By Oluwatobi Opusunju
This year’s edition of Sahara Sparks, the innovation and technology entrepreneurship event holding in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania is focusing on data development in Africa.
Africa nations are rapidly joining the movement towards data development, even as commitment to free and open data expansion continues to grow in leaps and bounds among nations of the world for innovation and economic development.
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This year’s edition of Sahara Sparks will leverage on the success of last year’s edition which focused on “Towards Smart Solutions” across technology, economic and entrepreneurship landscapes. Participants will engage in sessions that includes exhibitions, product launching, pitching sessions, talks, panel discussions among others.
Organisers of the event, Sahara Ventures, expect this year’s turnout to be more as delegates are expected from within and outside the continent.
Sahara Sparks 2017 saw more than 136 early stage companies (startups) participating in the largest ever innovation and technology entrepreneurship event organized in Tanzania. The event had more than 1,337 attendees with different diversity whom more than 600+ attendees on main event were mostly young entrepreneurs from all over Tanzania who were showcasing their products, pitching in front of the audience, seeking partners for their businesses and all of them hoping to scale their businesses to the next level.
According to Jumanne Rajabu Mtambalike, founder of Sahara Ventures, and promoters of Sahara Sparks, in a previous interview with IT Edge News: “The objective and motivation behind Sahara Spark are to promote early stage companies by providing them with the opportunity to be exposed, pitch and exhibit their products and services, to find investors and potential partners. Sahara Sparks started as the event to bridge the ecosystem gap in Tanzania whereby there was no a single platform in the country to link innovation and technology entrepreneurship ecosystem players in one place to discuss and reflect on different issues affecting the ecosystem.”
Sahara Sparks 2017 had speakers from different organizations and companies from different parts of Africa and the world; Kenya, Nigeria, Japan and many more. The speakers were involved in wide range of topics including; future of smart cities, IoT and smart solutions, digital inclusion and women in ICT, innovation for impact, innovation spaces, hubs and labs, accelerating startup growth – the role of the private sector and funding opportunities for startups.
Some of them are Daser David, founder/CEO of nHub, Jos Plateau State, Olusegun Oruame, who leads the team at Qitech Technologies Limited, Country Lead for Uber in Tanzania, Alfred Msemo, Edward Anderson of WorldBank, among other notable personalities.
Stephan Fouche, the representative from DMM Company &DMM Africa the main sponsor of the event provided an interesting keynote falling under the event theme of “Towards Smart Solutions”, how Africa can be able to develop smart solutions that can be used in Africa and the rest of the world.
Sahara Sparks promotes early stage companies by providing them with the opportunity to be exposed, pitch and exhibit their products and services, to find investors and potential partners.