The future of countries, businesses, and individuals will be more dependent than ever on their adoption of technology. Economic vibrancy and wealth creation in developed countries have been associated with technological advancements and digital innovation & transformation.
Today, most of the companies with the world’s largest market capitalizations are tech companies that generate much of their revenue from the digital ecosystems they created. This is a significant change from the early 2000s to this current time.
There is therefore no better time than now to look for ways to unlock the growth opportunities in tech ecosystem.
In helping achieve this goal, the Global Tech Africa (GTA) Summit, a Future Map Foundation initiative, was successfully held at The Lagos Continental Hotel in Lagos targeted at fostering innovation, collaboration, and investment in the African Tech Industry.
The one-day event, which took place recently brought together over 300 prominent figures and stakeholders from the African and international tech communities to discuss and unlock growth opportunities for the tech ecosystem in Africa.
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.
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 percent 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.”
Tarfa welcomed keynote speakers starting with William Nwankwo Alo, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, who was represented by Samuel Okoye,
the Director of Information Communication Technology.
Okoye stated in his address that the Global Tech Africa Summit presents a pathway for embarking on a journey to explore the immense opportunities that lie at the intersection of innovation, technology, and human progress.
Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, 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”, Abdullahi said.
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 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, 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.