It seems this has to still be said.

Stop 👏🏾 convening 👏🏾 deliberations about Africa 👏🏾 without 👏🏾 Africans!

This is a notorious behaviour in western capitals that HAS GOT TO END.

Why, in 2019, would anyone organise a whole event about a whole continent, a whole people (diverse as we are), and nary an African be speaking or invited to attend?

And it’s exclusion by design. Let’s count the ways:

🚮organised abroad (visas become an issue)

🚮many organised this time of year (December is loading, it’s our “summer”).

But at this point, a la hashtag#SayNoToManels, we must have a hashtag#SayNoToAfricaPanels

This started off as a Twitter thread, in reaction to a recent announcement (one of several, in a growing trend), on how digital development will help ‘fix’ the global South.

All the big bucks in development financing (for digital inclusion, digital identity, energy, water, sanitation and the reduction of the mobile gender gap etc…aka “global South challenges”) are exclusively going to tech private sector/social enterprise/development players.

Mostly white people-driven, mostly western. What could go wrong?

The seeming rationale/justification to this growing trend:

ℹ️MPESA as a stellar example of PPPs addressing “real needs” (financial inclusion en ce cas là).

ℹ️Insert stats on mobile phone ownership in global South. …

I know…policy is a put off for many. It’s that space for the old men and government types that we love to hate.

Bears repeating, however, that failing to engage — worse, ignoring- the unfolding ICT policy space is myopic for all ye techpreneurs. I bet you it will only come back to bite you in the derrière.

Think of it this way. You’re building this tech platform/company/solution that will do wonders if/when it takes off. You’ve got a solid proof of concept, and spend your days and nights dreaming of its taking off or achieving unicorn status.

But, there are hurdles. Crazy ones. [Insert them here]. …



(Tech x Public Policy)^ (Culture, Governance, Media, Gender). Thinking out loud, here and elsewhere.

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