With African innovation igniting a technology boom, trailblazers from across the continent will gather in Cape Town on Wednesday, 31 August and Thursday, 1 September 2022 for another edition of Africa Tech Week.
Sponsored by Sentech, the leading technology conference, exhibition, and awards ceremony focuses on promoting the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in Africa.
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Taking place both virtually and at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, this year’s event focuses on “bringing tech closer to Africa”. It will convene an array of industry leaders, and techpreneurs, decision-makers, and tech ecosystem players from across the continent.
Together, they will unpack the various challenges, scenarios, and mind-blowing economic opportunities 4IR can deliver for organisations looking to adopt the next wave of cutting-edge technology.
Delegates can expect two days of expert panel discussions, keynote addresses, case studies, live-demo experiences, and networking with leaders in the private sector, government, civil society, investors, and academia – all with their unique insights into the different ways artificial intelligence (AI), cryptocurrency, and the Internet of Things (IoT) will affect the future of Africa’s development.
This includes breakaways and focus sessions with world-leading authorities on the 4IR’s effects on individual industry sectors, specific fields of production, and different areas of commerce.
Ralf Fletcher, chief executive of Africa Tech Week, says, “It is with great excitement that we announce this year’s programme. With innovation advancing at an exponential rate, now is the time to capacitate African businesses – big and small – with the learnings, strategies, and connections they need to spur their development through the 4IR. It’s time for Africa to take a leading role in shaping the disruptive world of technology and harness it in a way that drives progressive and inclusive change.”
During day one, attendees can look forward to a keynote address by the Honourable Minister for Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, as well as an in-depth panel discussion on the role of technology in achieving sustainable development with Dr Sean Phillips (director-general for the department of water and sanitation), Thulani Dlamini (CEO of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), Morne Mostert (international advisor on strategic foresight), and Dr Phil Mjwara (director-general for the department of higher education, science and innovation).
Further sessions will unpack the future of IoT in Africa with spokespeople from Vodacom, Sentech, and the University of Johannesburg; strategies for building smart cities in Africa with the leadership of Uber Sub-Saharan Africa, the African Smart Cities Innovation Foundation, and Liu Thai Ker, the architect behind Modern Singapore; and how to maintain a competitive technological edge in a saturated market with officials from Microsoft, Backbase, and Discovery.
Critical discussions roll over into day two with sessions such as the 101 on networking and fundraising for techpreneurs featuring spokespeople from Norrsken22 and Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE); the Metaverse and what it means for Africa with executives from Revix, Meta UK, and M&C Saatchi Abel; as well as how African creatives and entrepreneurs are growing exponentially through social media with The Kiffness and leadership from Twitter Ireland.
On both days, these discussions will be paralleled by case studies and tech tutorials on issues such as creative best practice for developing your YouTube business presented by Artwell Nwaila (head of creative at Google South Africa); intelligent intra-continental trading for tech entrepreneurs with Habiba Ben Barka (chief of Africa at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development); how we think about innovation at Amazon with Shayan Sanyal (head of game tech business development for EMEA at Amazon Web Services); and an exploration into making Africa space’s next hotspot with Temidayo Oniosun (founder and managing director of Space in Africa).
Africa Tech Week 2022 will culminate in an awards ceremony which aims to celebrate and reward companies on the African continent that have demonstrated excellence in the areas of innovative product development.
Commenting on the importance of this year’s event, Mlamli Booi, CEO of Sentech, says: “The digital world is transforming at an unprecedented rate. Ensuring that Africa remains ahead of the curve requires a multi-layered platform of cooperation between companies, government and civil society – and Africa Tech Week provides a unique opportunity for exactly this sort of dialogue to take place.”
With only 300 in-person passes available to the public, interested attendees are encouraged to secure their spot by going to the official website.