GITEX Africa 2024: Africa’s largest tech extravaganza kicks off in Marrakech. Spoiler: it’s greater this time

GITEX Africa 2024: Africa’s largest tech extravaganza kicks off in Marrakech. Spoiler: it’s greater this time

Regardless of the 27-degree Marrakesh warmth, hundreds of individuals in spectacular fits descended on the Boulevard Al Yarmouk, inflicting pedestrian site visitors. GITEX, the most important African know-how and startup showcase, started immediately.

On this planet of know-how, tags like “largest” can seem to be meaningless superlatives, however the dimension of the venue and the gang on day one counsel GITEX is spot-on with its declare.

“That is twice the dimensions of final 12 months’s venue,” one one who attended 2023’s event mentioned, referring to the massive tents holding a whole lot of exhibitors. 2023 drew a 25,000-strong crowd and the organisers plan to double that quantity this week. On the power of the variety of GITEX buses ready to ferry attendees to the venue from all the main inns within the metropolis: mission completed. The title tags that present the place contributors are from can also be a roll name of each African nation. 

The scale of the exhibition corridor is dizzying—GITEX is traditionally a tech exhibition—and it’s straightforward to clock your 10,000 day by day steps by strolling round. A few of the world’s most recognisable firms are right here: Huawei, PwC, Visa, and McKinsey. There may be additionally a horde of startups in foodtech, healthtech, mobility, fintech and cleantech.

Throughout from TechCabal’s sales space, there’s Social Convert, an early-stage startup that may rework your social media engagement into tangible earnings. There’s Focus Messenger, which information organisational messages by matter and places them into folders. When you’ve got over 30,000 folks in a single venue, the promoting alternative is very large.

Within the lavatory, a sticker on the faucet tells me Africa doesn’t have a local social media platform and asks me to enroll. There are a number of fascinating startups right here that wish to present and let you know their distinctive eager about a number of issues throughout the continent. 

And as proof that you just’re at an occasion that is aware of what’s what, you’ll be able to’t escape synthetic intelligence (AI), the worldwide sizzling matter of 2024. You’ll be able to’t keep away from AI at GITEX Africa 2024, nor do you have to wish to. Among the many eight levels for a various vary of panel discussions, synthetic intelligence is one in every of them. 

“Are you accustomed to the determine $15.7 trillion?” A speaker on the stage asks the viewers. It represents the worth AI is anticipated to have on international GDP. The group seems to be engaged; that is purported to be the place know-how goes. 

On the Elevate stage, ten startups are attempting to persuade a panel to award them the $100,000 prize sponsored by Tamwilcom. Lots of the concepts sound like good previous monetary know-how, however many of the audio system handle to squeeze in a point out or two of synthetic intelligence. “They’re making an attempt to keep away from the fintech label,” one particular person listening in on the pitch competitors tells me. 

On the Way forward for Fintech stage, there’s a panel occurring in French with audio system from Niger and the DRC. Till I study French, not quite a bit to report there! 

As I labored my approach to the primary stage, I rubbed shoulders with Aziz Akhannouch, the prime minister of Morocco—I couldn’t cease to talk—and another authorities figures. Within the unlikely occasion, you miss the signal that claims this occasion is below the “excessive patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI,” put together to see his footage on all of the levels. It’s a credit score to the federal government that they’ll host an occasion of this dimension and scale. 

As I resist the temptation to purchase a brand-new SUV on the exhibition smack in the course of the corridor, I make an observation to take a look at the Way forward for Well being stage. If I can sneak into the investor lounge unnoticed, you’ll be the primary to know. 

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