DeepTech: Stakeholders Brainstorm On Growth, Innovation In Africa’s Ecosystem


Intel and AfriLabs celebrated the successful completion of the Intel AI Programme for African DeepTech Startups and Ecosystem Stakeholders, which was a collaborative effort to encourage innovation and nurture growth in Africa’s DeepTech ecosystem.

Held in Abuja from March 5 to 7, 2024, the event provided a critical venue for stakeholders to investigate DeepTech’s revolutionary potential across the continent.

The event, organized by AfriLabs in conjunction with Intel, sought to boost growth and innovation in Nigeria’s deep-tech ecosystem.

Participants from various backgrounds, including government officials, industry experts, startups, developers, and ecosystem stakeholders, met to discuss the problems, possibilities, and prospects for DeepTech in Africa.

The event began with opening statements from distinguished government leaders as well as representatives from Intel and AfriLabs. Dr. Bienvenu Agbokponto Soglo, Intel’s Director of Government Affairs Africa and IGA CTO Liaison, provided an interesting talk on the socioeconomic and policy consequences of DeepTech in Africa.

This was followed by a thought-provoking panel discussion moderated by Jennifer Okeke-Ojiudu, Senior Ecosystem Engagements Manager at AfriLabs, featuring high-level representatives from the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Intel, and other industry partners.
The session presented insightful information about the problems and opportunities that Africa’s deep-tech ecosystem faces.

Finally, day one concluded with a high-level roundtable discussion on AI policy, facilitated by Intel’s Dr. Bienvenu Agbokponto Soglo, which included the Director-General of the National Centre for Technology Management, other government officials, and AI ecosystem stakeholders.

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Day two of the event focused on providing startups, developers, and innovation centers with the tools and resources they need to succeed in the AI ecosystem. Highlights included an overview of the Intel® Liftoff for AI Startups Program, presentations on the Intel Developer Cloud and OneAPI effort, and useful insights from industry professionals. The day closed with talks from key innovation centers, which enriched the discussion around deep-tech entrepreneurship and innovation in Nigeria.

The final day of the program focused on creating vibrant startup communities and encouraging collaboration among ecosystem players. Keynote speeches by noteworthy personalities such as Ajibola Odukoya, Chief Operating Officer of AfriLabs, and Dr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director-General of NITDA, set the tone for lively debates about the role of government in supporting innovation in Africa. Presentations from several innovation centers emphasized the value of community development and collaboration in supporting Africa’s emerging deep-tech ecosystem.

Dr. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director-General of NITDA, emphasized the significance of collaboration and shared vision in his speech, saying, “When I learned of the goals and objectives of this workshop, my passion for our environment was truly sparked. At NITDA, we are convinced that no single entity can navigate this landscape alone; joint effort is required. Our aim for Nigeria is for digital empowerment, innovation-driven prosperity, and inclusive economic growth powered by technology. The global AI race has begun, and the nation that leads it will decide the future. Africa, with its enormous talent and young population, is ready to play an important role. In Nigeria, our road is clear: AI is our journey, our objectives are set, and our dedication is steadfast.”

Anna Ekeledo, Executive Director of AfriLabs, reflected on the event’s success, saying, “This collaboration has provided a platform for meaningful engagement, knowledge-sharing, and collaboration, laying the groundwork for future innovation and growth across Africa.”
As the Intel AI Programme for African DeepTech Startups and Ecosystem Stakeholders comes to a close, the legacy of collaboration, creativity, and empowerment continues on. Looking ahead, Africa’s deep-tech community will begin a journey of growth, resilience, and limitless possibilities.

Techrectory with Agency Report.

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