The DEMO Africa event finally kicked off at the Lagos Oriental Hotel in Nigeria to an expectant audience of top investors, IT buyers, IT consumers, Government officials and IT enthusiasts from across Africa.
The event which begun on an amazing high note, saw the first batch of the forty DEMO Africa finalist launch their IT generated solutions with the hope of attracting the right eye to take their innovation to the next level. These included VOTO Mobile from Ghana, Chura from Kenya, Cube and Hutbay from Nigeria.
Welcoming the guests, Honorable Minister of Communication Technology Dr Omobola Johnson commented that Africa is no longer a continent plagued with disease, hunger and illiteracy. She emphasized that Africa is rising and it’s time to invest in Africa. “Aside from Asia, we are the fastest rising continent and we are very excited as a government about the prospects that we are seeing in our young .I would urge the demonstrators to believe that it is possible to be the next Alibaba.”
Harry Hare the Executive Producer of DEMO Africa commended the participants for showing such great enthusiasm towards finding the much needed solutions for Africa.
“It is inspiring to see that, now, more attention is being accorded the pursuit of solutions to problems that are uniquely African. The continent has one of the most diverse and talented pool of young people and finally, we are seeing a real intent by authorities to utilize the massive power within these brains to bring positive change, especially through technology.”
The DEMO Africa forum has seen serious minds put together through various organized forums including the LIONS@frica Summit and the Pan African Angel Investors forum held yesterday. VC4Africa’s CEO and Founder Ben White explains: “Going into the third year of DEMO Africa, we are excited to introduce a new exclusive investor-only event as part of the DEMO Africa 2014 event. This is the next step in making sure the leading innovators from across the continent are going to get the backing they need to achieve scale. At the same time, we see angel networks emerging across the continent. Now is the time to bring them together in a shared conversation about how best to move forward.”
Tomorrow will see the final group of the Final Forty take to the DEMO Africa stage as well as see eight of the start-ups participate in the SWELL Innovations awards. The winner will receive a one week business development & investor roadshow in Silicon Valley.
This year’s event has been organized in collaboration with the LIONS@FRICA partners (Microsoft, Nokia, US State Department, DEMO, USAID, African Development Bank, VC4Africa among others) and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies.
The DEMO Africa 2014 event is sponsored by Nigeria Information and Technology Development Agency (NIITDA), Software Giant Microsoft, USADF, Department of State, Evernote, SWELL, Airtel, Bank of Industry, Nigeria Interbank Settlement System, Accenture, MTN, Oasis Management Company, Tony Elumelu Foundation and Main One.
DEMO Africa, one of the flagship initiatives of the LIONS@FRICA partnership has over the years cemented its reputation for consistently identifying tomorrow’s cutting-edge technologies, and served as a launch pad event for Africa technology start-ups. The DEMO experience is 22 years old globally and in its third year in Africa with chapters in the United States, Europe, Brazil and Asia.
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