Towards a brighter future for Africa: Design can make the difference

Imagine if Africa could become the door on which global citizens and companies knock when it comes to innovation? ‘Local innovation, global conversation’ is the main theme of the 7th annual South African Innovation Summit to be held at the Cape Town Stadium from 16 to 18 September.

The Summit forms part of World Design Capital (WDC) Cape Town 2014 and the event endeavours to showcase South Africa’s wealth of creativity, originality and ingenuity when it comes to developing solutions to Africa’s challenges.

According to Gavin Mageni, head of the SABS Design Institute, South Africa’s official design promotion body, design can make a difference to Africa’s fortunes. “I am confident that well designed products, services and systems will create new socio-economic value for South Africa,” says Mageni. He adds that Africans are intrinsically innovative and have harnessed good ideas and innovative thinking to overcome a multitude of adverse circumstances. The Design Institute is geared to show what design can do to move innovation into the mainstream African psyche, leading to economic growth and a better life for all.

The SABS Design Institute is an Innovation Summit partner, amongst others sponsoring three Pitching Den participants to go through to the Design Institute’s Counterpoint Programme.

Time will tell whether design initiatives such as the World Design Capital, the Innovation Summit and others will become the fuel that will drive the rise in Africa’s fortunes. There might be a day when Africa is the door on which global citizens and companies knock when it comes to innovation.