Demo Africa 2014 has come and gone but it’s memory certainly lingers on for most participants. It is the first time the event touched down on West African soil and I am so proud of what I saw even though I had expected a lot more in attendance.
Be that as it may, I’d give everyone who worked tirelessly to make the event worth the while a big thumbs up because they succeeded in putting up a world class event.
Personally, I had a good time connecting with people from various part of the world including Kenya, Zimbabwe, Germany, Turkey, South Africa, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands and the list goes on. I understand that if not for the “Ebola Scare a lot more people would have showed up especially from the International community but it was above average nonetheless.
The International community added their voice to emphasize the need to tap entrepreneurial energy among Africans at the DEMO Africa event held recently. It brought together players in the technology scene and provided a critical platform for discussions geared towards fast tracking prosperity and growth in Africa with entrepreneurship being cited as the key to Africa’s freedom and prosperity.
In a video message to the participants, The US Secretary of State John Kerry emphasized the need to groom Africa’s young population to tap the entrepreneurial energy. He reminded Africans that places where people are free to trade and transform ideas are on the right track to growth and prosperity. “You can count on the United States support as you take on this journey to transformation through entrepreneurship.” He assured.
To thump their support, the US State Department through the LIONS@FRICA partnership will this year sponsor five DEMO Africa start-ups for a 10 day trip to pitch at the DEMO US. The five who were picked from the forty that pitched on the DEMO Africa platform, include Jifunza (Rwanda), Nerve (Nigeria), Paysail (Ghana), Chura (Kenya) and Spacepointe (Nigeria).
This year’s event was 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 Technology.
The DEMO Africa 2014 event was sponsored by Nigeria Information and Technology Development Agency (NIITDA), 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 2014 sure lived up to expectation it was not just about hype – we need more events like this to prove that Africans can indeed play a role in the highly innovative technology market.