Do Individual Innovators exist in Africa ?

I have often wondered whether Africa can produce individual inventors like the West did at a similar stage in it’s development. You know men like Faraday, Edison who stuck out on a limb and produced something really ground-breaking with respect to the society they lived in. Well, it seems to be the case among the youth. First, there was the Malawian boy who was able to build an operational windmill entirely from local materials:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8257153.stm

Now there’s ┬áthis Togolese student who has built a humanoid robot that works from old TV parts:
http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-04/humanoid-robot-built-old-tv-parts

Here’s the video:

So there is invention and innovation in Africa among the young. The question is this: can African governments (and societies) effectively harness such innovation and creativity to make a difference in the lives of their citizenry?

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