On Friday 13th December 2019, entrepreneurs, innovators, tech enthusiasts, and industry leaders from around the world converged at the YMCA in Accra, for Ghana Tech Summit 19.
The event which was partnered by Africa Future Fund, AWS, Forbes, LinkedIn, Github, Google AI, Global Startup Ecosystem, and of course the YMCA among others was intended to highlight the innovative progress being made in the country, across the continent, and in the diaspora; as well as discuss a way forward as a solution to the myriad of bottlenecks that local entrepreneurs and innovators are constantly being faced with.
Ghana Tech Summit 19 — The Takeaways
We must tell our stories for visibility
Kwena Mabotja from SAP Next Gen, spoke of the need for us to make telling the stories of our entrepreneurial journeys an important part of building and projecting our brands. Using social media giant, Facebook, as an example, she highlighted the importance of letting the world know of our existence and what we’re doing via constant and meaningful storytelling that leaves a positive impression on our audiences — both locally and the world over.
Concerning building a sustainable and interconnected ecosystem, she highlighted the need for there to be a collaboration between the universities and colleges working with industry to provide the needed training and skills, incubators and acceleration programs building value chains and pipelines, as well as the private sector that would be providing grants and access to markets.
Speaking further, she highlighted the need for creating nurturing environments. Aside technical skills, startups do need management practice in business in order to grow and thrive within their sectors.
Observe trends in the jobs space
Education and personal development is a big thing when it comes to career advancement anywhere in the world. With the hiring data available to LinkedIn, it is clear that the demand for certain job skills have been on a steady decline for some time now. Unfortunately, many young people are going to college — studying for these jobs that may be nonexistent in the future. With so much information and related resources available on LinkedIn — for example — it’s up to the individual to invest some time in doing the research necessary for deciding on the steps to take concerning the future of their careers.
Speaking on the future of work and industry, Tyrona Heath — Global Lead at LinkedIn’s B2B Institute — highlighted the changing face of work due to rapid advancements in technology. As automation takes the place of human labor in some sectors, there’s a change in the expectations employers have of their job applicants and the skills for which they hire their workforce.
With the increasing pace of innovation, understanding the future is the best way to prepare for it. In the coming decades, just as certain jobs are phasing out in the present, there will be jobs with skill sets that we in the present don’t know of; and therefore may not properly be prepared for.
Put ourselves out there
Another key point discussed at Ghana Tech Summit 19 had to do with the future belonging to the youth, for which reason it’s important for young people to put themselves out there as entrepreneurs leveraging technology to solve real life challenges. For that to happen, the emerging crop of entrepreneurs need to identify the resources (and logistics) available to them — and exploiting these to the best of their skills and abilities.
Putting ones self out there also means getting involved in the relevant conversations going around. That would serve as a foundation for building the business relationships that would be needed going forward as entrepreneurs, and innovators. LinkedIn remains the best avenue for building one’s professional presence and getting noticed by people operating within the same space.
No need to reinvent the wheel
Too often, entrepreneurs get caught up in the temptation to pioneer the next breakout technology. While this in itself is not wrong, the fixation proves to be time consuming (most times ending in frustration) as many ideas never get off the launching pads early enough to become reality.
With the presence of a repository like GitHub, the source codes of existing technologies are available for innovators to tinker with and tweak to suit the problems they want to create solutions for. This should make it easier for entrepreneurs to develop localized solutions to the problems being encountered in their countries or sub regions — modeled on already existing solutions.
Also, in relation to modeling new ideas on already existing ones, it’s important to be realistic in one’s expectations. For example, wanting to model a local solution on conditions that are readily available on the European or North American markets can end up spelling doom for a brilliant idea.
About Ghana Tech Summit 19
Ghana Tech Summit is part of a 12-year initiative of the Global Startup Ecosystem — the first and largest digital accelerator that accelerates 1000 companies to market annually across 190+ countries entirely online.
Each year 100 global speakers will convene together with attendees in excess of a thousand, to re-position Africa as the next and final frontier of innovation.
Ghana Tech Summit 19 brought together creatives, digital marketers, entrepreneurs, and investors under one roof to address humanity’s grandest challenges via technology and entrepreneurship.