Viewpoint: Africa’s Regulators Are Smothering Its Innovators
The birth of mobile money transfer in Kenya has raised optimism about the potential of the continent to leapfrog in other technologies. However, Africa’s mobile technology is starting to look like an exception despite efforts to create start-ups using emerging technologies and platforms such as drones, 3D printing, robots and machine learning.
But much of the legislative reform on innovation in Africa is devoted to creating new bureaucratic structures and seeking to guarantee a proportion of the GDP to research and development (R&D). These measures have their role but they are among the least useful in spurring innovation using emerging technologies.