Senegal’s positioning as the window into Francophone Africa has been solidified through the country’s continued success in the technology startup and innovation space. Dakar has a rapidly growing startup ecosystem that is proving attractive to investors. According to the StartupBlink Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2022, 93% of Senegal’s startups are based in Dakar’s vibrant startup ecosystem which ranks 4th in Africa.
In 2019, the country became the second African country to pass a Startup Act and subsequently, President Macky Sall established the General Delegation for the Rapid Entrepreneurship of Women and Youth (DER/FJ), which has partnered with AfricArena, Startupbootcamp AfriTech and Enrich in Africa in various capacities.
Partnerships in West Africa crucial to building Africa’s tech ecosystem
Partnerships such as these have led to an increase in events that bring together some of the brightest minds and innovators in Africa’s tech and startup ecosystem, creating a platform for collaboration, learning and growth.
”We are thrilled to be hosting this in Senegal, which is fast becoming a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa,” said Henry Ojuor, Program Director at Startupbootcamp Afritech. “Through these events, we hope to create a platform for collaboration and growth, as well as showcase the incredible talent and potential that exists within the African tech and startup ecosystem.”
The ASIP Demo Day, which takes place during the AfricArena Summit, will showcase the most promising startups from the ASIP Accelerator Program, providing a platform for them to pitch their innovative ideas and products to investors and potential partners. The ASIP Demo Day takes place on Africa Day which is 25 May. This will be a unique opportunity for investors to discover and connect with some of the most disruptive startups in the African tech industry. Startupbootcamp AfriTech will also be having a gathering of all of its alumni straight after Demo Day.
The AfricArena West Africa Summit is a premier tech conference that will bring together entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate executives from around the world to explore the latest trends and innovations in the African tech ecosystem. The event, which has an overarching focus on Fintech, Mobility & Logistics will be happening at the Museum of Black Civilizations and will feature keynote speakers, panels, and pitch sessions, as well as networking opportunities for attendees.
After the Summit, AfricArena, in partnership with Startupbootcamp AfriTech, will be running an Open Innovation & Corporate VC Unconference to take place from Friday 26 May to Sunday 28 May at the Rhino Resort Hotel and Spa in Saly, Senegal.
The goal of this VC Unconference will be to enable key players in the corporate community staked in, or planning to tap in tech innovation in Africa to participate in an exchange on best practices and knowledge around how to successfully operate on the continent to develop new products and services in partnership with startups.
“Together with Startupbootcamp Afritech and Enrich in Africa, we are proud to host the AfricArena West Africa Summit in such a historic city that is a hub of trade, investment and innovation and which positively impacts on Africa’s tech and startup ecosystem,” says AfricArena CEO and founder Christophe Viarnaud.
Corporate partnerships and bilateral agreements boost Africa’s rapidly growing tech ecosystem
The involvement of corporates in the series of events is an indication of how important it is to collaborate and learn from both facets of the ecosystem. Founding partner of the ASIP Accelerator, Telecel Group, who recently completed the acquisition of the Vodafone Group’s Ghana Division will be leading the fray of key players in the ecosystem.
“We are incredibly proud of all innovative startups in our accelerator program, and we believe that their success is crucial to the long-term development and prosperity of the African continent,” noted Executive Deputy at Telecel and ASIP Project Director Eleanor Azar. “That’s why we are always by their side to provide them with the guidance, mentorship, and support they need. Such events are part of our identity at Telecel, and we remain committed to supporting these startups every step of the way.”
The ASIP Program is also supported by DER/FJ, AWS, Google, Enrich in Africa, and the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank (FMO) through MASSIF, the financial inclusion fund FMO manages on behalf of the Dutch government.
The Enrich in Africa Learning Expedition will offer a tailored educational program for delegates seeking to deepen their knowledge of the African tech industry. The program will include site visits, workshops, and networking sessions, providing attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the African tech ecosystem.