Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, has been selected as the host city for the upcoming Global Startup Awards (GSA) Africa Summit in October 2023.
The event, organised by the Global Innovation Initiative Group (GIIG) and Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), aims to unite the African start-up ecosystem and recognise the exceptional achievements of start-ups, entrepreneurs, and innovators across the continent.
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The summit will take place at the newly inaugurated Museum of Art and Science and will bring together key stakeholders in African innovation, including industry leaders, government officials, academics, and representatives from the wider ecosystem. The event will provide start-ups with an opportunity to participate in solution exchange workshops, where they can connect with industry experts and explore potential partnership opportunities.
The highlight of the GSA Africa Summit will be a gala dinner, during which 15 regional finalists will be named African winners of the 2022-2023 season of GSA Africa. These start-ups will be acknowledged for their outstanding contributions in addressing critical global challenges and will have the exclusive chance to engage with the GIIG Africa Fund, opening doors to potential investment and future growth.
Jo Griffiths, co-founder of GIIG and GSA Africa, emphasised the importance of inspiring younger generations to pursue careers in innovation, stating, “By nurturing innovation and the growth of new, leap-frogging ideas, we can grow whole new industries of opportunity. And if we can do that, then we ensure that our actions today have a meaningful impact on the generations of tomorrow.”
Addis Ababa was chosen as the host city due to its thriving start-up ecosystem, dynamic business environment, and commitment to nurturing entrepreneurial talent. The city has experienced remarkable growth in the start-up sector, moving up 72 places in the Startup Blink Global Ecosystem Ranking report between 2022 and 2023. Funding for start-ups in Addis Ababa has also seen a significant increase, rising by over 800% from $0.65 million in 2019 to $6 million in 2022.
Muferihat Kamil, Minister of Labour and Skills in Ethiopia, expressed her excitement about Addis Ababa hosting the GSA Africa Summit, stating, “This event is not just a platform to deepen our ties to the African startup ecosystem, but an opportunity to grow our country’s standing as a hub for world-class ideas and world-changing innovations.”