GITEX leads global tech communities to Africa for historic launch in the world’s next biggest digital economy
GITEX GLOBAL, the world’s mega tech showcase, is embarking on a new journey into Africa, leveraging a 42-year legacy of connecting tech titans, governments, start-ups, investors and global innovation hubs, to accelerate, collaborate, and explore new ventures in the world’s rising tech continent.
The inaugural GITEX AFRICA will take place from 31 May-2 June 2023 in Marrakech, Morocco, rallying the tech world’s attention to the vast potential of the globe’s youngest continent, and shaping the vision for a more connected, sustainable, inclusive, and tech-driven digital economy.
The landmark event is the first overseas venture for GITEX GLOBAL, the influential tech brand trusted by international tech executives. It was announced today at a press launch during GITEX GLOBAL 2022, which this year outran capacity at the Dubai World Trade Centre venue to cross two million sq. ft. with more than 5,000 exhibitors from 90 countries.
GITEX AFRICA is launched in partnership with the Digital Development Agency (ADD), a strategic public entity leading the Moroccan government’s digital transformation agenda under the authority of the Moroccan Ministry of Digital Transition and Administration Reform.
KAOUN International, the overseas events organising company of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), will lead the partnership for this much awaited business endeavour in the highly sought after tech region, officially launching the “Go There” global campaign for GITEX AFRICA campaign today.
At the show’s official announcement and signing ceremony today, Mohammed Drissi Melyani, General Director of the Digital Development Agency, said: “We are honoured to organize this event in a continent which is seeing great dynamic, economic and social growth in many fields.
“Morocco is playing a crucial role to assist and support the development of Africa under the leadership of His Majesty The King Mohamed VI and to link it economically to the rest of the world. We are deeply engaged to contribute to the success of this first edition of GITEX AFRICA and will work very hard to make it exceptional for us all.”
Trixie LohMirmand, CEO of KAOUN International and Executive Vice President of Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of GITEX, added: “The time for Africa is now. Against a stuttering world tech market, Africa has risen and punched well above its weight recently, with big tech investments rocketing and start-ups funding recording the best year ever in 2021 at six times over the global average.
“It takes a lot to build and sustain an outstanding tech event. GITEX has a global following of communities that trust the brand’s motivation in discovering new tech geographies and marketplaces for greater empowerment and knowledge sharing in the new generation economies.
“The Digital Development Agency Morocco is committed to accelerating wide scale digital transformation of its society and the tech modernisation of the wider African continent. The unified commitment from the stakeholders embodied in GITEX AFRICA shall amplify the African tech opportunities and bring to forth the world’s next biggest digital economy.”
One Africa, limitless opportunities in world’s burgeoning tech frontier
With tech-friendly policies in a continent that is now far more accessible, African investment is rocketing. Analysts predict the tech market is on track to scale from $115 billion to $712 billion by 2050, while growth in start-up funding is six times higher than anywhere else. In only six years, Africa went from zero to seven unicorns, with four all born last year.
African talent development is also at its fastest. Global tech titans Microsoft and Google are already setting up billion-dollar innovation and talent hubs in Africa, while the number of people with internet access has grown to 522.8 million, or 40 percent of the African population.
Meanwhile, a youthful populace coupled with Africa’s rapid urbanisation is accelerating digital economic growth, with 70 percent of the Sub-Saharan African population under 30 years of age and 45 percent of Africans set to live in cities by 2025.
The pervasive confidence and upbeat outlook on the African tech landscape are shared by global start-ups and investors, accentuated by the unrivalled opportunities, global visibility and economic impact brought about by the debut of GITEX AFRICA.
“I’m thrilled to learn about GITEX AFFRICA next year,” said Ramez El-Serafy, CEO of Flat6labs, the Middle East and North Africa’s leading early stage venture capital firm, and an existing exhibitor at GITEX GLOBAL’s North Star start-up showcase.
“Africa is a rising market with boundless opportunities for bold expansion, where start-ups, investors, accelerators, Venture Capitalists, multinational corporations and the entire tech ecosystem can construct sustained growth.
“At Flat6Labs, we see first-hand the impact and connections GITEX has continued to drive for regional and global businesses. Our presence at GITEX is crucial for us and our start-ups every year, and with Flat6Labs’ expanding footprint across Africa, GITEX’s expansion into Africa in Morocco is just fantastic news for us.”
Pardon Mujakachi, Vice President of Strategy & Partnerships at Chipper Cash, an African unicorn fintech platform offering mobile, cross-border money transfer services, added: “We’re excited to hear that GITEX is coming to Africa, and believe this a watershed moment for Africa’s future digital economy.
“GITEX AFRICA will create more opportunities for tech entrepreneurs to shine on the global stage, with Africa a key focal point of innovation and sustainable expansion in emerging economies. Converging the entire tech ecosystem, GITEX AFRICA will propel the continent forward in the incubation of start-ups, scale-ups, and unicorns such as Chipper Cash.”
Enabling Morocco – Africa’s emerging tech hub
At the confluence of Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East, Morocco is well-positioned to transform into a regional business hub by leveraging its geographically strategic location, political stability, and world-class infrastructure.
Morocco is Africa’s fifth-largest economy, the second biggest African investor in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the largest African investor in West Africa, while it also sits 3rd of all African countries in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index.
Foreign investment in Morocco is rising, particularly in export sectors like manufacturing, through favourable macroeconomic policies, trade liberalisation, investment incentives, and structural reforms. New Moroccan national strategies emphasise value-added industries such as renewables, automotive, aerospace, textile, pharmaceuticals, outsourcing, and agro-food.
Amplifying GITEX GLOBAL’s enduring African association
For years GITEX GLOBAL has advanced the African agenda, in 2022 welcoming its most heightened participation from the African tech ecosystem yet. This was amplified by ‘Africa Fast 100’ at its North Star start-up showcase, the largest ever gathering of African start-ups to be hosted under one roof outside of Africa.
In its largest edition yet, GITEX GLOBAL 2022 also featured involvement from key African unicorns, such as Jumia, Flutterwave, and Chipper Cash, while welcoming ministerial delegations from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Morocco, and many more.
GITEX AFRICA 2023 will build on these achievements, curating the most powerful innovations emerging from the world’s next most sought-after market across the fast-growing sectors of fintech, e-commerce, cloud, IoT, AI, telecom, and security.