10 Africa-Based Speakers Who Will Be Presenting At The Africa Startup Summit In Kigali

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
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Africa startup summit
The Africa Startup Summit in Kigali is expected to attract 600 investors, partners, accelerators and media as 118 expert speakers discuss African tech. Africa Tech Summit Kigali in 2019. Image: Africa Tech Summit

Visitors to the Africa Startup Summit at the Africa Tech Summit Kigali from Feb. 5-6 will experience talks by Africa-based executives at Facebook and Microsoft, as well as co-founders of startups including Kenyan e-logistics firm Lori Systems and Ghanaian fintech firm KudiGO.

More than 600 investors, corporate partners, accelerators and media are expected to attend as 118 expert speakers discuss Africa’s tech ecosystem.

This year’s event will be the third summit after the inaugural event in 2018.

London-based businessman Andrew Fassnidge is the founder of the Africa Tech Summit which also hosts a shorter annual event in London. This year’s Africa Tech Summit London event is scheduled to take place on Friday, May 22.

Startup passes cost $300 while delegate passes can be purchased for $400. Tickets to attend Africa Startup Summit are on sale here.

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Here are 10 Africa-based speakers who will be presenting at the Africa Startup Summit in Kigali.

Kojo Boakye

Kojo Boakye is the head of public policy for Africa at Facebook. An experienced information and communication technology executive, Boakye was the deputy director of the Alliance for Affordable Internet before joining social media giant Facebook. Boakye is expected to talk about increasing internet access across Africa and Facebook’s efforts in this regard.

Yele Bademosi

Yele Bademosi is the founder and managing partner at Nigerian angel fund Microtraction. The Lagos-based fund invests in African tech startups at an early stage through the leadership of Bademosi, a former medical student who chose to focus on tech entrepreneurship rather than medicine. Launched in July 2017, Microtraction is backed by African and international investors including Y Combinator CEO Michael Seibel. Bademosi may discuss the African tech scene from the perspective of an investor. Microtraction has thus far invested in eight African companies.

Uche Okafor

Uche Okafor is the regional manager for ride-hailing firm Bolt, formerly Taxify, in West Africa. He was responsible for launching the Bolt app in Nigeria and has grown his staff in the West African region from an initial team of three people and barely 100 app downloads at launch to more than 100 people and millions of users across the West African region. Bolt is now a major competitor to Uber and other local ride-hailing firms across Africa. Okafor may address the audience at the Africa Tech Summit on topics he is passionate about including tech startups and building strong and bonded teams.

Oluwaseun Alley

Nigerian Oluwaseun Alley is the director of partnerships and government relations at OPay, a fintech company in Lagos that raised $170 million over two rounds in 2019. Her role involves a wide understanding of operational management, government relations, business development, revenue growth, research, and staff performance evaluation. Alley counts on more than a decade worth of experience across banking operations, human resource management, transportation and logistics to thrive in her position. Her talk at the summit could provide a unique perspective of someone who knows what it is like to be a corporate executive and an entrepreneur in Africa.

Roselyne Wanjiru

Kenyan economist and blockchain strategy consultant Roselyne Wanjiru is no stranger to speaking to audiences at international tech conferences. The chief marketing officer at Kesholabs Blockchain Center, a Kenyan startup studio, is a seasoned keynote speaker and thought leader discussing Africa’s blockchain ecosystem around the world and will be discussing Africa’s opportunities in this space.

Jean-Claude Homawoo

Former Google product manager Jean-Claude Homawoo is a co-founder and chief operating officer of Kenyan e-logistics trucking company Lori Systems, which in November 2019 raised a $30 million Series A round of funding. Homawoo is a Togolese-American entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in business and technology, during which he’s led businesses in the U.S., Asia, and Africa. Homawoo may speak to those attending the summit about how technology is reducing the cost of moving goods in Africa.

Kwehnui KT Tawah

Kwehnui KT Tawah is the global head of operations at Kenyan e-commerce startup Sokowatch which operates in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda. Before he joined Sokowatch, Tawah was the head of Jumia global and computing for Jumia Kenya, where he was responsible for the expansion of the Jumia platform into cross-border e-commerce. He has also worked for Goldman Sachs and studied economics at the University of Chicago.

Kingsley Abrokwah

Kingsley Abrokwah is the co-founder of Ghanaian fintech firm KudiGO, which has more than 1,000 businesses in Nigeria and Ghana on its platform. The Ghanaian software entrepreneur has founded and exited two tech startups in Ghana, each focused on developing software solutions to solve problems unique to Africa. He is an alumnus of the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, a major African tech incubator based in Ghana. The serial entrepreneur may discuss his successful exits with those in attendance in Kigali.

Somet Kipchilat

Based in Kenya, Somet Kipchilat is a partner development manager with U.S. software giant Microsoft‘s Africa Initiatives and is expected to discuss his company’s initiatives on the continent at the Africa Tech Summit. Microsoft was one of the first U.S. tech giants to begin investing in Africa when it launched its 4Afrika initiative four years ago, with a $75 million budget dedicated to training the youth in Africa. Kipchilat holds a bachelor’s degree in information technology from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya.

Claudia Makadristo

Claudia Makadristo is the regional manager for Africa at Seedstars, a tech entrepreneurship education company and impact investment firm focused on emerging markets. Seedstars runs startup competitions that bring together the best tech startup talent from around the world. Competitions take place in each participating country and the winner gets to pitch to global investors at the Seedstars World competition. Angola-based Makadristo’s work brings her to more than 25 sub-Saharan African countries each year to attend competitions, and she is expected to share her insights and experiences with those in attendance in Kigali.