Emergent Africa Forum at the Twin Cities Startup Week 2021 (TCSW’21)
(Operational and Commercial Recap)
Chair, Vitalis Tita; VP Communications
Number of Sub-committees:9
“2021 will undoubtedly go down in history as a year of African reawakening. Our goal of Illuminating Africa and the diaspora; and accelerating tech Investments into Africa and the diaspora nations was exemplified at the Twin Cities Startup Week 2021 making the EAF an annual gathering for tech experts, founders, startups, investors, partners and the public sector in a bid to accelerate investments into Africa as a continent and the diaspora nations. Not only was the attendance encouraging and diverse — with over 1,200 virtual attendees, the EAF featured the highest number of speakers at the TCSW’21 with a total of 48 guest and keynote speakers.
Participating in the TCSW was a game changer for the chamber, being the second largest startup week in North America. The TCSW helped increase the impact, visibility, attendance and diversity of the audience at the EAF.
Worthy of note at the EAF ’21 was the gender balance as seen in the representation of the speakers. The keynote speakers were all women ( Navroop Sahdev; CEO-The Digital Economist and Dame Pauline Tallen- Minister of Women Affairs, Nigeria). Forty two percent (42%) of the speakers were women and this fulfills a key objective of the ACOFDC to strive for gender equality both in our programs and activities.. The ACOFDC is indeed an organization that seeks to accelerate women leadership and to address human capital gender gaps as part of the solutioning of economic challenges on the continent and in the diaspora..
The hybrid model was made possible by the organizing team of the EAF’21. It was very exciting to see founders/entrepreneurs and public sector officials travel from Africa, the UK and DC for the community event. A unique opportunity to participate in the physical deal room in a manner that mitigated risk during a pandemic and was able to produce tangible results for all participants.
What stood out this year?
The partnerships/allyships was the most remarkable part of the EAF’21 as the chamber prided itself as “being in the business of other people’s business.” In addition to the book launched by Prof. Kelly Mua Kingsley titled “Disruptive Technology Blockchain, The crystal ball,” the Chamber made measurable gains in getting into more strategic partnerships as well as served its purpose of connecting entities to the rich tech-ecosystem within the diaspora community as well as on the continent. Our Silver sponsor of the event, Dittofi, Qlana, and TUSTAWI made all these possible with the support of our media partner of the event, -Africa Alert
“It takes concerted efforts to put up an event such as the EAF, and the support and engagement from the chamber community and the volunteers made it what it was,” Noted Mr. Vitalis.
What we hope 2022 and beyond
Building upon the foundation of EAF 2021 at TCSW ‘2021, as well as the strategic partnerships and ally ships formed during this event, the ACOFDC is ready to take on EAF 2022 with the goal of building on the successes of 2021 by making it bigger and better
With the ACOFDC Deal Hub and African Startups Room (ASRs) now coming live, the forum has the ability to impact startups, organizations and initiatives in Africa and the diaspora, and cause a healthy rippled effect in their communities. This can be achieved with a superstar team in place.
With Minnesota as the startup capital of the North, our team is dedicated to expand on this status in making the North the investment mecca for Africa and the diaspora communities/nations.
- Navroop Sahdev, CEO; The Digital Economist
- Dame Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs, Federal Republic of Nigeria
Speakers (Virtual and In-person)
48 Speakers (Virtual and In-Person)
Countries represented in the Speaker lineup
Suriname(South America): 1
Out of State Visitors
In-person speakers; 11
Number of Sessions; 7
1. Women In Tech Conversations; Digital Equality
2. The future of edutech in Africa
3. Tech Ecosystem stakeholders
4. Leveraging Africa and the Diaspora Tech ecosystems for Investments
5.Leveraging Digital Economy for post covid recovery
6. African Continental Free Trade Area; Accelerating trade and investment opportunities for inclusive and sustainable growth
7. Building Tech Ecosystems
Q-Lana Inc — http://www.q-lana.com/
Tustawi, Kenya — https://www.tustawi.com/
Dittofi — https://dittofi.com
Media Partners; Africa Alert
Partners; Tokyo Fintech, Pythagoras Capital, BlockApps
- USAID/U.S. Prosper Africa Initiative, USA
- NatQuest, UK
- Pythagoras Capital
- PORA Digital (Diaspora Digital Bank)
- Agritech Hub, Nigeria
- Zucchini Limited
- Better Greens LLC
- Google for Startups
- QuatroXi Consulting, LLC
- Village Seed Ventures
- Axalio Digital Bank, South Africa
- Savannah Silos, Nigeria
- Bankuish Inc, USA
- Women In Tech,South Africa
- Her Story Matters-UK
- Domineum, UK
- Analytics Intelligence, UK