Students need intellectual property policies know-how
Asingia believes that, with the right policies, training, advice and support, especially pertaining to human and financial capital, Africa, like Asia, can create and own unique intellectual property rights in medical, fintech, energy, travel and space innovation fields.
He cited and applauded Rwanda where the government has set policies that support entrepreneurship and protect local innovations as well as facilitate foreign investment support for local innovation.
Speaking about the future of science and technology in Africa during the general conference of the Association of African Universities held virtually from 5-8 July, Asingia said that African universities are well positioned to play a critical role in research and local innovations that provide solutions to local problems.
“[The] university system is one of the most effective ways to bring [about] change for local innovations through experiential learning,” said Asingia.
He called for programmes to train students in intellectual property policies in order to register and protect their innovations and reap subsequent financial benefits.
Training ethical entrepreneurs
Speaking during a plenary session on the future of science and technology in Africa, Asingia told the conference delegates that public and private institutions of higher education need to collaborate across the four critical areas of reliable and affordable energy, clean and affordable water, accessible and inclusive mobile or digital banking and working against those who infringe on intellectual property.
In an exclusive follow-up interview with University World News, Asingia said that his company is training, advising and supporting (both in human and financial capital) ethical entrepreneurial leaders and innovators to launch, grow and scale inclusive innovations across cultures and borders.
This is done through DreamGalaxy Academy, a platform that curates and distributes culturally relevant educational media for lifelong learners as well as DreamGalaxy Advisory which advises and supports entrepreneurs and executives in their ethical leadership and inclusive innovation strategies and programmes.
The academy currently distributes educational media to AAU universities through its AAUTV division that, in turn, is accessed globally across 1,600 cities and more than 151 countries, leading to increased inter-university and student-teacher collaborations.
Asingia called for inclusive innovation initiatives by African universities that consider all stakeholders and teaching systems that challenge students to think about Africa’s Agenda 2063 and how to contribute to it.
Through collaborations with stakeholders such as alumni networks, governments and the private sector, Asingia said that African universities could develop start-ups that can place Africa on the global map.
“Supporting the AU Agenda 2063 and prioritising the realisation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) is important to bring about the much-needed scale and collaborative environment across cultures and borders needed for Africans to thrive, despite foreign competition and interference,” said Asingia.
“The time is ours as students, educators, innovators and leaders to act towards Agenda 2063 and the AfCFTA across cultures and borders and education, both through culturally responsive digital media as well as experiential learning models backed by strong intellectual property policies enforcement and a thriving inclusive digital banking experience are how we get there,” he said.
To overcome challenges of innovation in science and technology, such as scaling and ownership, Asingia called for more favourable banking policies that would, among others, make it easier to facilitate cross-border payments.
“Universities here can play a critical role with hybrid commercialisation [in which case, innovators keep and maintain economic control and ownership of their ideas, innovation and strategies] and we are eager to launch such pilot programmes with interested higher education institutions,” said Asingia.