Let’s think in unique way – Digital Consultant urges African nations

The time has come for Africa to stop trying to solve problems based on models designed by the international community and organisations for African nations, a digital transformation consultant and policy advisor has said. 

Derry Dean Dadzie, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Heritors Lab, said if the continent wanted to push the frontiers of scientific discovery then it must rather define and solve problems exclusive to it because that could create niches and unique advantages to fuel the continent’s transformation.

“Everything we are doing is based on copying. We are not thinking in any unique way to disrupt.

When you pursue paths like that, you will almost never catch up because we are not solving problems peculiar to us.

We need to reinvent the wheel,” Mr Dadzie said.

He said this during a panel discussion in Accra last Friday in an event by the University of Ghana (UG) to commemorate the Day of Scientific Renaissance of Africa (DSRA). 


The DSRA is celebrated across the continent annually on June 30 following an African Union (AU) resolution passed in July 1987.

It is meant to showcase the continent’s contribution to the development of science and technology given that its story with regard to research, science and technology is usually left untold.

The discussion climaxed a month-long commemoration which was characterised by exhibitions by various colleges, schools, institutes and departments on the theme:

“Nurturing resilience, adopting technology and embracing humanity.”

Also climaxing the celebrations was the launch of seven electronic textbooks authored by faculties of the university and funded by Building Stronger Universities (BSU), an initiative of the Denmark Government. 


Mr Dadzie, who is a Technology Entrepreneur, urged young researchers and scientists to be audacious and ambitious in attempting to improve on the status quo adding that renaissance should mean finding the next dimension.

“Life, academia and thinking are not linear.

There are different dimensions and you have to be very flexible and open enough to exploit avenues creating room for mistakes and being amenable to new ideas,” he explained.  

Assistive Technology

A Principal Software Engineer for Microsoft and Disability Rights Advocate, Farida Bedwei, urged scientists and tertiary institutions to pay critical attention to the development of assistive innovations, devices and technologies and added that when an inclusive society was built, everyone benefits.

Touching on Artificial Intelligence, she described the technology as a slippery slope and advised the relevant authorities to put in measures before it got out of control.

“We need to build our laws and institutions so that we are not taken by surprise.

We need to be proactive and not reactive,” Ms Bedwei stressed.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, said the institution would continue to champion the spirit of the DSRA as part of its internationalisation drive, commitment to become a research intensive university and mission to be a key player in the realisation of the science and technology goals of Ghana and Africa.

She, therefore, commended the level of participation exhibited adding that it was an indication that the university had bought into the idea of using the day as a platform to engage its communities by drawing attention to scientific innovations, scholarly activities and researches by hardworking members of the university community. 

SOURCE: GraphicOnline

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