Canon Announces Launch Of Africa Frontiers Of Innovation Series 2021

This ground-breaking multi-sector initiative, first launched in the Middle East five years ago, unites industry and sector professionals to provide an effective online platform to drive innovation, share ideas, gain insights & experiences, and generate actionable solutions to existing challenges.

The African Frontiers of Innovation Series will run as a monthly online broadcast that explores the impact of the pandemic on individuals, sectors and economies.

Expert speakers and career professionals will share insights on key evolving trends and delve into how different sectors are meeting Covid-19 challenges, and setting the scene for a sustainable post-Covid world.

“Much like the previous editions of Frontiers of Innovation, the Africa series takes a deep dive into innovative technologies and operational efficiencies across a range of sectors, including music, photography, cinema and printing,” explains Mai Youssef, Corporate Communications and Marketing Services Director – Canon Middle East and Canon Central and North Africa.

The first instalment, which tackles the tough subject of post-Covid education, is set to air on Wednesday, 27 January.

Research conducted by Human Rights Watch between April and August 2020 across nine African countries found that school closures caused by the pandemic exacerbated existing inequalities, and that: “children who were already most at risk of being excluded from a quality education have been most affected.”

Headlined ‘Developing digital skills and literacy for students’, the first episode features distinguished guest speakers Dr Pius Egiolamhen (Dean of School, School of Art, Design and Printing, Yaba College of Technology); Julianna Lindsey (UNICEF Representative in Rwanda), and Professor Charles Ochieng’ Ong’ondo  (Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development), who will explore the challenges and opportunities inherent in a post-Covid, digitally-driven education landscape across Africa.  

Canon’s Africa Frontiers of Innovation series will be moderated by award-winning Kenyan journalist Victoria Rubadiri. A senior news anchor at Citizen TV and former host of Kenya’s top-rated talk show Victoria’s Lounge, Rubadiri is a recipient of the 2020 BBC Komla Dumor Award.

As a pioneer of innovation in the imaging business, Canon EMEA first launched the ‘Frontiers of Innovation’ Series in 2016, with the first edition focusing on Big Tech and the Internet of Things, while the second edition turned the spotlight on cyber security, entrepreneurship and smart cities. Both editions were held as in-presence events over one day.

In 2020, as a response to the pandemic, the Canon ‘Frontiers of Innovation Forum 2020’ launched a weekly online session that proved highly successful, with more than 3 000 attendees per session.

“Africa Frontiers of Innovation 2021 aims to expand on this, with a series of pertinent topics geared to inspire Africans from all walks of life on what can be achieved when a crisis is viewed as an opportunity, rather than just a challenge,” notes Youssef.

Attendees can look forward to a deep dive into various topical issues, including:

• Innovation in music: how digitisation has impacted the industry – and its challenges in Africa

• How Cinema is re-inventing itself in a COVID-19 world

• Content creation: the trends, challenges – and how consumer demand drives innovation

• How print can also act as a platform for augmented reality, elevating print beyond the paper

• How the pandemic has fuelled an even greater need for traditional print media – and what this means for the modern press

• Innovation in photography: exploring the application of modern photography – from personal to universal, and its cross-cultural implications; key trends in genres, from food styling to fashion photography.

About the guest speakers

Julianna Lindsey – UNICEF Representative, Rwanda. Julianna has over 20 years’ experience in leading child rights, women’s empowerment, health, education, water/sanitation, child protection, social policy, and M&E professionals in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Afghanistan.

Joseph Muteti Wambua, PhD – Acting Assistant Director, Kenya Education Cloud

Dr Wambua heads the operations of Kenya Education Cloud where he designs, develops and produces quality instructional media in Mathematics and Physics. He is also responsible for vetting and curating curriculum support materials and conducting action educational research.

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