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Africarena hosted the premier African tech ecosystem building Grand summit on the African continent

Updated: Nov 14, 2022



The AfricArena Grand Summit was held in Cape Town, South Africa at the Old Biscuit Mill on 8-10 November. The three-day conference featured pitches from over 60+ startups operating on the African Continent, South Korea and Europe as well as keynotes and panel discussions from the top minds in Investment, acceleration, tech and startups on and off the African continent.

AfricArena, a prime Pan-African Ecosystem building accelerator has sourced some of the most prominent seed to Series B startups from around Africa, Europe and Korea. This year AfricArena has done 4 regional events showcasing some of the most promising tech entrepreneurs with the support of the Pan-African VC & ESO Tech communities and brought them all to the Grand Summit in Cape Town, South Africa to attend the largest Ecosystem building event, including Panel Discussions, Fireside chats and Keynotes from the ecosystems brightests VC's, LP's and DFI's.

AfricArena has also built bridges of innovation to help connect Africa to the rest of the world, in order to exchange ideas, Learn from other ecosystems and promote the vast acceleration of the African Tech community.

During the Summit, major announcements took place, including the participation of the DIT Africa who brought some sought after investors and ecosystem builders from Europe, Egypt, Kenya and other African countries to share their knowledge with these promising entrepreneurs and to facilitate the building of bridges between Africa And europe, we also feature speakers from the West, East, North and Southern African ecosystem on the continent and speakers from Europe, the UK, Korea and North America, focusing on building bridges between Africa and the rest of the world?

"This further positions AfricArena as the primary ecosystem bridge between Africa and the rest of the world as we look forward to scaling deal-flow on the continent to bigger ticket-sizes and more collaborative value chains within the Macro Tech Environment." Christophe Viarnaud, CEO of AfricArena.

9 November 2022, Cape Town – The sixth annual Grand Summit started off with over 400+ attendees, a mix of the most influential VCs and top startups, flocking to Cape Town from all around the African continent and beyond. This year, AfricArena held an in-person Summit at the Old Biscuit Mill, turning the weekly market space into a world-class tech conference that left people wanting more.

South African-based AfricArena, which has established itself as a leading ecosystem accelerator and deal flow platform across Africa since it launched in 2017, is anchored and endorsed by major international sponsors. These include the United Kingdom DIT (Department of International Trade), AWS (Amazon Web Services), TIA (Technology Innovation Agency), l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, City of Cape Town, Wesgro, ITC (UN International Trade Centre), Saint-Gobain, Launch Africa, Methys, Edge Growth, along with several major investment networks such as SAVCA ( The Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association) , EAVCA (East Africa Private Equity & Venture Capital Association), and AVCA (African Private Equity And Venture Capital Association).

Amongst keynote speakers were Maxime Bayen, the Venture Building Lead for the Catalyst Fund and is a co-founder of Africa:The Big Deal, who opened up the summit with his keen insights into the state of tech in Africa, and Dr. Ola Brown, a British-Nigerian medical doctor, healthcare entrepreneur and founder of the Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Group entrepreneur, made a compelling plea to African governments on Scaling partnerships between the public and private sectors: How to Build a Broader Ecosystem in African Tech and Marc Birch, Mark Birch is a community builder, software entrepreneur, author, and currently works at AWS as a Principal Startup Advocate, on Scaling Startups and How Sales Teams Evolve.

Panel discussions included “Building bridges of Innovation across Africa? The state of Affairs?” featuring Ashim Egunjobi (Octerra Capital), Melvyn Lubega (Breega), Hangwi Muambadzi (Commerz Ventures), Zach George ( Launch Africa Ventures) and moderated by Okendo Gayle. The big conversation in the ecosystem was "Building Bridges of innovation between Africa and the rest of the world" featuring Tracey Austin (UK DIT), Jongkil Lee (The Korea Africa foundation ), Katherine Abbott (Director UK-SA Tech Hub), Michel Weiss (Counder Network GmbH), Ms Malese Ndhlovu ( TIA Senior Business Development Manager: Commercialisation) and Moderator Anthony William Catt (Enterprise Academy).

10 November 2022, Cape Town – During the final day of the event, half of the entire program was entirely presented in French, thanks to l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, which featured six francophone promised early-stage startups, followed by a panel discussion entitled “How to mobilize investment for early stage startups in Francophone Africa”, moderated by Marie-France Réveillard (La Tribune Afrique) and which featured experts in the industry such as Hannah Subayi (Proparco), Julio Mupemba (Haskè Ventures), Mélanie Keïta (Melanin Kapital), Fares Belghith (Kamioun), Laurence Arnould (OIF), and Sedric Degbo. The topic tackled the issues faced by entrepreneurs to raise funding in the francophone zone of Africa and possible solutions were explored by the panelists. The french sessions ended with a short keynote by Raphael Dana (Gozem) on the hypothesis of why Francophone Africa is the best overall market in Africa.

Other topics ranged from Mergers and Acquisitions, Scaling in Africa, Talent, Agritech, Smart Cities, Sustainability, Shelter Tech, Francophone Africa, Investments and much more…

Over 60 startups from 20 African continents, Europe and South Korea attended a two-day Bootcamp program run by AfricArise ahead of the AfricArena Summit, where they pitched their various innovations to top investors. During the course of the Summit, several sponsored challenges also took place, ranging from the Saint Gobain Innovation Challenge, the FrenchTech Tech4Good Challenge, FMO Sustainability Challenge, ITC Challenge, OIF Challenge and The Korea-Africa Foundation Unicorn Accelerating Challenge.

The winning startups were:

  • Saint-Gobain Challenge: Bosso (Zambia) - CEO: Chisepo Chirwa

  • La FrenchTech Tech4Good Challenge: Highwind AI (South Africa) - CEO: Merelda Wu

  • La Francophone Challenge: REMA (Benin) CEO: Sedric Degbo

  • International Trade Center Challenge: HAMWE (Uganda) CEO: Stella Lugalambi

  • French South African Tech Labs Challenge: Deaf Touch (South Africa) - CEO: Clayborne Appies

  • Seed Startup of the Year: Kamioun (Tunis) - CEO: Fares Belghith

  • Series A Startup of the Year: Yobante Express (Senegal) - CEO: Oumar Basse

  • Best Scale-up Founder Story: Gozem (Benin) - CEO: Raphael Dana

  • Most promising entrepreneur of the Year: Melanin Capital (Kenya) Founder: Mélanie (Mariam) Keïta

  • Most Innovative Startup of the Year: Brayfoil Technologies (South Africa) - CTO: Shailin Moodley

  • Most Active Investor: Five35 Ventures (South Africa) CEO: Hema Vallabh

All keynotes, panels and startup pitches are available for replay on AfricArena Youtube channels and the AfricArena Wired app which enables to access AfricArena events, podcasts, and ecosystem news, along with a deal-room section containing Digital Collective Africa financing resources, and a Coffee Chat service enabling users to connect to any of the curated 500+ members of the Wired Community (mostly founders and investors).

For more information on AfricArena Wired go to

The AfricArena Wired app is available on iOS and Android.

To watch the highlights of the event:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Award Ceremony


For more information on AfricArena or this press release, please contact: Nathaniel Witbooi |

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About AfricArena: AfricArena is an African tech ecosystem accelerator. Through a series of events (both live and digital), AfricArena accelerates the growth of tech startups and the ecosystems in which they operate by providing a platform where they can share their business model, gain valuable networks and attain funding.

The Department for International Trade (DIT): is a United Kingdom government department responsible for striking and extending trade agreements between the United Kingdom and foreign countries, as well as for encouraging foreign investment and export trade.

Enrich in Africa: Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme and coordinated by Steinbeis 2i in Germany, ENRICH in Africa works with key partners and advisors from the innovation landscape of Europe and Africa. Together we address the needs for capacity development of incubators, accelerators, and entrepreneurs in both regions.

Amazon Web Services: Amazon Web Services, Inc. is a subsidiary of Amazon that provides on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs to individuals, companies, and governments, on a metered pay-as-you-go basis. These cloud computing web services provide distributed computing processing capacity and software tools via AWS server farms.

The Korea-Africa Foundation (KAF): The Korea-Africa Foundation is an affiliation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea, with the mission of promoting genuine partnership with the African continent in political, economic, cultural, academic and other various areas. Among many other agendas, we have a Startup project, called Unicorn Incubating Program, which gives an opportunity for Korean Startups to explore the African market.

FMO: is the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank. As a leading impact investor, FMO supports sustainable private sector growth in developing countries and emerging markets by investing in ambitious projects and entrepreneurs. FMO believes that a strong private sector leads to economic and social development and has a close to 50-year proven track record of empowering people to employ their skills and improve their quality of life. FMO focuses on three sectors that have a high development impact: financial institutions, energy, and agribusiness, food & water. With a committed portfolio of EUR 9.3 billion spanning over 85 countries, FMO is one of the larger bilateral private sector development banks globally.

About The International Trade Centre (ITC): is a multilateral agency which has a joint mandate with the World Trade Organization and the United Nations through the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.


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