Africa Beyond 2020

Sahara Ventures in partnership with MyGrowthFund VCC is organizing Sahara Sparks 2020 putting on a spotlight the paradigm shift Africa is experiencing as the rest of the world from how business is done, to priority sectors in the region to the future of work, workforce and workplace that is brought by unprecedented incidents, shifting in socio-cultural environments, digital adoption and economic transitioning that both private organization, public organizations and individuals are and have faced.

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Africa Beyond 2020 Season

Africa Beyond 2020

Sahara Sparks 2020 is putting on a spotlight the paradigm shift Africa is experiencing as the rest of the world from how business is done, to priority sectors in the region to the future of work, workforce and workplace that is brought by unprecedented incidents, shifting in socio-cultural environments, digital adoption and economic transitioning that both private organization, public organizations and individuals are and have faced.

Gig Economy and The Future of Jobs in Africa

By 2035, Africa will contribute more people to the workforce each year than the rest of the world combined. The content needs to create more than 18 million new jobs each year, Africa's readiness to convert informal markets into formality is critical for its future. The future of work in Africa is no longer whether it will be formal or informal, but how digital platforms and new technologies might make this type of work more productive and of a better quality for workers themselves.

African Business Capitalizing on Platform Economy

In the midst of a massive socio-political, environmental, and cultural shift, Africa has experienced a great tech-shift of all time. Although a lot of SMEs were already using tech platforms to advertise & sell, and a lot of big companies were transitioning into tech adoption, even further the COVID-19 crisis has forced the majority of this community to rely on tech platforms for operations, sustainability, and relevance. Do we see this become the new future of African businesses or is it just a survival.

Adopting Technology For Social Good

Technology has played a crucial role in facilitating growing globalization and digitalization which has impacted hugely social-economic development of African communities. Technology can bring efficiency, address pressing business concerns, and convenience to human society. But also emerging technologies have encouraged information overload, data ownership and privacy have become a greatest concern and there is an increased digital gap. How do we make sure technology adoption is inclusive, systematically supportive and positively impactful.

Maximizing Digital Dividends For All

Digitalization and digital technologies are spreading rapidly, boosting socio-economic growth, expanded opportunities and improved service delivery but the digital gap in Africa is still so massive that limits the impact brought by this growth. According to World Bank, there are three key areas that need specific focus when it comes to digital dividends, which are: a regulatory framework that encourages the market while protecting consumers; technical skills that enable workers, business owners and public sector employees to leverage new technologies; and responsible institutions that use the internet to empower their citizens.

Keynote and Fireside Chat: Africans Investing in Africans

Even though the amount of capital flow to African Tech Entrepreneurs has increased exponentially in the past few years still in comparison less capital and transactions are happening in the continent. Out of US$136.5 billion that went to ventures across the US alone ( according to the PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor), only US$2.02 billion raised in equity funding came to Africa ( 2019 Africa Tech Venture Capital Report by Partech Ventures). The continent needs to create its own capital. How can we nurture local and regional investor networks that encourage the flow of capital to the local startups and enterprises in the continent using local resources?

Panel Discussion: Seed Investment

The Africa Investment Conundrum; the conversation around seed-stage investment always faces a confusing and difficult question investors are saying there aren’t enough investment-ready businesses and startups are complaining concerning the lack of seed-stage investors. What can we do to address this? Who has a role to fix this? And what role accelerators and incubators can play in addressing the situation?

Pitching: Seed Stage Entrepreneurs

The selected emerging entrepreneurs representing a new cohort of investment opportunities coming up across the African continent for the Seed stage investment. Seed funding represents the first official money that a business venture or enterprise raises. Some companies never extend beyond seed funding into Series A rounds or beyond. This early financial support is ideally the "seed" which will help to grow the business. It is the first official equity funding stage.

Panel Discussion: Series A Investment

While the roots of Private Equity can be traced back to the 19th century, venture capital only developed as an industry after the Second World War. Harvard Business School professor Georges Doriot is generally considered the "Father of Venture Capital". Raising a $3.5 million fund through American Research and Development Corporation (ARD) to invest in companies that commercialized technologies developed during WWII. This is the model we have adopted around the world and forms the basis of the venture capital industry. Given the very different economies and circumstances of European and African countries, is this the right model for the African Landscape or do we need to come up with an alternative model? Whose responsibility is it, what does the right VC model for Africa look like and where can we change to get to the right model.

Pitching: Series A Entrepreneurs

The selected companies representing a new class of investment opportunities coming up across the African continent for the Series A investment. Series A financing is a level of investment in a start-up that follows initial seed capital, generally bringing in investments in millions of dollars. A company will generally draw this level of financing only after it has demonstrated a viable business model with strong growth potential, and has potential but lacks needed cash to expand its operations through hiring or pursuing other long-term goals.

Masterclass | Digital Marketing and Urban Skills

Urban Africa is getting more urbanized than ever before. There have been a lot of discussions around the right kind of skills Africa urban youths need to possess to survive the complex urban environment. Gillsaint Mlaseko has been sharing tips and tricks on digital marketing as a career for youths but also as a platform for small businesses to promote and scale their businesses. Gillsaint is hosting a session to share his experience and how youths can capitalize on digital platforms for gig opportunities

Automating Africa's Conversations

Conversational AI refers to the use of messaging apps, speech-based assistants, and chatbots to automate communication and create personalized customer experiences at scale. This session is about deep diving into the progress and challenges in creating and scaling automated conversational systems for the local people using local languages. Already we are seeing companies adopting chatbots and other technologies to improve consumer experience and studying sentiments. What next? What are local innovators doing around that area? The session is hosted in partnership with Inspire Ideas.

Tanzania Fintech Landscape: The current state, challenges, and opportunities for growth

The session is about sharing the results of the landscape assessment conducted by UNCDF, Sahara Ventures, and ICT Commission with the wider Fintech ecosystem to validate the study findings and identify priority intervention areas that can be supported by UNCDF. The session will also aim to identify opportunities for collaboration among different types of stakeholders in the Fintech/startup ecosystem including regulators, accelerators/incubators, investors, and financial institutions, to provide targeted and tailored support that could drive growth and scale-up of Fintechs in Tanzania beyond 2020.

Remote Working and The Future of Work in Africa

This session is about remote working, freelancing, and the future of work in Africa. 2020 has disrupted how people work globally. People no longer go to the office rather offices are coming to people. The session is reflecting on the future of work in Africa; gig-workers, platform economy, remote working, coworking spaces, freelancing, and open offices. This session is hosted in partnership with Worknasi.

Technology Disrupting Africa’s Agriculture Value Chain

The agriculture sector was one of the most affected sectors in 2020. The agriculture value chain in Africa was massively affected by the COVID19 crisis. Most of the African countries still rely on agriculture as the main economic activity. Can afford to continue to practice the same kind of agriculture that the continent has been practicing in the past 50 years? What next for the sector? What role can technology play to ensure effective resilience and recovery of the sector?

Future of Business | Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania and South Africa

The business world is changing and there is definitely a shift going on the Innovation and technology are playing a great role in changing and defining the future of business, these changes drive how we run business and the workplace. So what will the future hold? What types of changes are we seeing? Let’s dive into it to help you plan for the future of business in Africa.

Create & Deploy a React Web Application with CI/CD Pipeline using AWS DevOps

Introduction to DevOps will introduce you to a way of software development that delivers features quicker to users as well as tighten the feedback loop between issues faced by software users and engineers responsible for fixing those problems. Finally, this talk will provide you with tried and tested pointers on how you can maintain large software products in an efficient way and ship as few bugs as possible to users allowing you to focus on imagining and shipping new features while automation tools do the boring stuff on your behalf.

Building an African Digital Bank

A discussion on the future of digital banking in Africa. What roles are Banks, MNOs, and Fintechs playing, and how are regulators enabling or responding

Investment Landscape For Nutrition-Sensitive SMEs Beyond 2020 - In Partnership With The GAIN

Reflecting on the challenges and opportunities facing nutrition-sensitive SMEs raising finances post-2020 in Africa. The proposed discussion is aiming at exploring better ways to ensure nutrition-sensitive SMEs access capital.

Unlocking the future of health supply chains through AI

The role of predictive technologies for health supply chains, looking at 2020 and the effects of coronavirus on supply chains we must consider tools to make our chains more robust and reliable. What roles and opportunities do tools such as AI have here

Africa Podcasting Beyond 2020

The podcasting landscape in East Africa and Africa at large and the opportunities for the local podcasters. What needs to be done to take the industry to the next stage?

The pipeline of support for innovation and entrepreneur

Sahara Sparks in partnership with HDIF is hosting the ecosystem stakeholders meetup to reflect on the pipeline of support for innovators & entrepreneurs and see what are the practical steps we can adopt to encourage it further.

New business skills for growing cities

Sahara Sparks in partnership with Resilience Academy is hosting a virtual event about skills development for micro-job creation for youth and improved data collection. The aim is to bring together different stakeholders in the Higher Learning Education Institutions and business owners to reflect and share the data-backed information about the New Businesses and Skills for Growing Cities.

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Al Dua Tower. Wing A, 6th Floor Opp Vodacom PLC, New Bagamoyo Road, Dar es salaam, Tanzania