The African Women In Technology (AWIT) was all the craze this past weekend in Nairobi. The conference attracted women (and some men) from all walks of life from across the continent and beyond. The two-day conference happened on July 19 and 20, from 8 AM to 6 PM, at the Michael Joseph Center (MJC) venue in Safaricom House, in Westlands, Nairobi.
Though there were some two other pre-events held across Nairobi, all of which happened in the evenings (6PM-8PM). Innov8tiv, being the sister company of AWIT under the IBOM LLC umbrella, we were also represented and here is a recap of how AWITKenya19 went down through our own eyes.
This year’s theme ‘Awaken the Teachazon Within’ drew its inspiration from the Dahomey Amazons, an elite all-female military in the Republic of Benin. The women warriors were tasked with protecting one of Africa’s last independent kingdoms. Some of their great conquests include fighting off colonial armies
This was a roundtable discussion on how to accelerate the digital economy in Africa. The discussions also delved into how to connect the continent’s innovators and creating a continent-wide network of innovators.
Below is a snippet of how things went down at Metta with the panelist’s discussions at the roundtable:
One thing that came out clear, is the fact that digital information (access to the internet and smart devices) has opened new avenues for women across Africa. Getting started has also become easier, but though most find themselves kicking it off, they can leverage synergy by working from co-working spaces.
Spaces such as iHub, Metta, MEST Africa, and ALX among others provide a platform for one solo entrepreneur to interact with others like herself. They can then share their stories and hopefully partner up to benefit from each other’s strengths.
The next pre-event took one day later – July 18 – at the ALX (African Leadership X) space on Ngong Road, Nairobi. The roundtable was aimed at fostering a culture that drives transformation and high impact for businesses and the tech ecosystem.
The panelist delved into subjects such as the culture of the startups across Africa. How much impact did the culture play in making or breaking the startup. And it emerged that most startups in Africa that get the highest attention from venture capitalists from outside the continent are those that have an expatriate at its helm. Or headed by a diaspora who has lived a considerably long time abroad.
innov8tiv’s takeaway was the importance of having a good organizational culture; one that will make it easy for an outside party of the organization to want to relate to. Otherwise, business will be a tough sale. Simply because people (venture capitalists) invest in what is relatively familiar to them.
For the recap of the main days (July 19-20) be on the lookout for our tomorrow post right here on innov8tiv.
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