BrandArena: Microsoft Announces Inaugural African Startups AI Fest at GITEX Africa

Thursday 30 May 2024

Microsoft Announces Inaugural African Startups AI Fest at GITEX Africa Unite Innovators Across the Continent

At the recent GITEX Africa in Marrakech, Morocco, Microsoft revealed plans for its first African Startups AI Fest. Organized by Microsoft’s Africa Transformation Office (ATO), this major event will take place on June 6, 2024, in Johannesburg, South Africa, with virtual access available continent-wide.

The hybrid festival is set to be the largest Microsoft Africa virtual event, drawing startup founders, pioneers, and entrepreneurs from across Africa. Attendees will benefit from success stories shared by Microsoft's startup partners and customers, and up to 10,000 startups will gain access to specialized industry expertise and insights on leveraging AI to elevate their businesses.

This groundbreaking event aims to highlight AI’s transformative potential, empowering African startups to innovate and expand their reach from local markets to the global stage.
“There is a need to provide startups on the continent with the resources to take their concepts from the drawing board to customers,” says Lillian Barnard, Microsoft Africa President. “From AI-enabled tech solutions to advanced digital skills, startups need to be given every opportunity to thrive in a highly competitive global market because they are the catalysts for job creation and economic growth in Africa.” Overcoming mounting economic pressures

Recent research from The African Tech Startups Funding Report has found that funding for tech startups in Africa has declined after a highly successful 2022 when 633 tech startups raised over $3 billion in funding.

“In the face of a challenging economic climate, startups across Africa have demonstrated remarkable resilience,” Barnard says. “Despite the tough conditions, they have ignited a wave of innovation. Empowered with the right tech tools, startups can scale their solutions, enhance productivity, and drive growth. At Microsoft, we believe that technology, particularly the transformative power of AI, holds the key to a more empowered future in Africa.”

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