Africa’s struggle for independence was largely driven by a desire to wean herself off exogenous solutions, ideas, and systems. In keeping with this desire, different political and economic platforms such as the African Union (AU) and various Regional Economic Communities (RECs), were formed to safeguard and promote the interests of Africans. Over the years, however, the dream of building a self-reliant Africa, capable of generating its own ideas and resolving its own challenges, has lost momentum. The heavy international assistance in African countries manifests itself in various sectors, including health, education, security, and finance.
While Africa has not realized its dream of providing solutions to its problems, some notable progress has been made. A clear example is the impressive prevention of ebola outbreak in Nigeria through mainly local efforts, with minimal international support. The world-renowned microfinancing service, M-pesa, developed by a Kenyan mobile network operator is yet another notable example. The remarkable success recorded in both instances point to the importance of solving African issues with African solutions. In light of this, the 2017 LSE Africa Summit seeks to expand inclusive solutions as a way to reshape Africa’s poor development trajectory. In particular, Built for Africa will explore both outsourced and insourced ideas that are developed with, for and to a large extent, by Africans.
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