ICT start-ups to network at maiden forum in Kigali

Kigali will this week host a three-day ICT convention to chart ways of nurturing local content developers and entrepreneurs to target global markets.

Kigali will this week host a three-day ICT convention to chart ways of nurturing local content developers and entrepreneurs to target global markets.

The conference, which kicks off today, is dubbed, “Glocal; Africa’s Premier Business and Innovation Convection.”

The maiden conference brings together 400 participants, including international businesspersons and innovators, from 25 countries in the continent and beyond.

Alex Ntale, the director of Private Sector Federation ICT Chamber, said start-ups will have the opportunity to network with potential investors and partners, while investors will be given the opportunity to discover Africa’s top start-ups, as well as meet potential co-investors.

Rwanda Development Board chief executive Francis Gatare, the Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, and Ambassador of Japan to Rwanda Kazuya Ogawa are expected to officiate at the opening ceremony.

Ntale said the idea of the convention was borne on the sidelines of last year’s Transform Africa Summit in Kigali.

“The idea of Glocal Convention diverged from the need for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and development of entrepreneurial skills throughout the continent, especially among the youth. We came together to build an ecosystem where young people in ICT can showcase their innovations in a bigger marketplace,” Ntale said.

He said the conference will create a framework for continental innovation policy formulation and to serve as a platform for raising capital for innovative businesses.

Opportunities

Ntale also said start-ups will have the opportunity to network with potential investors and partners, while investors will be given the opportunity to discover Africa’s top start-ups, as well as meet potential co- investors.

The conference will feature panel discussions, tech hub meetings, exhibitions and pitching session to potential funders, equity investors, and business partners.

Yariv Cohen, chairperson of the Clean Access Initiative, who also chairs the Young Presidents’ Organisation Rwanda Action forum – one of the organisers of the convention – said part of what is required to further boost ICT eco-system is flow of capital.

Investors Canada, Kenya, UK, South Africa, Singapore, Israel and the US are expected to attend the conference, Cohen said.