It has brought a lot of players from the ecosystem together, such as researchers, policymakers and also funders. There has been open discussion and this is a forum, where people share their thoughts...

The Annual Southern Africa Innovation Forum (ASAIF) is the SAIS 2 annual flagship event bringing together business, government, donors, NGOs and communities to share good practice and learn around issues of entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems in the SADC region and internationally. 


Knowledge sharing
Regional Engagement

ASAIF 2018


ASAIF 2018 was held within the SA Innovation Summit on 12 September at Cape Town Stadium under the theme of “Inclusive Innovations”.The theme explored Inclusive Innovation from the perspective of early-stage entrepreneurs developing products and services particularly with and for the socially or economically excluded populations.

Inclusive Innovations panel moderated by Rene Parker (RLabs, South Africa), with Linda Shachinda (Fortrighter Digital Marketing, Zambia), Tim Wucher (Dololo Namibia) and Thabiso Mashaba (These Hands GSSE, Botswana).

ASAIF 2018

Co-Creation of Content

ASAIF was organised in partnership with the Connected Hubs network or regional innovation support organisations from the the five SADC (SAIS implementing partner) countries. Their input in the structure and organisation of the event ensured regional contributions were integrated into the event. Speakers and panelist for the programme were crowd sourced using the open innovation platform Viima. ASAIF will continue to build content using this inclusive approach and drawing on the best locally sourced resources to enhance the programme.

Pauline Koelbl (Africa Innovation Foundation) with Daan Du Toit (South African Department of Science and Technology) in a fireside chat on Ideal Innovation Ecosystems chaired by Ilari Lindy.

ASAIF 2018


Panellists, speakers and presenters provided diverse views on best practises in supporting innovation ecosystems for entrepreneurship in the SADC region. Some key insights focused on the role of start-ups’ and entrepreneurs in promoting more inclusive growth and the importance of including  the wider society in innovation and development activities. Approximately 120 attendants comprising of startups, entrepreneurs, representatives of private and public sectors attended.

See Programme 

Anneline Morgan (SADC Secretariat) with Aino Piirtola (Slush GIA) and Ellen Olafsen (World Bank) in a panel discussion on Ecosystem Enablers.

ASAIF 2018


In 2018, SAIS 2 partnered with the SA Innovation Summit an  annual flagship event on the South African Innovation Calendar,  that is a platform for nurturing, developing and showcasing African innovation, as well as facilitating innovation thought-leadership. Created to support and promote innovation and facilitate collaboration within its own eco-system, the initiative brings together corporates, thought leaders, inventors, entrepreneurs, academia and policy makers.

Partnering and Collaborating for ASAIF 2019

SAIS welcomes the opportunity to partner and collaborate on hosting the ASAIF 2019 with interested stakeholders throughout SADC on an annual basis. Contact us to express interest.

Dylan Piatti (Deloitte) moderates the Fireside Chat on Start Up Culture with Godfrey Magila (Magilatech, Tanzania) and Alexander Fraser (mLab, South Africa).