Social Innovation

These are 30 African innovators who aren't waiting for help from anyone else

People and traffic move along a busy street in Lagos, Nigeria, May 24,2005. The African Union (AU) celebrates Africa Day on Wednesday May 25, marking the anniversary of the founding in 1963 of the Organization of African Unity, replaced in 2002 by the AU as the driving force behind the struggle for peace, democracy, development, human rights and good governance on the worlds poorest continent. REUTERS/George Esiri  FOR/LA - RTRCDC7

The influence of their work goes well beyond their immediate community and will ultimately impact millions of lives. Image: REUTERS/George Esiri

Quartz Marketing Staff
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Innovation

The influence of innovation on African countries’ developmental progress continues to be one of the most frequently discussed topics at high-powered meetings like this year’s World Economic Forum Africa.

Many of the discussions on panels or in private conversations with presidents and captains of industry and leaders of social causes often come down to finding new approaches and principles to tackle many of the intractable challenges faced on the continent.

Such new approaches underlie our philosophy in picking people for Quartz’s third edition of the Africa Innovators list. The word innovation is often linked with technology alone, but since our inaugural list our innovators have always been people with “big ideas, creative vision, entrepreneurship and homegrown, globally scalable problem-solving.” This year is no different.

Many wonder about the fate of Africa in 2017 when several of the world’s leading powers, like the US, have turned their focus inward. Yet, we’ve again identified more than 30 Africans who aren’t waiting for help from the outside. The influence of their work goes well beyond their immediate community and will ultimately impact millions of lives. They’re taking leadership and control in a wide range of fields including finance, healthcare, education, agriculture, design and many other fields.

The Quartz Africa team is especially proud of the women and men on the 2017 list; it’s our most widely represented group of innovators yet, picked from 18 countries. As with our 2016 and our inaugural 2015 innovators, it has been inspiring for us to follow the dedication, determination, and creative enterprise of each person here.

We congratulate everyone and recommend that you take time to follow their impressive work.

View the full list here: Quartz Africa Innovators 2017.

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