The Africa-Europe Innovation Partnership was launched this morning in Nairobi. The partnership aims to create synergies between the African and European innovation ecosystems by connecting incubators and accelerators, fostering technology transfer and enhancing capacity building in key technologies.
At the opening session, Maria Cristina Russo, Director for International cooperation at the European Commission said:
"The Africa-Europe Innovation Partnership will seek to develop links among African and European incubators, exploring models for technology transfer and access to market and developing skills among African tech-entrepreneurs. It will provide a real catalyst for direct engagements between Europeans and Africans for the mutual benefit of our two continents, by promoting and supporting the emerging of new economic actors, leading to sustainable investment, development and job creation."
EU Ambassador to Kenya, Simon Mordue, emphasised that:
'An important priority for us is to encourage and support home-based economic development, growth and job creation. SMEs contribute about 20 percent of Kenya's GDP.'
Various presentations and interactive sessions on Africa-Europe collaboration, innovation ecosystems, technology transfer, innovation and entrepreneurship, and many other topics were discussed, with a strong focus on the dynamics and creativity of people, and a partnership between equals.
The event brought together a wide range of incubators, accelerators, start-ups, network organisations and experts from both continents, as well and representatives from the European Union, the African Union and the Kenyan government.