The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said it is creating a platform in Nigeria that would accelerate Nigeria’s emergence as a strong force in the digital economy with the DEMO Africa forum, a pan-African launchpad for technology start-up companies.
Mr Peter Jack, Director General of NITDA, while congratulating the 30 finalists that emerged for the DEMO Africa 2015 event competition that would be held in Lagos in September, said NITDA is excited at the opportunities that technology has presented to African youths in creating jobs and wealth, adding that this is a great moment in the history of Africa, steadily rising to establish its digital footprint in the world.
The 30 technology start-up companies, led by Nigerian software developers, are seeking funding from angel investors and joint venture capitalists that will propel their ideas into the next million dollar companies. Nigeria tops the list again with eight representatives, followed by Kenya with six. South Africa is third with three representatives while Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon and Zimbabwe each has two.
Uganda, Tanzania and newcomer, Ivory Coast, will each be represented by one start-up. The presence of Ivory Coast on the list of giants is a strong signal that more African nations are warming up to the ability of the continent to craft her own solutions to various needs. The 2015 list has finance and banking topping the categories with eight products. Other categories are education, transport and logistics, retail, communications, media and entertainment.
Executive producer of DEMO Africa, Harry Hare, congratulating the entrepreneurs that took part in the DEMO Africa challenge, said the pride of the organisers, though the stage can only accommodate 30 entrepreneurs this year, is in the large number of entrepreneurs that continue to support the cause to have Africa generated solutions.
The 30 start-ups were selected from a list of over 600 applicants with four earning direct nominations during the DEMO Africa pre-pitch events. The selected start-ups will now be placed under a mentorship programme which will run till September 2015. Over 500 guests including investors, IT buyers, IT consumers and media are expected.
Chairman of DEMO Africa’s local organising committee, Yele Okeremi, confirmed that preparations for the event are now in the very final stage.
“We are excited that local and international players in the transport and accommodation industries have come forth to offer their support. I am confident that we will deliver a world class event,” he assured.