Marseille to host 1st Digital Africa event


The EMERGING Valley entrepreneurship summit is set to take place in Marseille, France, in November, as the first event under the auspices of President Emmanuel Macron’s recently launched Digital Africa initiative.

Disrupt Africa reported last month President Macron launched the Digital Africa initiative on behalf of the the country’s development agency Agence Française de Développement (AFD).  The initiative aims to provide a platform to promote African entrepreneurs, through encouraging collaboration and knowledge sharing, providing an online database of resources, facilitating access to funding through a EUR65 million (US$76.14 million) fund dedicated to African startups, and hosting relevant events.

The first event to be hosted under the Digital Africa banner has now been announced: the EMERGING Valley entrepreneurship summit, set for Marseille, and a correlated bootcamp to be held in Aix-en-Provence.

EMERGING Valley is a three day event – to be held on November 19-21 – dedicated to African entrepreneurship and innovation. The event aims to promote the Aix-Marseille region to Africa as a new business and startup hub linking Europe and Africa; and hopes to attract new businesses with high-growth potential to the French region.

“The region, and especially Aix-Marseille, have all kinds of legitimacy – historical, geographical, cultural, human – to become the preferred African gateway to Europe, and vice versa. It’s also the only French region claiming this position with Africa [focusing]on the digital challenges, and it wants to assert itself as a magnet for the companies in the world wishing to enter the African market from Marseille. Now, there is a real opportunity to emerge as a double gateway for Europe-Africa, and Marseille can naturally claim it,” said Samir Abdelkrim, founder of EMERGING Valley.

Fifty international speakers from 20 countries will gather for the summit at Palais du Paro on November 19 and 20; while more than 60 startups will be invited to attend the Social Business and Inclusivity bootcamp on November 21.  The bootcamp is hosted in collaboration with the AFD, as one of the first the Digital Africa camps.



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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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