#Africa4Future Cape Town Business Gate & Summit Programme

The start-ups which have been selected for the #Africa4Future joint accelerator came together in Cape Town in the beginning of May 2019 to present their innovative aerospace solutions. The start-ups from Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya, Mali, Sierra Leone, and South Africa have been selected from more than 300 entries to participate in the six month mentoring and training programme. The summit, which took place over the weekend from Friday, May 10th, to Saturday, May 11th, 2019, marked the highlight of a ten day training and workshop programme. The start-ups had gathered in South Africa to further develop their business cases and learn more about best strategies and investment opportunities for African start-ups.

Cape Town summit programme

The #Africa4Future summit took off at CITI Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative in Cape Town on Friday, May 11th, 2019. The start-ups took the stage and presented their pioneering digital solutions for challenges in the fields of agriculture, health, infrastructure logistics, and WASH. The event was opened by Martin Weiss, GIZ country director South Africa, and Corne Eloff, Airbus Head of Space Business Development Southern Africa. In their opening remarks, both emphasized the importance of collaboration to support an aspiring generation of entrepreneurs and the opportunities that technological solutions can unlock on the African continent.

As one of the highlights of the event, Refilwe Ledwaba, Dr Carolina Odman-Govender, and Fatima Jakoet presented their thoughts on the future of the aerospace sector as part of an all-female expert panel. For the many aerospace enthusiasts the summit was further a unique opportunity to engage in person with Divashen Govender, one of the 100 selected candidates for the One Mars mission.

Technology demonstrations and youth engagement at the summit

For the second day of the summit programme, participants of all ages gathered at the STREAM (Science Technology Robotics Engineering, Aerospace and Mathematics) Laboratory at the Cape Academy secondary school on Saturday. The programme featured short pitch presentations and a technology display of South African finalist WiPo Wireless Power Drone Charger and an open field drone flight. In the second part of the day, a young generation took the lead to present the outcomes from the breakaway sessions on smart cities & villages, agriculture & food sustainability, and investment for Africa.

Lessons learned

The discussions throughout the summit reflected a strong confidence, that solutions for the most pressing challenges on the continent will be developed by a young generation of African scientists, and entrepreneurs. The role of youth and youth engagement to support the development of science and technology in Africa was one of the key points of discussion. It became clear that role models and young pioneers play a crucial role to inspire the growth of a new generation of entrepreneurs in the aerospace sector in Africa.

As the final part of the #Africa4Future programme, the start-ups will travel to Europe in June 2019 to present their solutions at a closing event in Berlin and showcase their technologies at the Paris International Airshow.

About the programme

#Africa4future is a joint aerospace acceleration programme, hosted by the GIZ Tech-Entrepreneurship Initiative Make-IT in Africa and the Airbus BizLab to support upcoming entrepreneurs working in the field of unmanned logistics and remote sensing. Their digital solutions tackle challenges ranging from last mile distribution of blood and medical goods to precision agriculture, waste management and infrastructure monitoring.

If you want to learn more about the #Africa4Future joint accelerator click here.

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