Disrupt Collaboration! – Africa and Europe in the Digital Age

A Side-Event to the High-Level Forum Africa-Europe, 18.12.2018, 9-10.30am, room F1:

Disrupt Collaboration! – Africa and Europe in the Digital Age

“Earth spins at 1670 km/h. The digital world spins faster, driven by agile teams all across the globe.”
Digitization and globalization lead to a big transformation that shapes Africa and Europe at the same time, but differently. In African countries, an absence of technology lock-ins and less vested interests allow innovative solutions closer to human needs. And while Europe talks about its new Entrepreneurial Society and the need for agile mind-sets, African societies have shown great potentials for entrepreneurship and agility. Practitioners and experts are calling for new approaches to African-European collaboration that allows those involved to engage in mutual exchange, co-creation and learning from each other.


Digitization and globalization are drivers of an ongoing multidimensional transformation:

  1. A new state of connectedness has made citizens and customers stepping out of their traditional (passive) roles as buyers and voters. Citizens and customers inquire, exchange, learn and create through networks.
  2. An epic shift in power in the marketplace from sellers to buyers has happened due to the vast amount of available information.
  3. African and European entrepreneurs both have become part of similar networks and value chains and both have access to the global knowledge society.
  4. The digital revolution is shaping Africa and Europe simultaneously, but in a different way. In African countries, an absence of technology lock-ins and less vested interests give broad room for innovative solutions closer to human needs.
  5. While Europe talks about the necessity of entrepreneurship and agilely minded people, in Africa an ubiquitous scarcity offers great potential for entrepreneurship and agility.


How to cope with this big transformation?

How to achieve an effective African-European collaboration where joint efforts and real “co-creation” lead to useful and new outcomes?

Find our theses for download here

Our Side-Event

The one event where you are given a voice!

You – the audience – set the scene for discussing new approaches to African-European collaboration in the globalized and digital age. In the first half of the event, we will work in table groups and prepare what the panelists will discuss in the second half.

In the second half we will discuss with panelists.

The discussion will focus on questions like:

General Discussion
– Where can African-European business collaboration take us decisively forward?
– What are success factors and barriers for African-European ventures?

New Business and Collaboration Models and Skills
– Does African-European cooperation lead to new entrepreneurial thinking?
– How can collaboration be determined as partnership of equals?

Development of a joint vision for a new collaboration culture
– How can a joint vision for the digital age be initiated that advances entrepreneurial spirits as well as societal frameworks?


  • Faith Keza – CEO RwandaOnline, Rwanda
    RwandaOnline, to enable automation of all government services
  • Christoph Steindl – CEO and Founder Catalysts, Austria
    Catalysts, the software companies which creates cells, everywhere in the world
  • Sakhile Xulu – CEO and Co-Founder of Qisimah Audio Insights, Ghana/South Africa
    Qisimah, African software disrupting the music industry
  • Maryanne Akoth Owino – Incubation Manager, TechBridge, Kenya
    TechBridge, the tropical business incubator in Mombasa


  • Amollo Ambole – Strategy Lead, LivingLab, Kenya
  • Hans Stoisser – MD, ECOTEC, Austria
18.12.2018 in Vienna: High-Level Forum Africa-Europe

On December 18, 2018, the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, as the current Chairperson of the African Union, and the Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria, Sebastian Kurz, currently chairing the Council of the European Union, cordially invite African and European heads of state or government, CEOs of major global companies as well as innovative entrepreneurs and stakeholders to the High‑Level Forum Africa‑Europe. The High‑Level Forum’s leitmotif Taking cooperation to the digital age promotes innovation and digitalization as important enablers for our future development.


The Side-Event marked red in the overall program of the High-Level Forum Africa-Europe:

TimeTable HighLevelForum 20181116
Date and Venue:

Date:    December 18, 2019, 9-10.30am (schedule enough time for security checks at the entrance)
Venue: Austria Center Vienna, Bruno-Kreisky-Platz, Vienna, Austria


ECOTEC from Austria makes collaboration in Emerging Countries work.
We bring together many years of working experiences with companies and organizations at the interface with emerging countries, top management expertise and partnerships with leading European management institutions.

LivingLabThe Kenyan organization Living Lab at the University of Nairobi is a co-creative space for researchers and experts who have a common interest in sustainable urban change.
Living Lab believes collaboration is the key to radical innovation.

Our partners are: