Today, the economic and social inequality status of a people is, more than ever, influenced by their capacity for creativity and innovation; derived from how well the people can access, adopt and use technology. But much more, how much the society allows for young people to partake in the exponential innovation and entrepreneurship space, to galvanize solution development needed for a virile national economic prosperity.
Africa remains largely rural with about 60% of its population living in semi-urban and rural communities. Many economic activities have very low productivity, with very little hope of making the technological or economic leap. Unfortunately, youths from these communities are also socially-excluded and lack access to the digital revolutions the big cities have.
Expectedly, there is huge pressure on the cities, where the infrastructure is very inadequate. This is leading to a new form of poverty. The problem today is not just a digital divide, but also widening inequality, increasing numbers of slums and the related human degradation. So as it is, there is an impending risk of these people being left out of the technological, digital revolution and the constant innovation buzz across the globe. Africa is at risk of becoming once again The Dark Continent, a dumping ground for solutions we as African do not necessarily need to thrive and prosper.
Moreover, as we desperately strive to escape the age-long squalors and inequality that plague us, we continue to plunge into the immediacy syndrome, eroding our value system and development potentials. Yet a huge population of our young people, who should create a new future, are cut off from the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. How can Africa accelerate its development by enhancing the innovation know-how of her youths and creating a virile entrepreneurial ecosystem capable of churning solutions to our problems as Africans and into the global innovation hub?
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Bridgewaters Foundation for Youth Development is a non-governmental organization geared to stimulating the minds of African youths towards creating insightful yet indigenous solutions to the challenge.