12/3/2017 0 Comments
Jean Claude Bastos de Morais’ brainchild, The African innovation Foundation has announced the seventh edition of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA). This initiative has instilled hope in young African innovators. However, this is not the only project in Mr Bastos de Morais’ bag as he has painted a bigger picture for Africa’s economic and technological progress.
The champion of Jean Claude Bastos de Morais’ crusade against Africa’s poverty and economic deficiency is Angola, and it is taking innovation to a whole new level. Fábrica de Sabão, Angola’s first hybrid innovation hub, is a big reason for this leap. This is a temple of learning and innovation that was once a soap factory, in the middle of an Angolan Slum.
Fábrica de Sabão is in a shantytown populated by 800,000 hardworking people. The directive of this hub is to overlap the formal economy with its informal counterpart through need-based inventions. Fábrica de Sabão cultivates the creative skills of budding entrepreneurs, engineers, and young economists under the same roof. They all are mentored by experts who help them develop problem-solving devices and strategies.
The hub has 11 sections which include makerspace, office space, perma garden, an exhibition venue, and a sports area where worked up entrepreneurs can relax. The ‘makerspace’ is a sector where engineers can innovate with the help of tools, such as smelters, CNC machines, welding machines, weighing scales, calipers, and marking tools. The 3D printer is their most valued tool as it helps them develop prototypes through computer-aided designs. Angolan youngsters have independently created solar-powered mobile chargers, alarm system prototypes, and various other useful gadgets with the help of these facilities.
A small push from Jean Claude Bastos de Morais built a lot of potential in the Angolan youth. Angola is counted as Africa’s third largest African economy. The last 15 years have been instrumental in Angola’s development as its government started reforming the infrastructure heavily. Widespread privatization and liberalization has made Angola into a beacon of investment in Africa. Angola’s GDP reached a growth rate of 22.5% in 2013, which was earlier 10.7% between 2007 and 2010.
Although Angola is not Jean Claude Bastos de Morais’ blue-eyed boy, the Quantum Global Group’s founder has done a lot to put this southern African country on a fruitful path. The eyes are focused on IPA 2018 as no Angolan entry has yet made it to the winners list.