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DATE: October 13, 2017

DAY: Friday

12:30 PM - 1:45 PM


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Rapidly evolving technology offers Africa the potential to accelerate development significantly. The ubiquitous presence of mobile phones has radically changed the landscape for financial sector development, reaching segments of the population who have never had access to financial services. The same platforms are now opening up business opportunities that didn’t exist before. CEO Keller Rinaudo of Zipline will talk about the dramatic impact that his company has had on the health sector in Rwanda through the drone-based delivery of vital medical supplies. Moderated by Clapperton Mavhunga, Associate Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at MIT, this seminar will discuss the opportunities that technology offers governments to boost the delivery of public services, and how the African private sector can leverage technology to create jobs.

Join the conversation via #IMFAfrica


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Leap-frogging Development Innovation and Growth in sub-Saharan Africa

Leap-frogging Development Innovation and Growth in sub-Saharan Africa


Moderator: Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga

Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga is Associate Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mavhunga joined MIT as an assistant professor in 2008 and is the author of Transient Workspaces: Technologies of Everyday Innovation in Zimbabwe (MIT Press, 2014), which received Honorable Mentions in the Turku Prize (European Society for Environmental History) and Herskovits Prize (African Studies Association) in 2015. He is also editor of What Do Science, Technology, and Innovation Mean from Africa? (MIT Press, 2017) which explores science, technology and innovation in Africa from an archaeological, historical, philosophical, anthropological, STS, engineering, development, and policymaking perspective.

His professional interests lie in the history, theory, and practice of science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the international context, with a focus on Africa.

Panelist: Keller Rinaudo

Keller Rinaudo is CEO and co-founder of Zipline, a drone delivery company focused on health care, Keller Rinaudo works with the country of Rwanda to make last-mile deliveries of blood to half of the transfusing facilities in the country. The ultimate goal is to put each of the 12 million citizens of Rwanda within a 15–30 minute delivery of any essential medical product they need, no matter where they live.

Zipline is also working with GAVI, UPS, USAID, and several other countries in East Africa. The company is a team of 60 aerospace and software engineers headquartered in San Francisco, CA. It is funded by Sequoia Capital, Google Ventures, Paul Allen, Jerry Yang, and Stanford University. Rinaudo is also a professional rock climber ranked top 10 in sport climbing. He has scaled alpine cliffs in France, underwater caves in Kentucky and the limestone towers of Yangshuo, China.