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Develop new appetite for technology & innovation

By: Daniel Ofosu Dwamena, Accra
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Mr Steve Babaeko
Mr Steve Babaeko

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian-based marketing and advertising agency, X3m Ideas, Mr Steve Babaeko, has urged companies, businesses and brands in Africa to develop a new appetite for technology and innovation by doing away with the residual traditional thinking.

Citing the famous quote by Pablo Picasso: ‘Every act of creation is first an act of destruction’, he said until the old gave way to the new, brands would never see a revolution happen and that was most critical to the survival of every business on the continent.

He said technology and innovation had undoubtedly penetrated every industry, including the church, due to the fact that the world had moved from the industrial era to the era of technology and innovation.

“The exponential character of change, fuelled by technology demands from organisations to reinvent themselves has raised the question whether technology and innovation are serving the needs of people or they are a destruction to businesses.

“Whether or not technology is an enabler or a destruction, there is one thing we ought to understand, that the world has moved from one stage of development to another. This requires that we change to meet the demands the era comes with. It is technology that will take us there or draw us back,” he explained.

At the Africa Rising Reloaded, the second Africa leadership conference held in Accra from May 28 – 29, Mr Babaeko said Africa could only rise if businesses advanced and caught up with the rest of the world by leveraging on the power of technology and innovation.

On the theme: ‘Evolution of brands and consumers: Reinvent or die’, he said technology and innovation had triggered the change in the business climate in the sense that, some few years ago, a company could only sell if its name was known.

However, he stated that with the inception of the fourth industrial revolution which was mainly characterised by technology, businesses would survive with skill defence in technology.

“Technology is now reshaping the present and the future. While consumers on the continent have become more sophisticated with the adaptation of new technologies, businesses must be innovative and keep evolving to meet their growing demands in a bid to project Africa that is rising and ready to tackle challenges of the industrial era head-on,” he said.

Technologies that are reshaping the future 
Mr Babaeko said it had become important to talk about the adverse effects and significance of technology to human existence since, according to his estimation, technology had started destroying everything globally.

 “I doubt if there is any industry, including the church, that technology or the power of technology has not yet touched,” he said.

A section of participants at the conference


He said though autonomous vehicles might be seen as an illusion, it was one technology that would be driving the future as tech experts were in the process of building the tech vehicle.

He added that should these technologies come to fusion, certain businesses such as insurance companies and drivers would be displaced.

“About 95 per cent of traffic accidents are caused by the negligence or mistakes of human beings. If an autonomous vehicle will record zero mistakes and negligence, it means there is not going to be an accident, therefore, no need for vehicle insurance.

“Likewise, if the autonomous vehicle can operate itself, why would you hire a driver to drive you around?” he asked.

He added that the Internet had already transformed a number of industries from the ground up – from putting travel agents, health practitioners and bankers out of job almost overnight.

Technology, he said, had moved on to disrupt the media industry, including but not limited to music, newspapers, TV, radio, as well as retail with the development of applications and software. 

“With aid from a cognitive computing and neuromorphic, artificial intelligence (AI), the genetics of newborn can be altered to either cause a change or remove certain conditions from the child’s cells,” he highlighted.

“Currently, the hospitality, automotive and logistics are witnessing unparalleled competition from new entrants in their markets,” he added.

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Mr Babaeko urged business to upstream the re-engineering of creative processes in companies and organisations by developing human capacity.

That, he said, would enable individuals to owe technology and not the reverse.

He also mentioned that businesses on the continent should realise that they were lagging behind in the race of technological advancement and ‘run like the third monkey in a race to the ark’.

“Companies should retool their teams, invest in digital real estate, redefine their business model, overhaul and redefine their value system to be able to stand the global competition in technological advancement,” he urged. — GB