Global Tech Africa Summit Sparks Innovation and Collaboration amongst Stakeholders
By Yemisi Suleiman
In a bid to explore opportunities in Africa’s potential, to harness technology for growth and development, the Global Tech Africa (GTA) Summit, a Future Map Foundation initiative, was successfully held at The Lagos Continental Hotel in Lagos recently.
Over 300 stakeholders from international tech communities attended the one-day event, to discuss and unlock growth opportunities for the tech ecosystem in Africa.
Giving a welcome speech, Emmanuel Tarfa, the GTA Summit host said “Africa’s human capital can become its greatest export and source of income. Africa is Projected to constitute 42% of the global youth population in 2030 according to the World Economic Forum. Leveraging technology and building its digital ecosystem will be pivotal to harnessing this human capital.”
Also speaking, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, spoke about the importance of collaboration between the public and private sectors “Global Tech Africa Summit is a crucial step in our collective journey towards empowering the tech ecosystem in Africa. It provides an unparalleled platform for stakeholders to come together, share knowledge, and explore opportunities that will drive technological advancements in the region. We have the talent in Africa, and now we need the government and private investors to take a stake in tech talent empowerment through the Global Tech Africa platform”,
L-R Tonye Princewill Executive Producer 77), Steffi Czerny (Co- Founder DLD), Bunmi Akinyemiju (Co-founder, Venture Garden Group), Dr. Inya Lawal (CEO Global Tech Africa), Will Stevens (US Consul General), Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi – DG, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Joran Bjallerstedt (Deputy Head of Mission , Embassy of Sweden)
Speaking about the significance of the Global Tech Africa Summit, Will Stevens, the U.S. Consul General in Lagos, Nigeria, said, “Global Tech Africa highlights the power of international collaboration and reinforces our commitment to supporting the growth of the African tech industry. We believe that by coming together and sharing ideas, we can collectively address challenges and create a thriving tech environment in Africa.” He also highlighted the significance of fostering strong ties for the Tech Industry between the U.S. and Africa.
Steffi Czerny, Co-founder of DLD Conferences, presented her views on the Global Tech Industry and its impact on Africa’s digital future. She also shared that DLD Conferences will be coming to GTA Conference in November 2023.
The GTA is designed and implemented by Ascend Studios Foundation, and in collaboration with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, Venture Garden Group, Business Sweden and RivExcel Health. This unique synergy is aimed at fostering innovation, collaboration, and investment in the African Tech Industry.
The Summit featured a series of insightful presentations showcasing Africa’s progress in analytics, machine learning, and AI. Bunmi Akinyemiju, Co-founder of Venture Garden Group, shed light on domesticating government and corporate intelligence partnerships. Mr Akinyemiju launched TRAIL, an AI cloud-based monitoring and evaluation platform that allows development organizations easily track, measure and report impact results in real time.
Kenise Hill, Deputy Political and Economic Section Chief at the U.S. Consulate General, Lagos, highlighted the potential for two-way trade opportunities between the U.S. and Africa, with a focus on the Prosper Africa programs. Bada Akintunde Johnson, Country Manager of Paramount Africa, revealed untapped opportunities in the entertainment industry for tech enthusiasts.
Furthermore, the GTA Summit provided a platform for thought-provoking panel discussions, covering various aspects of the tech industry. They include Best Investment Strategies For Tech Growth In Africa with panelists Lexi Novitske (General Partner, Norrsken22) Iyinoluwa Aboyeji (Founding partner, Future Africa), Ike Eze (Managing Partner, Beta Ventures) and moderator Sean Burrowes (Co-founder, Ingressive For Good); Steering Africa’s Digital Transformation And Leveraging The Unique Potential Of African Women In Tech with panelists Anna Ekeledo (Executive Director, Afrilabs), Justina Oha (CEO, Digital Equity Africa), Damilola Olokesusi (Co-founder and CEO, Shuttlers) Oluwatosin Olaseinde (Founder and CEO, Money Africa & Co-founder, Ladda.ng), and moderator Olamiposi Ekuma (MD, Genesys Tech Hub); and Nigerian Start-up Act: Domestication and Next Steps with panelists Prof Olayinka David West (Associate Dean, Lagos Business School) Bashira Hassan (Lead, Programmes, and Partnerships ONDI/ DG Policy Team NITDA) Chinenye Mbazukwu (MD/CEO, InfoGraphics Nigeria), Tracy Okoro (Business Academy Africa), and moderator Tage Kene-Okafor (Reporter, TechCrunch).
Other principal partners, Dr Inya Lawal (President of Ascend Studios Foundation and CEO of GTA), Joran Bjallerstedt (Deputy Swedish Ambassador), and Prince Tonye Princewill of RivExcel Health and Abdulsalam Umar (COO, Future Map Foundation) were also present.
As the summit concluded, the organizers expressed their gratitude to all attendees, partners, and speakers for their invaluable contributions to the event’s success and opened up collaborations for the GTA Conference scheduled for November 17 -19, 2023.