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All tech roads lead to Dakar

Senegal’s positioning has been solidified through the country’s continued success in the technology startup and innovation space.

All roads lead to Dakar, Senegal, for a series of events happening during the Enrich in Africa week starting on 22 May.

It kicks off with a Learning Expedition held by incubator  Bond’innov and includes the AfricArena West Africa Summit, VC UnConference and the ASIP Accelerator Demo Day powered by Startupbootcamp AfriTech and founded by telecoms giant Telecel Group.

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. 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 crucial

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.

Henry Ojuor, programme director at Startupbootcamp Afritech, says: “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 on 25 May. This will be an 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 run an Open Innovation & Corporate VC Unconference from 26 to 28 May at the Rhino Resort Hotel and Spa in Saly, Senegal.

The goal 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.

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