AfriLabs and Hivos International teamed up with District, Wasabi and Progrss sponsored by Facebook, The French University and The American University in Cairo and Ethiopian Airlines to host the AfriLabs Annual Gathering and The Coworking Summit as a joint conference called the ‘Future of African Cities’.
In attendance were over 50 technology and innovation hubs and coworking spaces from Africa and the MENA region, international corporate organizations, Investors, Egyptian government representatives, Academia from within and outside Egypt.
Day 1 took place at The French University in Sherouk City and consisted of presentations, panel discussions, a co-creation session organized by AfriLabs,Nesta and VC4A which was followed by a VIP reception at The French Embassy to welcome the attendees to Egypt and consolidate the collaboration between District’s new Urban Innovation hub (KMT) and the French Embassy. Day 2 took place at The American University in Cairo and consisted of parallel panel sessions and workshops and Day 3 featured two tours of the city; Downtown Cairo and The Mansheyet Nasr Garbage City. The closing ceremony took place at the KMT Innovation Hub (Kemet House).
The gathering was focused on Africa’s urban challenges and how technology, tech hubs and collaborative spaces can help address them in innovative ways. Highlighting present trends and future goals around the world with a focus on African cities, the first day shed light on the roles of disruptive grassroots’ innovations in the transformation of cities across the borders of the participating countries. (Excerpt from Progrss)
Global Lead of Developer Circles at Facebook Mathew Terrell during the Facebook sessions gave participants an overview about its products, identifying the most pressing needs and opportunities for tech hubs and collaborative spaces and where the Facebook suite of products, programs and communities can be helpful. Terrell also highlighted that Facebook is eagerly leaping towards the e-commerce and e-payment revolution by enabling transactions in Messenger. (Excerpt from Progrss)
All the expected stakeholders were present, the conversations were stimulating and partnerships were formed between members of the North African and Sub-Saharan communities. The #FAC17 was a great success!
‘We should be proud of ourselves as an ecosystem and as a team for how far we have come in terms of collaboration’. – Rebecca Enonchong, Board Chair, AfriLabs.
‘The value of attending the AfriLabs AG for the second time goes beyond the collective lessons shared and learned in the space. The value is in the intangible connections created, shared and strengthened; opening opportunities for self-introspection and growth of the hubs we are managing. I see the potential of AfriLabs; Congratulations!’ – Rex Lor, Innovation Development Manager, Hub of Innovation for Inclusion (HiFi) Philippines.
‘Loved meeting so many hubs from all over the continent. There’s so much energy and enthusiasm, and it’s amazing to be surrounded by some of the friendliest, hard-working, visionary people out there!’ – Deborah Tien, Executive Director, Twende Hub, Tanzania.