Our vision is that technology will catalyse economic & social change in Africa.
Tech4Africa is the premier mobile, web & emerging technology event in Africa, where business and technology combine to bring global perspective to the African context.
Tech4Africa is a two day event focusing on deep technical workshops and sessions for practitioners, and then engaging talks which impart knowledge, perspective, African context and inspiration.
Tech4Africa also runs regular Developer Hackathons which bring people together to explore technology stacks, complex problems, emerging technologies, collaborate on impactful projects and ideas, and unearth disruptive opportunities.
Now in it’s fourth year, Tech4Africa has evolved into:
- Over 600 delegates enjoying two days of action packed talks, workshops & keynotes
- Delegates cover the entire tech spectrum, from junior developers to corporate CEO’s
- Over 40 speakers, bringing international and African speakers together
- The first day focused on deep diving into technology, skills and execution
- The second day focused on keynotes and panels, pitched at higher level thinking
- First ever IBM SmartCamp winner in Africa announced
- The Ignite! start-up pitching competition, with R25,000 prize money
It’s an exciting time for African technology and we hope that you enjoy the opportunity that Tech4Africa presents, as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it all together.
Never before has there been a better opportunity for economic growth and individual wealth creation in Africa.
It’s well understood that future global economic growth will come from emerging markets, where the BRIC countries will dominate. With the growth of internet penetration in most developed countries slowing down, and an organisation like Facebook one of the largest virtual “countries” in the world, it’s clear that opportunities to unlock the next billion consumers will come from the largest emerging markets, where technology plays a major part in connecting consumers for information, exchange and transactions, across rural and cultural divides.
With mobile usage in Africa seeing astronomic growth in the last decade, at an estimated 735million devices in circulation by the end of 2012 and growing fast, the next generation of products which will unlock the economic potential of this massive consumer base will be mobile with a web based infrastructure, and will solve uniquely African day-to-day utility problems as well as provide everything else developed markets demand.
The burgeoning mobile banking industry in Africa is a fantastic example of this. Services like Ushahidi, Motribe and TxtAlert are great examples of African products with global scope.
When examining places like Silicon Valley, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Berlin, Israel, London, Austin, Chile, Singapore, Ireland and India, what sets them apart is the community and ecosystem available to build and scale products. Their ecosystems all have startling similarities: good schools, smart people, successful role models, access to capital, a diverse talent pool drawn to interesting and disruptive projects, the recognition that success and failure are both sides of the same coin, and a drive to succeed.
Our contention is that Africans are the best placed to solve African problems, but to reach the next billion consumers before others do it’s vital we establish a vibrant technology ecosystem like those above, and even more important we learn as much as we can from people who have done it before.
Tech4Africa is one part of that ecosystem.
Our mission is given context through a set of fundamental beliefs
- The next billion consumers will come from emerging markets.
- African mobile usage will overtake the desktop, if not already.
- Technology is coalescing a massive societal, cultural and economic shift in Africa.
- Sustained innovation requires an active, supportive ecosystem with successful role models.
- Whilst there are best practices that always apply, Africa is a unique environment with unique constraints.
- Africans can and should be building products for their own growing markets as well as the global one.
- The skills and knowledge most required are productisation and monetisation.
- The biggest cultural roadblock in Africa is the fear of failure.
- Students should focus on science and maths, not football, politics and reality TV.
Our audience is made up of thought leaders and practitioners from technology, decision-makers from large-scale enterprises to SME’s, and representatives from mobile, cloud, infrastructure, Internet, media, social media, advertising, IT, the hottest tech startups and the technology investors that back them.
What sets Tech4Africa apart is the unique environment we create: you’ll be listening to a captivating speaker, and to the left is sitting the CEO of a household brand, to the right a hacker working on her NBT (Next Big Thing), and in front of you another speaker you’ve only seen or heard of on YouTube or Twitter.
Typically you’d meet a range of people you’d expect to find in technology today, including:
Account Manager, Africa correspondent, BDFM Online Editor, Blogger, Campaign Manager, CEO, Chairman, Chief Sales and Marketing Office, Co-founder, Communications Officer, COO, CTO, Corporate Communication Specialist, Customer Experience Lead, Developer, Digital Brand Manager, Digital Platforms Manager, Editor-in-chief, Enterprise Architect, Executive Editor, Founder, Group CEO, Group Communications Manager, Hacker, Head of Analytics, Optimisation and Usability, Head of Digital Communications, Head of Digital Media and Marketing, Head of Engage, Head of Optimise, Head of PR and Communications, Head of Social Media, Head of Technical Operations, Head of Technology, Head: Digital Marketing Campaigns, Head: Digital Presence, Head: Product Development & Portals, Managing Director, Managing Editor, Managing Partner, Marketing & Commercial Manager, Marketing & Sales Manager, Marketing Director, Marketing Manager, MD, Online Manager, Operations Manager, Owner, Partner, Product Development Manager, Product Manager, Project Manager, Researcher, Sales Director, Senior Business Analyst, Senior Manager: Strategic Contract R&D, Social media evangelist, Software Engineer, Technology Solutions Manager, Surveys Editor, Systems & Devices Manager, Talent Development, Technical Director, Technical Evangelist, Technology Editor, Technology Strategy, Usability expert, User Interface developer, Writer,
Delegates come from all over Africa, and indeed we have hosted delegates from around the world and from a range of companies, including:
Apple, AquaOnline, Avusa Media LIVE, Bid Or Buy, Bizcommunity, Brandsh, British Council, CanonEC, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Carte Blanche, Cerebra, Damelin, Derivco Pty, Destiny Airways, DSTV Online, eTV, Eurocom, Financial Mail, Finweek, FNB, Google, Gordon Institute of Business Science, Hasso Plattner Ventures, Hewlett-Packard, HTC, Hi-Fi Corporation, Hollard, IBM, IDC, Internet Solutions, Investec, ITWeb Brainstorm, Mail & Guardian, Media24.com, Microsoft South Africa, MIH Internet Africa eCommerce, Mozilla Corporation, MTN Business, Multichoice DSTV, New York University Tisch School, Old Mutual, Quirk emarketing, Realmdigital, Remgro, RSA Web, Saatchi & Saatchi AtPlay, Samsung, Shuttleworth Foundation, South African Theological Seminary, Standard Bank, Stuff Magazine, SuperSport International, Talk Radio 702, The Guardian, TBWA, VeriSign, VMWARE, Vodacom Group, Vodacom, Woolworths.
- Discover how the technology can play a positive role in Africa
- Meet and interact with like minded people
- Gain from global experience
- Learn what industry leading Africans are doing
- Discuss global mobile, web and technology opportunities
- Understand what technologies are making the biggest impact
- Two days of inspiration you won’t find anywhere else
Each year Tech4Africa invites speakers and panel participants from all over the world. All speakers are leaders within their respective fields and represent the best of mobile, internet, and emerging technology.
Some of our previous speakers
Previous speakers include: Alex Hunter (consultant, speaker on digital marketing), Andy Budd (User Experience expert), Clay Shirky (speaker on effects of internet on society), Dustin Diaz (Lead Front-end Engineer, Twitter), Erin Caton (Project Manager, Apple), Joe Stump (co-Founder, SimpleGeo), John Resig (Founder, jQuery), Jonathan Snook (Lead Front-End Engineer Yahoo!), Leila C Janah (CEO, Samasource), Herman Chinery-Hesse (SoftTribe), Josh Spear (global social media expert), Adam Duvander (ProgrammeableWeb), Cenydd Bowles (User experience expert), Jon Gosier (MetaLayer), James Box (User Experience expert), Robert Nyman (technology evangelist for Mozilla), Ndubuisi Ekekwe (Johns Hopkins University), Steve Watt (emerging technology at HP), Simone Brunozzi (APAC evangelist at Amazon), Gustav Praekelt (CEO Praekelt Digital and Praekelt Foundation), Peter Tejler (Swedish Ambassador to South Africa), Luke McKend (Country Manager, Google South Africa), Brett St Clair (Head of Mobile, Google South Africa), Agosta Liko (PesaPal), Angela Gehagan (Managing Executive, MTN Business), Bright Simons (mPedigree), Derek Wilcocks (CEO, Internet Solutions), Erik Hersman (co-Founder Ushahidi), Mike Stopforth (CEO, Cerebra), Stefan Magdalinksi (CEO, Mocality), Steve Song (Founder, Village Telco), Steve Vosloo (Mobile Impact Evangelist, mLab Southern Africa), Tayo Oviosu (PagaTech) and more..