Africa tech conference to offer Industry 4.0 solutions

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Canadian entrepreneur and technology strategist Salim Ismail will be the keynote speaker at Africa Tech Week 2019.
Canadian entrepreneur and technology strategist Salim Ismail will be the keynote speaker at Africa Tech Week 2019.

The City of Cape Town, in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), will host the inaugural Africa Tech Week from 4 to 5 March.

The two-day event seeks to attract start-ups, small and medium enterprises, organisations, as well as national and regional entities focused on digital disruption.

Held under the theme "How to create a world-class culture of innovation to dominate your industry", the conference will offer insight and solutions for a tangible business strategy in response to the fourth industrial revolution, according to organisers.

Ralf Fletcher, Africa Tech Week and Topco Media CEO, says the conference aims to guide participating businesses with a roadmap to the future informed by evidence-based knowledge and best practices.

"What worked before is facing ultimate challenges and will not work in the future; organisations can either struggle and fail, or adapt and thrive. Digital disruption does not have to be a phenomenon that happens to us, where Africa is simply an observer.

"This significant moment in human history is an opportunity for African organisations to embrace, harness and utilise digital disruption in a considered, strategic manner, and take advantage of technology to innovate and create solutions that drive positive and inclusive change."

Canadian entrepreneur, angel investor and technology strategist Salim Ismail will be the event's keynote speaker, according to a statement. Ismail founded technology companies Confabb, PubSub Concepts and Angstr"o, which was acquired by Google in 2010.

Raelene Arendse, the city's mayoral committee member for corporate services, says: "The City of Cape Town is pleased to align with Africa Tech Week in growing the city's reputation as a world-class global tech centre.

"Our quality of life and strong supportive industry, including award-winning animation studios, attract the right talent. Cape Town is proud to be the digi-tech hub of Africa, and a leading location for technology start-ups and venture capital deals."

DST director-general Phil Mjwara adds: "The department has many projects and case studies to share with the world, and Africa Tech Week provides the perfect platform to do so.

"We are particularly keen to raise awareness of, and support for, our drive to open up career prospects in tech to more young South Africans. Africa Tech Week will also enable us to share [insight] with similar government departments from other African countries."

Other government and tech industry entities that will participate in the event include Exo Works, Silicon Cape, Technology Innovation Agency, Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, Digital Frontiers Institute and Fastrack Institute.

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