DEMO Africa was launched in Nairobi in 2012. The conference returned to the Kenyan capital the following year and has since been held in Lusaka, Zambia (2014), and Lagos in Nigeria (2015).
The conference, one of the continent’s most-talked about start-ups events, was secured for Johannesburg by the Johannesburg Convention Bureau, Joburg Tourism’s international events unit. Joburg Tourism is the City of Johannesburg’s tourism entity.
Organised by Liberating Innovations in Opportunity Nations in Africa (LIONS @frica), DEMO Africa will bring together key stakeholders and decision-makers in the innovation, entrepreneurial and investment sectors from across the globe to connect with selected African start-ups.
DEMO Africa creates a multisectoral platform to facilitate increased business exposure and potential for start-ups with venture capitals, investors, technology acquisition specialists, IT buyers and media from across the globe. Participating start-ups pre-selected by DEMO Africa receive mentoring, coaching and the opportunity to launch their products to a wide range of tech eco-systems that reflect and address the needs of the African continent and beyond.
DEMO Africa Alumni has raised more than $11-million in investment and business value since its inception. It is supported by the United States’ Department of State, Microsoft, DEMO, VC4Africa, African eDevelopment Resource Centre, USAID, Start-up Weekend and the African Development Bank.
Some of the events scheduled to be staged in the city this year include: Breakbulk Africa conference – 4-7 April; Banking Commission Meeting – 4-9 April; Africa-Middle East Conference of the Junior Chamber International – 4-6 May; International Commission on Large Dams 16-20 May; HGA Global Forum – 16 June; and Conference of the International Law Association – 7-11 August.