2013 is drawing to a close and looking back, it could be said that this was the year that saw African tech start-ups grow. Moreover the festive season is drawing near and it’s about time we started with our wish lists. Throughout this season we’ll be talking about innovation. In this evidently-changing world we live in, innovation makes the difference. This December, we’ll be discussing the innovation-factor that’s driving change in our lives. There are many ideas, but we would like to concentrate on the creative, innovative ideas that would transform our continent. It’s about time we got out of the box because creativity, innovation and change always go hand-in-hand-in-hand. Very often, we mistake innovation for skyscrapers, modern mega-cities, fast cars and whatnots. But innovation is much more valuable when it’s localised and improves the lives of people. When we fail to make this crucial distinction, our efforts at modernising often leave the people worse off. That’s what the December theme is for. We are highlighting instances of more effective or sustainable alternatives to problems. Be it a different kind of schooling system or a green electricity generator, or a mobile application that does everything; innovation is the way forward. You don’t have to be a scientist or a mastermind to think innovatively. The genius ideas aren’t necessarily super-technical. But rather, they are centred around problem solving. Our goal is to build a community of Africans who have the confidence to speak their voice and the awareness to engage in productive conversation with one another about the shared and unique lives we live as Africans and members of the African diaspora. We imagine an Africa, where we’re all involved. As always, we value your participation. What innovative ideas do you have? We’d like to know. Share your thoughts, experiences and reflections on our December theme with the Rise Africa community. If you or someone you know would be interested in participating in this series, we encourage you to contribute. Just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Click to access all articles under our December 2013 theme. On that note, I hope your run towards the new year is as innovative as can be. Seasons Greetings. Share this:FacebookTwitterTumblrEmail Deana Besala I look forward to seeing what the team has to say around African innovation.