Morocco unites global tech community’s commitment to advancing African digital economy at momentous GITEX Africa launch
Held under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, GITEX Africa is hosted by the Digital Development Agency (ADD), under the authority of the Moroccan Ministry of Digital Transition and Administration Reform.
Addressing media at the show’s official preview press conference today was H.E Dr Ghita Mezzour, Minister of the Moroccan Ministry of Digital Transition and Administration Reform; Sidi Mohammed Drissi Melyani, the General Director of ADD; and Trixie LohMirmand, CEO of KAOUN International, GITEX Africa’s organiser.
In attendance were GITEX Africa’s official institutional partners the ANRT (Moroccan National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency), AMDIE (Moroccan Investment and Export Development Agency), ONMT (Moroccan National Tourist Office), ONDA (National Airports Office), Royal Air Maroc, and ONCF (Moroccan National Railway Office).
“The Kingdom of Morocco is proud to host GITEX Africa under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist Him,” said H.E. Dr Mezzour. “We’re witnessing a historic event, the first ever edition of GITEX Africa, and the largest tech networking and learning business event in the African continent.
“GITEX Africa will be an opportunity for Moroccan and African start-ups owners and young programmers to get in touch with regional and global investors and business incubators. An opportunity as well to networking with actors in both public and private sectors.”
Mr. Sidi Mohammed Drissi Melyani, the General Director of ADD, added that hosting GITEX Africa underlines Morocco’s commitment to work alongside the private and public sector to accelerate Africa’s digital infrastructure development while promoting cross-continental e-governance policies that improve digital transparency, openness and process integration: “The Kingdom of Morocco as well as the whole African continent is so honoured to host the first edition of GITEX Africa Morocco, which will take place in Marrakech from May 31st to June 2nd, 2023,” said Mr. Melyani.
“This big event, organised under the high patronage of his Majesty the King Mohammed VI, is an important opportunity to value the efforts deployed by all the Moroccan stakeholders in the field of digital development. It is also a platform of networking between exhibitors, investors, researchers and tech operators around innovative solutions and digital transformation. This first edition will definitely contribute to enhance digital transition in Africa as a future innovation hub, led by its young talents and competitive start-ups.”
Magnifying Africa’s collective digital innovation ambitions and achievements
GITEX Africa’s impressive scale in its debut edition reflects the ambitions of Africa’s digital movement, with cross-continental initiatives such as Smart Africa’s vision to create a single digital market in Africa by 2030 propelling the continent to the forefront of the global digital economy.
“For too long, the world’s second largest continent has been under-stated and overlooked for its profound digital opportunities and aspirations,” commented Ms. LohMirmand, CEO of KAOUN International.
“At GITEX Africa, our mission is to curate an event that will serve the purpose of the African community in accessing business development, investment and learning opportunities. We focus on empowering the new generation of tech and creative talents to augment the culture of entrepreneurship and provide a single occasion that shall bring together the public and private sector leaderships to build tangible meaningful outcomes.”
That GITEX Africa hoisted the sold-out sign fuelling further expansion months before its grand opening is testament to the world’s confidence and optimism in the African digital opportunity, amplified by figures that underline the aspirations of African countries in their quest for digital excellence.
Africa’s vibrant start-up ecosystem also continues to grab headlines with the creation of seven unicorns over the last few years while according to analysts Briter Bridges, African start-ups raised a total of US$5.4 billion across 900-plus deals in 2022.
The influx of global interest will see GITEX Africa 2023 host more than 400 disruptive start-ups from 30 countries, including 200 international award-winning start-ups and 11 unicorns eager to share their achievements and access the promising African innovation hub.
All will have the opportunity to connect with 250 investors from 34 countries with US$200 billion worth of assets under management. As the ultimate start-up incubator and magnet for flourishing VC funds, GITEX Africa will deliver a structured and carefully curated scouting platform for these investors, of which 70 percent are coming from outside of Africa.
Added Ms. LohMirmand: “GITEX integrates Africa strategically into the hyper-connected tech ecosystem across 100 countries. It now firmly plugs Africa into the global entrepreneurial innovation economy boasting of resources imperative for the region to dynamize its digital transformation mission.”
Accelerating the Moroccan digital development strategy
GITEX Africa 2023 will also accentuate the progress of Morocco’s digital development strategy, strengthening its position among the top three African countries with the best ICT infrastructure, and underlining its status as having one of the continent’s most advanced telecommunications markets.
According to analysts IDC, Morocco’s IT market, comprising hardware, software and IT services, is expected to reach a value of US$1.7 billion in 2023, growing at a CAGR of 4.3 percent to reach US$1.9 billion in 2026. In 2023, growth is expected to be driven by enterprise and service provider spending in the North African country as organisations increasingly look to adopt hybrid cloud as a step towards their digital transformation initiatives.
World’s best minds gather at Africa’s most impactful leadership conference agenda
Africa’s most impactful leadership conference programme will meanwhile gather 250-plus speakers from 50 countries to share valuable exchanges and insights with a curious business audience motivated to draw on international experience applied to an African-centric context.
The GITEX Africa Digital Summit will lead ten conference tracks comprising 140-plus hours of mind-stretching content exploring the most pertinent transformational topics advancing Africa’s digital agenda, from generative AI and digital cities, or Fintech and agritech, to healthcare, energy, innovation, sustainable development goals, and a spotlight on the world’s most exciting start-up ecosystem.
GITEX Africa 2023 is open from 11:30am to 6:00pm on 31st May, and from 10:00am to 6:00pm on the 1st and 2nd June. Admission is for trade professionals only with a special invitation for students aged 16 years and older on day three.