Event — April 26, 2023 — April 28, 2023 — Valeria Morua

Transform Africa Summit 2023: How to grow inclusive innovation ecosystems

The Transform Africa Summit (TAS) brings together global and regional leaders from government, business and international organizations to collaborate on new ways of shaping, accelerating and sustaining Africa’s on-going digital revolution. It is organized and hosted by Smart Africa and will take place from 26 to 28 April 2023 at the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Running under the theme “Connect, Innovate and Transform”, TAS aims to enable Member States to become more competitive, agile, open and innovative smart economies.

Together with i4Policy Make-IT in Africa is hosting a panel discussion and workshop on Friday April 28th. Building on each other, both events are dedicated to the question of how innovation ecosystems can be made more inclusive.

Panel discussion | No innovation without representation: How to grow an inclusive innovation ecosystem

Friday, 28 April 2023, 11 – 12 am CAT, Gwayi Room

Vibrant and booming, African innovation ecosystems hold the promise that digital innovation will lead to leapfrog development with truly transformative effects. Digital technologies are perceived as a powerful driver of economic growth—certainly—but also of diversity, gender equality and inclusion. And yet—no panacea—innovation ecosystems are far from inclusive.

Ongoing efforts by African governments to invest in innovation policies (e.g. Startup Acts) acknowledge the relevance of a conducive enabling environment in fostering innovation. Unless these policy making processes help us understand and shift power structures and dynamics, then ecosystems will fail to live up to their potential and exacerbate social and environmental challenges.

Join us to take a critical look at how power plays into policy making processes and ecosystem building efforts; to question whether feminist approaches could tackle existing injustices and power imbalances; and to outline how citizens, communities and governments can co-create more inclusive innovation ecosystems.

Moderator: Sheilah Birgen, Pan-African Innovation Ecosystem Builder


Irene Mwenda Muchomba, Head of Strategic Initiatives and Feminist Movement at Pollicy

Damjan Denkovski, Deputy Executive Director of the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy

Soumeya Rachedi, Founder of NXT EVOLUTION

Islam Elbeiti, Community Engagement Lead at i4Policy


We warmly invite you to our panel 'No innovation without representation: How to grow an inclusive innovation ecosystem' at the Transform Africa Summit 2023.

Co-creation workshop | Fostering sustainable innovation through inclusive policy making

Friday, 28 April 2023, 12.30 – 13.30 pm CAT, Gwayi Room

Following the panel discussion, the participatory workshop explores the ‘how-to’ revisit power structures in policy making processes and ensure ecosystem building approaches foster the shifting of decision-making power to traditionally marginalized groups.

The group will share approaches and experiences on what inclusive, intersectional, power-shifting innovation policy making means in theory and practice, as well as brainstorm and critically reflect on methods to transform Africa’s rising innovation ecosystems.

Designed as a collective brainstorming and co-designing session, the workshop would inform a way forward for key partners interested to drive an inclusive and feminist innovation policy-making agenda forward.

Moderator: Rosebell Kagumire, Writer and Editor at African Feminism

Visual TAS 2023 workshop final

Following the panel discussion, together we explore in a workshop what inclusive, intersectional, power-shifting innovation policy making means in theory and practice.

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