The African tech ecosystem is causing a positive paradigm shift on the continent’s development models. “Today, African start-ups have reached a new level of maturity. Now that they’ve become essential and indispensable, they’re taking a seat at the table of top African executives to actively participate in the continent’s economic transformation” Samir Abdelkrim, founder of Emerging Valley and author of Startup Lions: Au cœur de l’African Tech.
According to Partech Africa, 234 start-ups who are representing a 74% year-on-year increase made a groundbreaking record of $2.02bn in capital through 250 funding rounds in 2019. Giving this outstanding breakthrough the continent’s unicorns continue to find favour with investors.
In the light of this, during the upcoming 8th edition of the AFRICA CEO FORUM, to be held on 9th and 10th March in Abidjan, over 20 of the continent’s most promising start-ups will be hosted at Africa’s largest gathering of the private sector in a special first-of-its-kind session. This is aimed at putting the continent’s most promising disrupters in the spotlight thereby encouraging the innovation pioneers as well as accelerating their expansion through networking opportunities and partnerships with the continent’s biggest companies and leaders.
From all four corners of Africa, these unicorns representing sectors key to the continent’s development, i.e. health, solar energy, e-commerce, fintech, logistics, digital, food and telecoms have collectively raised a total of about $600m over the past two years. They will have the opportunity to showcase their respective expertise and business plans through a meet and greet session featuring influential CEOs and investors.
Amongst the 20 are 6 African start-ups at the forefront of innovation and most eligible for the prestigious Disrupter of the Year award: in fintech (Flutter wave Technology Solutions), health (54gene), solar energy (Fonroche Lighting and Daystar Power Group), financial inclusion (Baobab+) and e-commerce (Ringier One Africa Media). They will be judged by a panel consisting of African tech experts and CEOs from influential companies, including Samir Abdelkrim, founder of Emerging Valley and author of Startup Lions: Au cœur de l’African Tech; Elisabeth Moreno, Managing Director of HP Africa; Elisabeth Medou-Badang, Senior Vice President and Spokesperson of Orange Middle East and Africa; Mohammed Dewji, CEO & President of MeTL; and Ife Oyedele II, the co-founder of Kobo 360 and previous recipient of the Disrupter of the Year award.
Four African start-up entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to share their vision of the future of their sector through a ten-minute presentation during the new session focused on sectoral outlook. This new format seeks to provide AFRICA CEO FORUM participants with a way to develop a better understanding of potential game-changing innovations in their respective business sectors.
The session will culminate in the announcement of the winner of the Disrupter of the Year award, which recognizes the African start-up with the greatest growth potential.