MEST Africa, has announced that its fourth annual MEST Africa Summit will take place in Nairobi, Kenya from June 10 – 12, 2019, bringing together top entrepreneurs, investors, ecosystem players and executives from across Africa and globally to explore the latest innovations and rising stars in the African tech ecosystem.
Organized in collaboration with Microsoft, the Summit will have panel discussions driven by the continent’s top thought leaders and interactive workshops designed for entrepreneurs as well as a look inside the MEST training program and incubator.
According to MEST Africa’s Managing Director, Aaron Fu: “We’re thrilled to partner with Microsoft, whose entrepreneur toolkit is helping developers across the continent more easily build impactful solutions. We look forward to diving deep into discussions around the innovations and solutions that are rapidly driving change on the continent.”
Following the success of last year’s event in Cape Town, this year’s Summit will build on the exponential growth and diversity that the continent’s startup scene has witnessed over the past 12 months. Thought leaders will discuss the latest challenges and opportunities in the African tech space, including the impact of AI and machine learning on Africa’s workforce, the role of tech in cultivating a more energy-efficient Africa,how the creative use of data is enabling financial inclusion on the continent and more.
The Summit will feature addresses from MEST and Meltwater Founder and CEO Jorn Lyseggen, and Microsoft’s Senior Director for Africa Chris Langwa. Additional partners include Liquid Telecom, Africa’s Talking, Ethiopian Airlines, Shell Foundation, Flutterwave, African Development Bank, ALX, iHub, GrowthAfrica, Gearbox and more.
The Summit will culminate with the finals of the 2019 MEST Africa Challenge, where attendees see regional winners AMPZ.TV, OZÉ, Snode Technologies, WayaWaya and Seekewa pitch for a chance at up to $50,000 in equity investment, a place in a MEST Africa incubator of their choice and full support to help their company scale.
Microsoft Senior Director for Africa Chris Langwa said: “At Microsoft we believe in empowering every organization and person to do more. The work that MEST does with innovators in Africa aligns perfectly with our mission to transform people’s lives through technology engagement.”
MEST Africa has been training, supporting and investing in tech entrepreneurs on the continent for more than 10 years. Over 330 individual entrepreneurs have been trained at MEST, and nearly 60 tech companies have been launched via seed funding and mentorship. Five companies have exited, including Amplify Payments Ltd. (Amplify) who was recently acquired by leading Nigerian fintech player, One Finance Limited (OneFi), to further develop the payments ecosystem in Nigeria.