humanitarian/development issues in Africa and save lives, it is unclear how Africa could make the most of this opportunity. Dr Nasiru Taura of the Faculty of Management – Department of Marketing, Strategy, and Innovation – was invited as one of the few world-leading experts on digital entrepreneurship in Sub Saharan Africa – to be a guest speaker at the recently held 7th Africa Logistics Conference. The annual Africa Logistics Conference (ALC) brings together local and regional researchers, business leaders and professionals from humanitarian, government, donor, academic and private sectors to share knowledge on issues, trends, and opportunities related to supply chain networks in the context of humanitarian & development logistics in Africa. The event was held from 2nd to 3rd October 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Dr Taura draws from his research and professional practice expertise across a range of his publications on digital entrepreneurship to reflect on issues such as:
- why Africa on one hand and drones/robotics companies on the other needs each other?;
- why the 4th industrial revolution presents different sets of opportunities for actualizing African dreams?.
Dr Taura argues that Africa can become more prosperous by taking an active, instead of passive, role to co-create/co-produce body of knowledge that could underpin the development of the said futuristic technologies. However, he asserts that African governments need to engage in globalisation, improved absorptive capacity, & knowledge mapping of the humanitarian/development supply chains to be successful.
Should you be interested in Dr Taura’s work please see some of the favorites below or get in touch via email:
1) The digital entrepreneurship in Sub Saharan Africa (2019);
2) Accelerating Tech-enabled Entrepreneurship in Sub- Saharan Africa: A two-sector assessment – work presented in 20th Annual International Academy of African Business and Development (IAABD) held at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (May 2019);
3) Feature in the Conversation Africa;
4) A recent paper titled ‘Intra-cluster knowledge exchange and frequency of product innovation in a digital cluster’ published in 3* (ABS ranked) Journal of Small Business Management.