Africa: Latest Trends Showcased as Africa Tech Meet Opens in Kigali

15 February 2018

A two-day African tech summit opened in Kigali yesterday featuring the latest trends in the world of technology.

The meeting dubbed Africa Tech Summit Kigali has convened over 250 ICT stakeholders from the continent and beyond to share the growth in the tech ecosystem across Africa.

Top tech firms from across the continent are represented at the summit, facilitating an ideal ground for networking, forging partnerships and mulling ways out of common challenges.

Among the top trends that were featured on the first day were robotics, cashless economy solutions, innovations in public transport, opportunities in connectivity, creative sector and e-commerce among others.

Sessions are geared at establishing the feasibility of the latest tech trends, chances of scalability and potential new markets all the while sharing experiences.

Among the firms that are featuring at the summit from Rwanda include, Yego Moto, AC Group, Rwanda Online, Jumia Foods Rwanda, House of Tayo, Illume creative studios, Bank of Kigali and Zipline Inc among others.

Among the top concerns and issues emerging from the summit include the policies that are necessary for conducive tech businesses in the region and in the continent.

For instance, delegates complained about government policies that do little to encourage the tech industry to thrive.

"While the narrative remains that entrepreneurship is the key for Africa, bad public policy will certainly be the damper in this prospect. Ensure you know what your government is doing," Nanjira Sambuli of World Wide Web Foundation said.

Delegates also tackled ways to increase broadband connectivity across countries as penetration was proving to have multiple impacts.

Erik Hersman of BRCK, a Kenyan communications hardware company said that it's largely about figuring out the right business models that can increase access to the internet especially in the rural areas.

"It's not an infrastructure problem; it's a business model problem. Let's come up with new business models for delivering free WiFi. When you turn on the Internet, it sends a shockwave through the community, especially in rural areas," Hersman said.

To scale up trends such as E-commerce in the continent, Ecobank Rwanda managing director Alice Zulu said that there is need for increased awareness to build consumer confidence in digital commerce calling for education among consumers.

With a lot of young people looking to enter the tech industry as entrepreneurs, Karanvir Singh the founder of Yego Moto advised young people to do their due diligence to learn the market and that not all solutions and applications can earn them money.


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