Aliko Dangote to speak at DEMO Africa

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Africa’s richest man, Dangote Group group chairman Aliko Dangote, will make an address at next month’s DEMO Africa event in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Nigerian joins an already impressive array of speakers that includes permanent secretary at the Ministry of Communication and Technology Dr Tunji Olaopa, Kuramo Capital managing director (MD) Mobolaji Adeoye, and MEST founder Jorn Lyseggen.

Dangote’s appearance will serve as inspiration for the 30 startups pitching at the Lagos event, with those selected chosen from a record number of applications. Four startups – Flippy CampusShield FinanceRoad Rules and Raye7 – booked their tickets at mini-events held in Accra, Nairobi, Harare and Cairo respectively.

The full list of startups includes eight Nigerian startups, namely Mavis Computel, Oga Venue, TalkingBookz, CarpartsNigeria, Zuvaa, SmartEdu, PoshRite, and iKon Tracker. Kenya also has eight: InsureAfrika, Abacus, SimbaPay, ENT-Mobile, Bitsoko, BambaPOS, Shield Finance and LipaPlus.

South Africa has three representatives – Edge Books, Bozza and Eco-mc2 – while Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon and Zimbabwe each have two. Uganda, Tanzania and Ivory Coast are represented by one startup each.

“We are excited at the opportunities that technology has presented to our African youths in creating jobs and wealth. This is a great moment in the history of Africa, steadily rising to establish its digital footprint in the world,” director general of Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Peter Jack said.

The selected startups are currently undergoing a mentorship programme which will run until September 22, aimed at sharpening the pitching skills of the entrepreneurs.

The DEMO Africa event will also feature involvement from AMPION, with the winner of the AMPION West African Venture Bus to also pitch at the event.

Disrupt Africa reported in May pan-African startup competition AMPION had announced it would run five Venture Bus tours on the continent this year, taking in 14 African countries along the way.

The West Africa leg of the Venture Bus begins September 17, passing through Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria. The bus will arrive in Lagos on September 23 in time for DEMO Africa.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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