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AfricArena West Africa Summit - Event recap and winning startups

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

AfricArena hosted the West Africa Summit, which took place from 21 to 23 June in Dakar, Senegal. The 3-day conference featured pitches from 20+ startups operating in West Africa, between Seed stage and Growth stage, as well as keynotes and panel discussions from the top minds in business, tech and investment in the region.

AfricArena, in partnership with DER/FJ (Délégation Générale à l’Entreprenariat Rapide des Femmes et des Jeunes, Senegal Government) and United Nations International Trade Centre #FastTrackTech Africa project, are proud to conclude the West Africa Summit by highlighting the participating startups, winners and content.


AfricArena is an African tech ecosystem accelerator. Through events, 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 West Africa Summit is the second of four regional events AfricArena will host across the continent. The 3-day hybrid event brought together startups, investors, corporations, public and global institution representatives, and other key stakeholders operating in the region.

3 events

The West Africa Summit took place in Dakar, Senegal (Radisson Blu Hotel) on 22 and 23 June 2021. A day preceding the conference, pitching startups took part in a series of workshops facilitated by the local incubator, Impact Hub Dakar, at the DER/FJ’s newly developed innovation space, DHub. The “Founders bootcamp” featured presentations from investors (Brightmore Capital), well-funded entrepreneurs (Paps CEO, Bamba LO) and experts in business development.

Parallel to the Founders Bootcamp was the West Africa VC Unconference - where Africa-focused startup investors and VCs, particularly active in Francophone Africa, took part in discussions and workshops centred around co-investing, open source data tools, regulations and how to ease the process in investing in tech startups on the continent.

Over the 2 days, the Summit had 20 startups showcase their innovative solutions. Most of these startups were pre-selected through a series of virtual pitch sessions that took place between 25 May and 10 June 2021, with consultation with various investors active in West Africa. The pitch sessions were divided into three tracks: seed stage, series A and growth/late stage; with startup pitching from Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, Nigeria, Ghana and Gambia.

Pitching startups

Seed track:

Assuraf (Senegal); Chekkit (Nigeria); CodeLN (Nigeria); Fleeti (Senegal); GoMedical (Benin); Logidoo (Senegal); Spleet (Nigeria); (Senegal); Zencey (Côte d’Ivoire); Parc Smart (Senegal); Mon Artisan (Côte d'Ivoire); Outboost Media and Analytics (Gambia), and REMA (Benin).

Series A track:

BezoMoney (Ghana); Moja Ride (Côte d’Ivoire); MVX (Nigeria),and Yobante Express (Senegal).

Growth stage track:

Afrikrea (Côte d’Ivoire); CoinAfrique (Senegal), and Farmcrowdy (Nigeria)


Best seed stage: Zencey

Best Series A: Moja Ride

Best Growth stage: CoinAfrique

Most innovative business model: Assuraf

Most promising entrepreneur: Elohor Thomas (CEO of CodeLN)

“AfricArena’s second summit of the year had a fantastic line-up of innovative startups, investors, and iconic speakers who, during these 2 days, had the opportunity to create more interconnections between the different economies, more communication and also more exchange about the expanding West African ecosystem.” Bintou Adekoya, COO at AfricArena.

“During the summit, high-level speakers shared their thoughts on building bridges between our ecosystems and our solutions to make our startups more attractive for investment. It is now our responsibility to take their analysis, reflections, ideas and shared opportunities and turn them into concrete actions.” says Papa Amadou Sarr, General Delegate of DER/fj.

“AfricArena 2021 has met the challenge of bringing together key players in innovation in Africa (entrepreneurs-support program and investors) despite the context of the covid-19 pandemic. The international trade center through the FastTrackTech project is delighted to have contributed as a partner to the success of this event fully aligned with our mission to internationalize the digital innovation & tech entrepreneurs of the 10 countries we operate in Africa. The quality of the boot camp, the sharing of experiences during the key notes, the pitching competition and the networking opportunities allowed our entrepreneurs over a period of 3 days to make contacts and identify key action points for their markets.” says Moustapha Barro, International Trade Centre.


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