The increasing prevalence of technology across the African continent has driven significant economic growth and social development. Mobile technologies alone have contributed $144 billion to the continent’s economy and created close to two million jobs.
Over the last two decades, technological advancement in Africa has enabled more efficient and effective access to information and communication. It’s also made it easier for businesses to access new markets and customers, and much more. Contributing to this growth are platforms that allow people to share knowledge, ideas, and best practices, as well as build partnerships and networks that accelerate innovation.
One such platform is the Africa Tech Summit, a leading event series that aims to bring together leaders in technology, business, and government to discuss the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities in Africa’s technology ecosystem. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about the summit, from its history to its key features to what you can expect at this year’s edition. Let’s dive in.
The history of the Africa Tech Summit
Africa Tech Summit London was first held in 2016 to share the growth of the tech ecosystem across Africa. Since then, the summit has grown into one of the major events in the African tech calendar, with events held both in London and Africa — 2023 marks the fifth edition of the summit in Africa. African cities that have hosted the summit include Lagos, Kigali, and Nairobi.
The summit's scope has expanded over the years, attracting a broader range of attendees and covering a broader range of industry topics. Previous summit themes have included 'Accelerating Africa's Digital Economy,' 'Harnessing the Power of Innovation,' and 'Building Africa's Tech Ecosystem'.
Key features of the Africa Tech Summit
The Africa Tech Summit plays an important role in promoting technology on the continent in several ways:
- Diversity of attendees and participants. The summit attracts a wide range of people working to advance technology in Africa, including industry leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers. This diversity of participants helps to create a rich and dynamic environment for learning, sharing expertise, and networking.
- Wide range of topics covered. The summit features a variety of topics that are relevant to African tech. These include digital transformation, fintech, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), e-commerce, and more. Attendees can learn from leading experts and practitioners in the tech space.
- Networking and partnership opportunities: Summit attendees get numerous opportunities to network and form partnerships. The summit includes a wide range of activities such as workshops, masterclass sessions, panel discussions, keynote speeches, social events, exhibitions, and pitch competitions.
- Showcasing innovation and success stories. Entrepreneurs, startups, and technology companies get to showcase their products and services, helping to attract investment and scaling opportunities, and inspiring others to pursue their own ventures.
- Addressing key challenges on the continent. The summit provides a platform for stakeholders to discuss the challenges faced by Africa’s technology sector such as inadequate infrastructure, the lack of skills, and limited access to finance. By providing a platform to discuss these issues, the summit acts as a catalyst for finding solutions and addressing the challenges.
The Africa Tech Summit essentially serves to promote innovation and growth in the African technology ecosystem. It’s no wonder that it’s become one of the most important annual events for the technology community in Africa and beyond.
Highlights from previous summits
As has come to be expected from the Africa Tech Summit, previous editions have provided unparalleled insights, networking, and business opportunities for those in the African tech space. Some of the key highlights from previous summits include:
- The participation of leading African companies and startups. Previous summits have featured many successful companies that have made significant contributions to the African tech ecosystem, including M-Kopa, Jumia, Andela, and our very own Chipper Cash.
- Notable speakers and panelists. The summit has attracted a range of high-profile speakers and panelists who have shared their knowledge, expertise, and experiences on various issues related to technology and innovation in Africa.
- Case studies and best practices: The Africa tech summit has provided a forum for sharing case studies and best practices in the use of technology to address various challenges and opportunities in Africa. These have included examples of how technology is being used to improve access to education, healthcare, financial services, and other essential services.
Now that you have an idea of what to expect from the Africa Tech Summit, let’s turn to the 2023 edition.
What to expect at the upcoming 2023 Africa Tech Summit
Using three main tracks, the 2023 summit will provide a cross-sectional view of technological advances and opportunities from across the African continent.
- The Africa Money and DeFi Summit will explore new opportunities in the fintech and decentralized finance (DeFi) landscape. Fintech, in particular, has exploded in Africa and is expected to grow by 20% per year to $40 billion by 2025.
- The Africa Startup Summit, which connects investors and tech corporates with startups, will allow startups to showcase their ventures and get investment opportunities. This summit will also give attendees the chance to analyze the opportunities and challenges within the African tech ecosystem.
- The Africa Mobile and Apps Summit will bring together mobile leaders, innovators, and regulators to explore growth opportunities, trends, and solutions for the African mobile ecosystem.
Why you should attend the Africa Tech Summit 2023
The 2022 summit featured over 1,000 tech leaders, investors, and international players, and it was sold out. The 2023 edition will be bigger and even better, with so much value, insights, and opportunities to be gained.
Exposure to the latest trends and developments in African technology
Attending the summit will enable you to keep up with the latest trends and developments in African technology. You’ll be able to stay ahead of the technological curve and identify new opportunities for innovation and growth, particularly in fintech.
Opportunities to learn from experts and thought leaders in the tech field
The 2023 summit will feature over 150 expert speakers and 1,000+ industry leaders who are at the forefront of their respective fields. Attending will give you the chance to learn from this diverse pool of individuals and gain valuable insights into the African tech ecosystem’s trends, challenges, and growth prospects.
You’ll also gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities of doing business in Africa. This includes understanding various regulatory environments, cultural differences, local market dynamics, and other factors that may impact the success of technology ventures.
Opportunities to make valuable connections and partnerships
From networking to forming partnerships with other attendees, the Africa Tech Summit provides numerous ways to form connections that can be valuable for sharing knowledge and resources, accessing markets, and collaborating on projects and initiatives.
Exploring and connecting at the Africa Tech Summit
With Africa’s tech ecosystem projected to grow to a whopping $712 billion by 2050, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the Africa Tech Summit is attracting and connecting more stakeholders and leaders in the space.
There are a lot of opportunities to be uncovered and a lot more lessons to be learned from this year’s edition. You can check out the Africa Tech Summit website for more information on this year’s offerings and what you can expect from the event.
And be sure to head over to Chipper News to see how Chipper is also helping to accelerate fintech innovation in Africa.