By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
Using the Demo Africa platform as a veritable vehicle for the development of African innovators, Microsoft, under the 4Afrika Initiative, has confirmed its support for the upcoming DEMO Africa event in Lagos. This is the fourth time that the software giant has pledged support to the pan-African event, which provides a platform for start-ups to display their solutions and engage investors.
The move by Microsoft has been seen as a show of confidence in the growing startup technology scene across Africa.
Commenting on this partnership, Director of Startup Engagement and Partnerships, 4Africa Initiatives at Microsoft, Amrote Abdella, stressed the importance of partnership to build an innovative ecosystem in Africa: “By supporting the growth of startups with disruptive innovations that solve major challenges in Africa today, we are laying the foundation for the creation of globally competitiveness businesses. It opens up the opportunity to partner with various stakeholders across sectors, and at Microsoft we believe in joining forces to create a bigger and more sustainable impact.”
Executive Producer of DEMO Africa, Harry Hare, welcomed the support, echoing Mrs Abdella’s call for stakeholder support for technology and entrepreneurship in Africa: “It is actions by different players that will see technology entrepreneurship effectively bringing sustainability to entrepreneurship across Africa.”
The DEMO Africa event holds between September 21 and 25. Already, top industry players including Fola Adeola, the Founder and Chairman of FATE Foundation, and the Founder and Chairman of Guaranty Trust Bank, have confirmed their participation.
30 disruptive technology products are expected to be launched in 12 categories including finance and banking, education, transport and logistics, retail, communication and media, and entertainment.
More people continue to book their slots to witness the unveiling of the selected30 start-ups. The weeklong event to be hosted at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos Nigeria, is expected to attract over 500 guests including investors, IT buyers, IT consumers and media.
This year, DEMO Africa has introduced knowledge streams to delve into critical topics including Business Modelling, Scaling Businesses, Creating an Unfair Advantage, and Raising Capital. Top industry players, including Jorn Lyseggen, MEST Founder, Harry Tomi Davies, ABAN President, Flab Esan, partner, Adlevo Capital, and Jason Njoku, IROKO TV CEO and others will lead the discussion.
Other notable activities at the 2015 DEMO Africa event include an investor roundtable forum and the [email protected] Summit, with the uptake of Africa-generated technology being expected to dominate the conversations.
The event will be co-hosted by DEMO Africa, the Nigerian Ministry of Communication Technology and the National Information Technology Agency-Nigeria, in collaboration with [email protected] and VC4Africa.