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#Iamstaying, what now?

by Hanli Goncalves | Managing Director |

Our country has been infatuated with the #Iamstaying campaign launched a few short months ago. Their Facebook following grew to over half a million followers in less than a month and it does not look like it is going to slow down in a hurry. With an array of beautiful stories regaling reasons people still feel hopeful in a country where bad news has become commonplace, I find myself thinking of the people in our country, specifically the youth. What will South Africa look like 10 years’ from now? Our unemployment is at all-time high, how will the youth overcome this vast obstacle?

Tony Shapshak mentioned in one of his talks that the purest form of innovation is borne from necessity. In Africa people have sure been forced to look at things differently; often electricity, and running water, is not a given, going to school is a luxury, and a job is something one most likely has to create oneself. This is why entrepreneurship is so important in all of Africa, including South Africa.

Many life-changing inventions have their roots in Africa, such as:

Ugandan inventor Brian Turyabagye, created a biomedical smart jacket that diagnoses pneumonia four times faster than a doctor. It analyzes the chest and then sends the information via Bluetooth to a smartphone app allowing the wearer to obtain medical intervention much sooner than they normally would be able to do.

‘Made in Africa' cars are on the rise. Mobius Motors, a Kenyan based motor company, are releasing the second model of their stripped-down, cost-effective but ‘luxury’ SUV built for rough terrains. They aim to sell the car to the African mass market, and anywhere else in the world where there are poor quality roads.

Cameroonian entrepreneur, Arthur Zang, has invented a touch-screen heart monitoring device that records, and then sends heart activity to a national healthcare center for evaluation. It could have hugely positive potential for rural populations living far from hospitals and health care facilities.

Aerobotics, the South Africa based drone software company, is helping farmers optimize their output using artificial intelligence. They have created a data-analytics platform, Aeroview, which combines satellite, drone and artificial intelligence technology to improve agricultural practices.

Where the rest of the world has lagged behind, Africa has led the way with mobile payments. M-Pesa is the most popular service and has 30 million users in 10 countries. Since it was first introduced 10 years ago, M-Pesa has inspired a range of similar services around the world, changing the face of interpersonal financial transactions.

Some may feel that we are eons behind first world countries as far as innovation is concerned, but we are in fact in a unique position to create different, but very real, technological solutions. The 4th Industrial Revolution is here; it offers the opportunity to up-skill our children and youth so they can create a new reality. For this reason #Iamstaying and spearheading #MyfutureSA #MyFuture4 for our children. Let this be the legacy we leave them. A legacy of hope.

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