Several tech events took place in Africa during the year. Most of these events were hosted virtually following the widespread outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in January.
Throughout 2020, Technext has informed you of tech events that took place every week in Nigeria and across Africa. From January till December, many events including hackathons, expos, summits and conferences have been organised in the Africa tech space.
Knowing that you may not have been able to keep up with the biggest tech events staged during the year, Technext brings you the top 5 tech events in Africa for 2020 based on the calibre of leading speakers, the number of attendees and impact on startups in the Africa tech ecosystem.
Social Media Week Lagos
Widely regarded as Africa’s largest tech event, the 8th edition of the Social Media Week Lagos #SMWLagos held in February at the Landmark Centre, Victoria Island in Nigeria’s tech capital city.
Themed Human.X, the week-long event led conversations on taking a human-centred approach to drive innovations in the African tech space as it relates to the industry and communities on the continent. Across the week, the event hosted 21,580 attendees, 404 speakers and over 200 sessions featuring leading entrepreneurs, startups and brands.
The #LaunchedinAfrica Pitch Fest also took place at the event, with 7 Nigerian startups – Mumspring, Oncopadi, Adnaira, Podtopia, McFeey, Natural Hair Rocks and Bold BMS showcasing their inventive solutions before seasoned product experts and investors.
Having seen a variety of workshops, meet-ups, roundtables, masterclasses and exhibitions, #SMWLagos was rounded off in style at a grand finale party.
Africa Fintech Summit
The third edition of the Africa Fintech Summit held virtually in November. The 3-day event featured a fireside chat between Twitter and Square CEO, Jack Dorsey, and Bundle Africa‘s Yele Badamosi on the future of fintech in Africa.
Up to 72 speakers including Y-Combinator CEO Michael Seibel, Paystack‘s Shola Akinlade, Flutterwave CEO Olugbenga Agboola and Future Africa‘s Iyin Aboyeji attended the event.
With 855 registered delegates, the event had 12 different panel sessions as well as keynote addresses, interactive workshops and a 60-minute long one-on-one networking session between Africa fintech industry stakeholders and early-stage startups to discuss latest innovations.
And of course, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey did not hide his excitement about Bitcoin on the last day of the event.
Africa Tech Summit Kigali
In the same month of February, the Africa Tech Summit staged its third edition at a live physical event in Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali.
Partnered by Disrupt Africa, the 3-day summit brought together 600 participants across the continent to discuss opportunities and challenges within the space.
A startup expo was held to enable startups showcase their innovations to prospective investors at the event. The 11 tech startups that pitched at the expo were Nigeria’s OkwuEco, HouseAfrica, Limestart, ThankUCash and Riby, Kenya’s MarketForce and M-Lugha App, The Awareness Company (South Africa), Talents Arena (Egypt), M-omulimisa (Uganda) and BAG Innovation (Rwanda).
Kenya’s SuperFluid Labs won the event’s pitching competition, the ENGIE Challenge. The AI startup secured an opportunity for a 6-month testing phase with global energy company, ENGIE.
Tech media platform, Techpoint Africa held its annual startup conference, Techpoint Build in August 2020. This year’s event which held virtually was hosted together with Techpoint Inspired, the publisher’s technology conference which saw a successful 3rd edition in 2019.
“The largest startup and technology gathering in West Africa” featured pan-African speakers including Paga founder, Tayo Oviosu and Gebeya CEO Amadou Daffe. The 2-day dual conference led discussions and educative sessions among industry experts and startups on fundraising, collaboration and successfully scaling tech businesses across Africa.
Africa Tech Festival
Referred to as Africa’s biggest telecoms and technology event, Africa Tech Festival 2020 was hosted virtually in November. Organised by AfricaCom, AfricaTech, AHUB and accelerateHER Africa, the event brought together prominent business leaders from multinational corporations including MTN and Facebook.
As part of the event, Kenya’s Poa Internet was announced as the winner of the first Africa50 Innovation Challenge for its wireless high-speed broadband solution and received a $100,000 cash prize.
Winners of the Orange Social Venture Prize (OSVP) in Africa and the Middle East were also unveiled at the event. Tunisian startup Ahkili won the $25,000 top prize, with Mali’s Teliman (e-hailing) and Liberia’s Weeglo (edtech) emerging as runners-up.
Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comment section and tell us what your top events were!
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