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Soweto Innovation Week 2015

Soweto to host its first tech, digital conference in April

Soweto — Johannesburg, South Africa’s south western township — is about to host its first ever technology and digital conference. The Soweto Innovation Week will take place at the beautiful Soweto Theatre from 8 to 10 April.

Hosting the event in Soweto is in itself a bold statement from the organisers as tech innovation is all too often viewed as an exclusively city phenomena.

Gabriel Ramokotjo, President of Internet Society Gauteng Chapter and one of the organisers, points out the importance of hosting an innovation conference in Soweto:

Historically disadvantaged communities, the youth and women are not participating in the technology industry at anywhere near the levels of other South African communities. In order for South Africa to remain a leader in the global economy it is critical that all of its citizens are effectively positioned to compete and profit.

The inaugural conference is, according to the organisers, expected to attract over 400 technology and digital professionals, leaders, startups and corporates.

Read more: 5 valuable things you should know about SA’s ecommerce scene

The conference is a collaboration between the Internet Society Gauteng Chapter and iAfrikan in partnership with local non-profit organisation Soweto Wireless User Group.

Tefo Mohapi, co-founder of iAfrikan, comments on the importance of the conference, pointing out that “The future of South Africa hinges on job creation and these jobs are more likely to come out of startups and in our case tech startups given their ability to scale.”

The conference is stretched out over three days with each day with a different theme with various speakers and events:

  • Day 1 – Internet Governance
  • Day 2 – Technology for Economic Development
  • Day 3 – Digital Broadcasting

Registration will only be opened in the first week of March. At the moment, those interested in attending the conference can visit the website and sign-up to be notified as soon as registration opens.