Recap: Africa Tech Summit Kigali – Day 1

Recap: Africa Tech Summit Kigali - Day 1

Yesterday, Kigali Convention Centre opened its doors to the second Africa Tech Summit Kigali, the pan-African event that connects hundreds of corporates, startups, investors and creatives, sharing insights from industry leaders. #ATSKGL Day 1 had 28 sessions comprising keynote addresses, panel discussions and networking opportunities; these were split into three tracks – The Future Summit, The Africa Start-up Summit and The Creative Summit. Check out the highlights –

Lawrence Muthoga, Community Engagement Manager at Microsoft 4Afrika kicked off the Future Summit with a discussion on how to incorporate Artificial Intelligence in our organisation. “AI is not just for transforming companies” he said, “It’s about transforming society”. Lawrence asserted that with AI, companies are able to learn so much more about their customers, based on their preferences. He went on to give various examples of how AI is democratising intelligence in various sectors; one sector which excited us was health care – He told us how had the ability to assist doctors when they need to make important decisions rapidly, this would definitely come in handy for doctors who are cut off from the resources they need to be effective. Have you thought about how you could use AI in your organisation?

Music has always played a part, in Africa Tech Summit – this time, we really wanted to explore the relationship between Music and Technology, and we brought on board some exciting artists who are doing big things in the African music scene. Nigerian Hip-Hop star and CEO of Chocolate City, MI Abaga, gave a keynote on the next steps for the music business. “We are losing the race. We are not playing the infinite game as African creatives,” said MI before projecting the logos of international brands Netflix, Spotify and Apple Music. He pressed this matter further by highlighting how both Netflix and Spotify spend money to grow and dominate regardless of the losses they make year in, year out. And in the case of Apple Music, he found out that, “They have so much money, they don’t need to make money from Apple Music – it’s more about relevancy for them”. We also had musician Bez Idakula in the building who spoke on how to build a sustainable music career “There are other ways of attracting investment other than digital streams”, a statement he repeated during his keynote address and to Iredumare Opeyemi of Boomplay Music, who moderated the ‘Understanding Digital Music Distribution In Africa’ panel. When asked by an audience how can Africans be encouraged to pay for music, Bez responded saying “We don’t like to pay for things, but we pay for shows. That’s a beautiful way to start”. What do you think; should digital streams be considered as a priority for artists?

The Africa Startup Summit was powered by none other than Disrupt Africa. Co-Founder, Tom Jackson had mentioned how African startups rarely attended pan-African events due to high costs, so we’re delighted to have been able to partner with Disrupt Africa with the aim of bringing as many startups as possible. The focus of this track was to encourage collaboration and that’s exactly what happened yesterday. Five startups from across the continent – Exuus, RideSafe, JetStream Africa, Appy Saude and Leaf – pitched their startup to investors Aaron Fu of MEST Africa, Uche Ogboi of Echo VC and Emilian Popa of DiGAME. Today,, the remaining five startups – Complete Farmer, 7keema, OZÉ, Moja Ride and DéMars will do the same in front of Yele Bademosi of Microtraction, Haakon Brunell of Katapult Accelerator and Sarah Oon of Nisk Capital. The pitching did not stop there; we partnered with The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme who brought a selection of young African entrepreneurs who they support, to pitch in front of judges Mike Mompi of Enza Capital, Niki Newman of AFGRI and Wanjiru Chabeda of Zephyr Acorn. If there’s one thing we’ve learnt today about pitching to investors, it’s that it’s really important to know your business model. What are some of your pitching tips?

And that’s a wrap! Today is Day two and we’re excited to hear more about the African Tech scene. Don’t forget to follow us on @AfricaTechSMT and use the #ATSKGL.

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