This post reflects my views towards African development, a cause I am very passionate about. As a medical doctor trained in the United Arab Emirates, the impact of adopting innovation is not new to me. Using Dubai as an example, one can clearly see the benefits of forward thinking as exemplified by the visionary leader, HRH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Implementing the most innovative solutions from global sources to foster development in a region that was relatively underdeveloped, when I first visited in 1999. I implore African leaders to follow in his footsteps as I believe the future is bright for Africa, but first, we must get the foundation right.
Africa is blessed with an abundance of natural and human resources and exemplary leadership is vital if her potential is to be harnessed. With wide spread corruption and a dearth of infrastructure posing a major obstacles to development, I believe Africans must look towards aligning with technology and adopt an intelligent approach to development. The successes associated with the rapid uptake of mobile technology in the region should serve as motivation to implement innovative solutions to African problems. For example, I believe mobile based e-learning solutions can bridge the gap created by the relative inadequacy of experienced educators, especially in the rural regions.
Ideas, however, are cheap and the execution is where the real work is. Frankly, questions like; what must be done to remedy the situation and whose responsibility it is, deserve a multifaceted answer. In my opinion, everyone has a role to play; African and non-African, Leaders and Subordinates, International and Local Organisations, Young and Old, towards solving the problems and inequalities that plague our great Continent. To this end, I must commend individuals like; Ade Adeyemi (Kopf-Adeyemi Fellowship), Charles Sekwalor & Oyin Solebo (Movemeback), Emad El Maghraby (GE Healthcare) and Tomi Davies (African Business Angels Network) amongst others, for championing initiatives to support forward thinking by Africans living at home and in diaspora.
Inspired by these people and my passion for African development, I have advocated for the establishment of the African Business Club at Imperial College Business School. As the incoming President of the Club, my aim is to correct the false perceptions about Africa, while shedding light on the opportunities for individuals to get involved in the development of my beloved continent. I feel this approach will advocate for change, especially with regards to preparing the Continent for the technological disruption that is taking the World by the storm. Strategically planning for the future, can help reduce the financial implications of implementing technology by avoiding the impact of infrastructural mismatch – as experienced during the implementation of the NHS’ Informatics strategy. I hope all international institutions of higher learning follow suit by facilitating opportunities for African development.
Towards a greater Africa, powered by intelligence!
Debo is studying our MSc International Health Management programme.