15 conferences and summits you should consider attending in 2018

Featured image: Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine via Flickr (CC0 1.0 Universal)
Featured image: Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine via Flickr (CC0 1.0 Universal)

Get your calendars out and diarise these key dates for the most important tech conferences and summits taking place in Africa in 2018.

Africa Tech Summit Kigali

This two-day summit will feature over 50 speakers from telcos, tech companies, banks, startups, digital ventures and regulators. Key themes to be discussed include connectivity, African mobility, the cloud and the Internet of Things, investing in African tech, future trends, payments, banking and fintech, mhealth, edtech, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, and mcommerce.

Date: 14 to 15 February
Location: Marriott Kigali, Kigali, Rwanda

Africa Energy Indaba

Want to meet the top experts in the African energy sector? Why not attend the Africa Energy Indaba? With an anticipated attendance of over 600 high profile delegates from 30 African countries as well as regional and international CEOs, this is one place you definitely want to exhibit at if you’re in the energy sector. Side events include the Women in Energy Conference and the fifth Independent Power Producers and Power Purchase Agreements Conference (IPP & PPA Conference). You might also want to check out the summit’s Business Matchmaking Programme to get the best out of the two-day conference.

Date: 20 to 21 February
Location: Sandton Convention Center, Johannesburg, South Africa

Innovation Summit Africa

Keen on exploring opportunities and challenges of digital transformation in Africa? Or are you looking to network with business leaders, entrepreneurs and policymakers? Then you’ll want to attend The Economist’s Innovation Summit Africa in Nairobi.

Date: 6 March
Location: Radisson Blu Nairobi, Elgon Road, Nairobi

FT Africa Payments Innovation Summit

Want to learn more about how Africa is driving innovation towards financial inclusion? Join key players from across the fintech, telecoms and the financial sector as they debate the challenges and opportunities around payment solutions. Speakers include central bank governors Patrick Njoroge and Milton Weeks, iHub CEO Mary Gicharu and M-Kopa co-founder Jesse Moore.

Date: 7 March
Location: Radisson Blu Nairobi, Elgon Road, Nairobi

Blockchain Africa Conference

Curious about blockchain use cases, how blockchain can change the regulatory environment and how to best implement blockchain systems? Then make sure you attend the fourth annual Blockchain Africa Conference. The conference organisers have secured a host of international and local speakers including BitPesa CEO Elizabeth Rossiello, ConsenSys head of global business development and co-founder of ConsenSys Capital Andrew Keys, Hyperledger ecosystem director Marta Piekarska, and IXO Foundation CEO Anne Connelly.

Date: 8 to 9 March
Location: Johannesburg

IoT Forum Africa (IoTFA)

Have you thought of how the Internet of Things (IoT) will impact your industry this year? This forum will help you navigate the IoT ecosystem through break-away sessions that will focus on manufacturing, energy, finance, transportation, retail, security, mining, the government, and public sector.

Date: 14 to 15 March
Location: Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa

IT Leaders Africa

Is your startup involved in IoT, AI and machine learning or even cyber security? Then this one is for you, IT Leaders Africa is a great opportunity to meet IT executives and brush up on the latest trends in the IT sector. The summit will feature panel discussions and workshops worth attending.

Date: 9 to 10 May
Location: Cape Town International Conference Centre, Cape Town, South Africa

Africa Health 

Looking for a platform to showcase your healthtech solutions to a targeted audience of healthcare professionals? Africa Health is a great place to start, this exhibition pulls in potential buyers, dealers and suppliers from around the world. Organisers expect this year’s exhibition will attract more than 10 000 healthcare professionals and over 500 international suppliers, manufacturers and service providers.

Date: 29 to 31 May
Location: Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa

Africa Innovation Summit

The Africa Innovation Summit will seek to identify disruptive solutions that can be developed and scaled up on the continent. Participants of the summit include CEOs and founders of startups, senior policy makers, venture capitalists, academics and innovators. An exhibition during the summit will give startups a platform to showcase homegrown innovations and innovators on the continent. Also expect a few hackathons that will challenge attendees to come up with solutions to specific problems. The exhibitions and hackathons will allow stakeholders to seek ways to scale up potential solutions.


Aimed at the African education sector, Eduweek brings together stakeholders from the African education community. Eduweek also provides edtech startups with a platform to exhibit and launch their products through the LaunchPad initiative.

Date: 15 to 16 June
Location: Ticketpro Dome, Johannesburg South Africa

South Africa Innovation Summit

Last year’s summit saw over 400 organisations across more than 90 industries, from over 22 countries converge on Cape Town for this annual entrepreneurship gathering. If you want to rub shoulders with investors and industry leaders and other entrepreneurs, this is the place to be. This year’s theme is “Africa, Our time has come”.

Date: 12 to 14 September
Location: Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa

eLearning Africa 13th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Skills

Over the last 12 years, eLearning Africa has hosted over 16 ooo participants from more than 100 countries. The conference, which also features an exhibition, enables edtech entrepreneurs to get an opportunity to establish partnerships with corporates, governements and investors. If you want to meet decision makers, learn as well as discuss, the topical issues in ICT and education in Africa then you’ll want to attend this one.

Date: 26 to 28 September
Location:  Kigali Convention Centre, Kigali, Rwanda

Healthcare Innovation Summit Africa

The third Healthcare Innovation Summit Africa will connect the dots between innovation and practicality by showcasing how the latest healthtech can be integrated into existing healthcare infrastructure. Topics to be covered at the summit include application of IoT in healthcare, robotics, AI, advances in telemedicine and the future of healthcare.

Date: 17 to 18 October
Location: Vodaworld, Vodacom Boulevard, Noordwyk, Midrand, South Africa

EduTECH Africa

The organisers have billed EduTECH Africa as “Africa’s most important, definitive and largest edtech exhibition conference”. If you’re running an edtech startup or are passionate about edtech innovation, you might want to check this one out.

Date: 9 to 10 October
Location: Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa


You’ll want to attend the 21st edition of this three-day telecoms conference for talks from Africa’s leading thought leaders, insights on future trends in innovation and to network with industry leaders.

Date: 13 to 15 November
Location: Cape Town International Conference Centre, Cape Town, South Africa

** Update 19 January 2018: Ventureburn erroneously reported that the eLearning Africa 2018 conference will be held in South Africa. After subsequent communication from the conference organisers, the location has been corrected to Kigali, Rwanda.

Featured image: Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine via Flickr (CC0 1.0 Universal)

Daniel Mpala


Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Ventureburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.