The African Technology Development Forum (ATDF) is a volunteer organisation that was established in 2002 by Constantine Bartel (Ellipson), Victor Konde (UN Economic Commission for Africa) and Philipp Aerni (University of Bern and ETH Zurich). Its primary aim is the promotion of a paradigm shift in development assistance from donor priorities to the priorities of the local economy in Africa. This is to be achieved by facilitating the formation of partnerships and linkages between academic/research centres, industry and government and thus contribute to the mobilization of entrepreneurship, technological innovation and endogenous growth on the African continent.
For that purpose it offers several products and services such as:
Online resources related to
(a) business opportunities for innovative African entrepreneurs
(b) user-friendly technologies to improve the quality/value of local products and services
(c) best practices in the area of public-private partnership in development assistance
(d) online course material in the area of trade & environment and innovation&technology
ATDF Journal (quarterly)
Since ATDF was established in 2002 it also runs a free-peer reviewed online journal. Each issue covers a special topic related to African development and technological innovation. In addition to inviting contributions from senior scholars that conducted innovative and unorthodox research on the subject, the editors also invite potential authors to submit their manuscript to email@example.com for review. In this context, we especially welcome contributions from African scholars who have conducted empirical research on entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa.
Entrepreneurship Assistance for Africans
In 2006, ATDF got funding from a successful Swiss Entrepreneur to set up an Entrepreneurship Award in Zambia to identify, fund and coach promising young entrepreneurs in the country. In fall 2007, the Hub started its business in Lusaka to assist the entrepreneurs that received funding from the ATDF investment fund. The aim is to enable local entrepreneurs to improve the quality of their respective products or services and expand their market beyond their neighbourhood.
By summer 2010, ATDF will offer an online matchmaking platform to bring together promising young entrepreneurs in Africa with experienced business mentors in other countries. The goal is to facilitate new forms of business partnerships that help African entrepreneurs to grow and innovate and thus become better integrated into the regional as well as the global economy. Eventually a new fund will be set up to invest in potential mini-joint ventures between E-mentors that their counterparts in Africa, provided that they submit a convincing business plan and are able to cover 10% of the initial equity.