Africa Innovation Summit - Home

Africa Innovation Summit

pedro piresThis first Africa Innovation Summit (AIS) is a catalyst event. It is an integral part of a much broader effort to build a platform for promoting innovation in Africa. The Summit laid the foundation for an ongoing multi stakeholder dialogue on innovation in Africa. All stakeholders, including policy makers, entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers, academics, and investors were engaged in a collaborative effort to undertake strategic assessment, seek robust solutions and engage key actors to build a more propitious environment for innovation on the continent.
An initiative by IHABA under the honorary patronage of H.E. Pedro Pires Former President of Cabo Verde (2001-2011), Laureate of the 2011 Mo Ibrahim Award.

“When we speak about innovation, dear friends, we are speaking about the future, what future for us? What future do we aspire to? What attitude should we adopt? Will we act or acquiesce?”    

Pedro Pires

see video

 Our Partners

donald caberuka

Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), attended the AIS launch as special guest of H.E. Pedro Pires. During his speech, he highlighted the importance of AIS and stated: "We at the bank support innovation at all levels and are prepared to work with you going forward."
Nations which succeed do many things right of which we can distinguish the following 3 critical actions: Invest in its people; Ensure that development is broad base, benefiting the majority of its people; and most important invest in innovation. On the other hand, innovation can only succeed based on 3 things:


Freedom – freedom to do things, freedom to speak out, freedom from oppression. Risk taking – we often confuse rent seeking with development whilst the actual basis of development is risk taking and risk taking is innovation, level playing field – equal for all. 

"This initiative is very appropriate and timely...We have moved on from the world of trading in materials and commodities to the world of trading in knowledge products...and that means innovation

Donald Kaberuka

see video


antonio-correia silva-01

Dr. António Correia e Silva - Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation of Cabo Verde

The Government of Cabo Verde embraced AIS as a public private initiative. The Government attributes a high importance and priority in its development strategy to innovation.

Governments should be exemplary when it comes to innovation; not just in speeches but in effective actions through Institutional innovation, promoting electronic governance - a reduction of cost and procedures of public services.

António Correia e Silva

see video


Saturday, Sunday February Time Session Type Session Title  
  Special Event   NEPAD Agency's 2-Day Workshop on monitoring, evaluation and collection of STI measurements in Africa Agenda
     Summary of NEPAD Session View 
     Speakers Profile View 



All day Pre-Registration Pre-Registration at all AIS - partner Hotels in Praia
1100-1600 Day Tour Tours of Santiago Island  
1200-1800 Exhibit Exhibits African Innovations on display until end of the Summit  
1830-1900 Exhibit Launch Official Launch of Exhibit: African Innovations  
1900-2000 Networking Welcome Cocktail by Praia's Municipal Government  








0730-0830 Registration Registration  
0830-0900 Special Event Opening Ceremony by H.E. the Prime Minister of Cape Verde and AIS Patron H.E. Pedro Pires
0900-1100 Plenary A Innovation and Africa's Transformation Terms of Reference
1100-1300 Workshop A1 Services: Mobile Technologies and Electronic Governance Terms of Reference
1100-1300 Workshop A2 Transforming Agriculture into a Growth Engine Terms of Reference
1100-1300 Workshop A3 Facilitating Innovation: Hubs, Parks and Clusters Terms of Reference
1300-1400 Lunch Lunch Buffet  
1400-1600 Plenary B Best Practices in Innovation Policy-Making Terms of Reference
1600-1730 Workshop B1 Institutions that Drive and Support Innovation Terms of Reference
1600-1730 Workshop B2 Policies & Regulation: Building an Enabling Environment Terms of Reference
1600-1730 Workshop B3 Innovation Policy: Lessons from the Global South Terms of Reference
1600-1730 Workshop B4 Oxford University: Diffusion of Innovation in Low Income Countries Terms of Reference
1730-1830 Special Event NEPAD Agency Presentation on "Measuring innovation in Africa & STI indicators"  
1930-2200 Networking Dinner & Cultural Night - Sponsored by the Government of Cape Verde  








0900-1100 Plenary C Education and Innovation Terms of Reference
1100-1300 Workshop C1 Education Policies that Promote STEM Terms of Reference
1100-1300 Workshop C2 Learning Beyond Boundaries Terms of Reference
1100-1300 Workshop C3 Research in African Universities: Challenges and Opportunities Terms of Reference
1300-1400 Lunch Lunch Buffet  
1400-1600 Plenary D Entrepreneurship & Innovation Terms of Reference
1600-1730 Workshop D1 Getting Ideas to Market & Building Successful Firms Terms of Reference
1600-1730 Workshop D2 African Success Stories: Innovative Entrepreneurs Terms of Reference
1600-1730 Workshop D3 African Culture as a Driver of Innovation and the Creative Economy Terms of Reference
1730-1900 Special Event Leading Innovation: Conversations with Presidents  





0900-1100 Plenary E Financing Innovation Terms of Reference
1100-1300 Workshop E1 Engineering Financial Markets to Support Innovation Terms of Reference
1100-1300 Workshop E2 Innovative & Non-Traditional Financing Options Terms of Reference
1100-1300 Workshop E3 Africa LICS: Learning, Innovation and Competence Building in Africa Terms of Reference
1100-1300 Special Event ADEI’s presentation of Cabo Verde’s Venture Capital Fund Terms of Reference
1300-1400 Lunch Lunch Buffet  
1400-1500 Presentation Seed Africa Innovation Fund & Seed Africa Start-up Accelerator  
1500-1600 Plenary F Closing: Call to Action  
1600-1630 Special Event Closing Ceremony by H.E. the President of Cape Verde  
1630-1900 Networking Open Networking Meetings  

Olugbenga Adesida - Director  


Is a co-founder and partner of Ihaba, a business development venture, and the knowledge Network, a strategy consulting firm. He also works as Associate Director of the African Leadership Institute ( Olugbenga has worked extensively in Africa as strategy consultant and earlier in his career he worked with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) between 1992 and 1998.
He has published articles in several journals and has edited or co-edited special issues of Foresight, Futures, and African Development Review. He co-edited (with Arunma Oteh) the book, African Voices, African Visions in 2001. He is particularly interested in issues relating to the future and the interplay between institutions, innovation and national competitiveness. Olugbenga holds a BA and a MA in Economics from the City College of New York (US) and a PhD from the London School of Economics (UK) with a research on the role of intermediary institutions in the diffusion of complex technological innovations.  

E-mail: / 

José Brito - Director

brito 1

Is a co-founder and partner of Ihaba, a business development venture, and the knowledge Network, a strategy consulting firm. He is the national Team Leader of the Cape Verde 100% Renewable Energy. He has over 35 years of professional experience in the Government arena. He worked as vice president in the field of charge of government relations for Ocean Energy, Oil Company in Texas, United States (1992-96). Brito managed “African Futures”, a United Nations Program aimed at helping African Governments develop and implement long term strategic plans.
In Cape Verde he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs (2008-11), Minister of Economy, Competitiveness and Growth, (2006-08), Minister of Development and Planning and Foreign Aid (1977 and 1991). He was the Ambassador of Cape Verde in the United States, Canada and Mexico (2001- 2006). Brito holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Masters of Science in Physics and Chemistry from Ivory Coast and a Post Graduate Diploma in Chemical Engineering from the French Petroleum Institute, France. / 


Emilienne Macauley-Communication and Fundraising

emilienne macauley

Emilienne Macauley adds value with her experience in communication and corporate management earned from over 10 years working in the Mobile Telephony industry of Africa. She holds a certificate in Executive Corporate Management from London Business School (UK) and a BA from Betty Owen center (NYC). She is the CEO of Wansati Communications Ltd and prior to that, worked as the Communication Director for Africa with ICF (The Investment Climate Facility). She held several positions at Celtel International as Managing Director of Celtel Burkina Faso and Celtel Madagascar. She was distinguished with several awards: African Woman’s executive leadership award (Sierra Leone); Yenenga Award for recognition in women’s entrepreneurial leadership (Burkina Faso) and was nominated by Jeune Afrique Economia amongst the TOP 50 Managers of the African Continent. 


Patti Anahory - Summit Manager

anahoryIs co-founder of xu: innovations, an interdisciplinary practice that proposes a critical understanding of urban dynamics, environmental studies, architecture and inter-media studies.
Between 2009 and 2012 she served as director of CIDLOT- Research Center in Local Development and Territory Planning at the University of Cape Verde. During this time, the center proposed a critical analysis of settlement dynamics from an endogenous perspective in search of new paradigms for thinking cities in the global south.
She worked several years in architecture and design offices in New York and completed independent architectural projects in the USA, Cape Verde and Ghana.
She holds a degree in architecture from Boston Architectural College and a Masters in the same field from Princeton University (USA). In 2000 she was awarded the prestigious Rotch Traveling Scholarship which allowed her to travel extensively throughout the African continent to observe the dynamics of space making in Africa. 


Pedro Fernandes Lopes – Assistant Manager


Pedro Fernandes Lopes has a BSc in International Relations (University of Coimbra, Portugal), a Masters in Conflict Resolution (University of Bradford, United Kingdom) and a course on Strategic Marketing Communication (Department of Economics, University of Coimbra).
He did his internship at the Embassy of Cape Verde in Lisbon, Portugal and worked as an International Business Manager in the fields of construction, trading and interior hotel design for almost two years in a multinational corporation. Fernandes Lopes also worked during one year in Italy in the City Hall of Trieste, where he was in charge of organizing workshops, conferences and promoting youth mobility. His love for traveling and knowing other cultures have compelled him to live in Spain, Italy and England. He was President of student’s union of his department at the University of Coimbra where he organized several events for his fellow classmates. He continues to volunteer for the Portuguese Youth Institute which highlights his commitment and connection to his community. 


Lucineida Fonseca - Strategy Advisor

Luci Fonseca PHOTOLuci Fonseca is a Strategy Advisor at the Africa Innovation Summit. She is also an economist in the Government of Cape Verde's Center for Political Strategy focusing on SME Development, Growth and Innovation. Before this, she spent three years as Director of Monitoring and Remediation at Estrategos Consultores, leading a team of Portfolio Managers in implementing 20 innovative development projects financed by the US African Development Foundation. Luci has multi-disciplinary experience in investment banking, transfer pricing, project development and strategy consulting. She holds a Bachelors degree in History from Yale University.




Isilda Monteiro - Marketing


Is the marketing and communication director of Ihaba. Prior to joining Ihaba, she coordinated several business activities and political and social events in Cape Verde and Brazil including advertising campaigns, strategic marketing plans, identity and promotional merchandise and customer service training. Monteiro is a specialist in promotional marketing and was founder and CEO of IsySolutions Promotional Marketing.

She has served as Sales and Marketing Director as well as public relations and operational Manager at various companies. She was instructor of techniques of television expression, marketing and information systems for journalism and business management students. She holds a BA in Advertising and Communication from FANOR/Devry University 


Humberto Lopes

imageHumberto Lopes has a degree in Information Technology from the Universidade de Santiago, Cabo Verde (2012). While completing his studies, he worked for the University as the IT Lab supervisor. He also worked as freelance software developer for Infocom Lda. Currently he is part of the AIS 2014 team responsible for website development. 





 Elvis Junior

ElvisI have a degree in communication and Multimedia from the Universidade de Cabo Verde (2013). I am interested in working as a web and graphic designer. I am part of the AIS team as an intern assisting with the conception and production of graphic material for the Summit. I completed a seven-month internship at the municipality’s Building and Commercial department. My goal is to pursue my Master’s degree in Multimedia Information Systems at a University in India.




Keila Pereira


Hello!! My name is Keila Pereira. I am a second year student of International Relations and Diplomacy at Instituto Superior de Ciências Jurídicas e Sociais in Praia, Cape Verde. I have participated in some conferences and played an active role in a simulation of UN General Assembly conference. I have also participated in an international seminar “3 Days to Think the Millenium Objectives – And post-2015?” at CPLP headquarters in Lisbon, Portugal. My ambition is to one-day work at the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs. 




Mahugnon Serge Djohy - Assistant de Communication & Reporter Social


Holder of a Master in "International Economics and Finance" at the University of Parakou (UP - in Benin, I'm doing a Master Research "Dynamics and International Policies: Environmental Management and International Relations» at the University Jean Piaget of Praia (, in Cape Verde. In the AIS 2014 team, I work as an International Volunteer to assist the francophone communication and the social reporting of the summit.
Expert and Consultant in Climate Change and Sustainable Development, I have previously worked from 2012 to 2013 as a Research-Fellow of the African Climate Change Fellowship Program (ACCFP-, based in Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), and leading successfully the project: "Climate Change and Meningitis in Northern Benin.". Co-founder of the Non-Government Organization "Better Life NGO", I worked from 2011 to 2013 to protect the environment and adaptation to climate change in Western Africa. I also worked from October 2010 to October 2013, as a Research Assistant in the Laboratory of Regional Analysis and Social Expertise (LARES-, regional branch of Parakou. Presently, i’m the Focal Point and Country Director of “IDEAS For Us” ( in Cape Verde. I’m also Expert of the International Global Change System for Analysis, Research & Training (START-, based in Washington (USA) and member of African Climate Change Adaptation Network (, and i aspire to work in the future with the United Nations, for achieving the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Objectives.

Email: /

The Summit is timely. Africa is changing and the continent's recent growth holds. Africa has made major progress over the last decade in many areas ranging from social, political to economic. Growth has been strong and macroeconomic variables have witnessed major improvements despite the difficult global circumstances. Yet the reality is that very few African countries today can claim to have successfully transformed their economies.

The changed global landscape of the 21st Century requires major upgrade in African societies and economies. Success will require that African societies and economies be driven by.

It is crucial for the development of a knowledge based economy and Africa's competitiveness. African countries must be able to fundamentally alter the nature of their economies, become more creative and innovative to support socioeconomic transformation. The solution to the challenges facing the continent lies in the ingenuity and creativity of Africans.
Creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship are the keys for socioeconomic transformation.

The good news is that Africans are innovating. The Summit launched a process to critically review what is happening and how to learn from the emerging African experiences, what the challenges are, and how best to build robust innovation systems in African countries.