Interview: Creating a prosperous Africa

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November 27, 2018

Africa is home to more than 1.2 billion people, of which over 400 million live below the extreme poverty line on $1.90 per day. But it’s also home to some of the world’s most innovative thinkers, and full of opportunity if you only know where to look. Discussing that opportunity is what got me so excited to sit down with Lee Kasuma of Africa State of Mind, while visiting South Africa for the Discovery Leadership Summit earlier this month.

In the 48 minute podcast we touch briefly on my personal journey—from failed college entry exams, to building wells in poor communities in Nigeria, to co-authoring The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty. The bulk of the interview covers the immense impact of market-creating innovations, citing historical examples like Isaac M. Singer’s sewing machine in the United States and the mobile telecommunications revolution in Africa.

If Africa is to solve the problem of poverty as its population continues to balloon, I argue, leaders and innovators on the continent will need to invest in market-creating innovations that have the potential to transform economies—and most importantly transform lives.

Efosa Ojomo is a research fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation. Efosa’s work focuses on using disruptive innovation theory to fundamentally change the discourse in the global development community, thus enabling nations to engender their own path to long-term growth and prosperity.