The 6th edition of Vivatech, a major international event for innovation and digital technology, has just opened in Paris.
More than 400 startups from all over the world are here to showcase their latest developments.
This year, Vivatech entered a partnership with the IFC to launch the Africa Tech Awards. An initiative that rewards three of the most innovative African startups.
Faced with the challenge of global warming, Africa is receiving more and more attention. A real growth opportunity for the continent says Karen Bosman, strategic advisor to Wesgro, the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape region of South Africa.
“It has been the main driver of foreign direct investment over the past ten years. Green tech has attracted the most foreign investment and it’s only just begun.
We are heading towards a world of green hydrogen and I think if Africa is able to harness it, it has everything to gain and it is an incredible opportunity”, said the advisor.
Digital innovation has a cost, especially when it comes to energy transition.
How then to finance it?
For Maurice Lévy, director of Publicis Groupe and co-founder of Vivatech, it is up to Africans to take their destiny into their own hands.
“We need billionaires and the powerful in Africa to start investing in African startups. It’s up to them to do the job. And I call on them to do so! It’s in Africa’s interest, it’s in startups’ interest and it’s in their own interest”, concluded Lévy.
In the age of the “cloud” and “almost everything” digital, the location of the infrastructure that stores and processes millions of gigabytes of data is a strategic issue.
Some countries are raising the issue of digital sovereignty. Countries like the DRC, which has just launched a call for tenders for the construction of its own data centre.
“Creating data is one thing, but being in control of this data is another,” explains Eberand Kolongele, DRC’s digital minister. “And to be in control of this data today, you need to have infrastructures that can ensure the storage but also the sharing of this data. I think that our African countries, in particular the DRC, have taken the measure to ensure this digital sovereignty by setting up its own infrastructures which are housed on its soil, on its territory and which are controlled by its own engineers”.
Investments in African startups reached nearly $5 billion in 2021, twice as much as in 2020.
The trend is not about to stop since in 2022, African tech has already raised over a billion dollars.