Quartz’s list of 30 African innovators
When we launched Quartz Africa in June, we very purposely focused on telling Africa’s stories through a lens of innovation. As we’ve stressed before, innovation does not just apply to technology, but to the full spectrum of stories we cover from business and politics to culture and health—and everything in between.
We’ve taken this approach because we have a firm belief great innovation is happening here on the continent both out of necessity and opportunity. Many of our countries face the challenges of rapid urbanization and fledgling democracies. But they also have the opportunity provided by rising Internet access and young demographics.
The narrative in Africa has moved from seeking foreign-solutions-for-African-problems, to discussing African-solutions-to-African-problems. And, as our coverage (and the efforts many of these innovators) shows, it’s now moving toward a narrative of African-solutions-to-global-problems.
The 30 innovators on our inaugural list are from just 15 countries of 54 so we believe we’re only just scratching the surface. They’ve been chosen for their groundbreaking work, thought-leading initiatives, creative approaches to local problems and yes, for being African innovators.
Africa’s future is as promising and rewarding as we often hear, but not just because of oft-cited factors like abundant natural mineral resources and increasing political stability. The countries of the continent have great promise because of their people. Here are 30 people who are helping the continent take major strides forward.