Hub Africa 2019, which marked the 7th edition of this high mass of investors and entrepreneurs, ended Thursday, June 14, 2019 at the Most Events of Casablanca. Once again, it was the rendezvous of an innovative African youth, women entrepreneurs, where excellence was rewarded.
As usual, it is with the distribution of AWARDS that Hub Africa 2019 blew on its lanterns. This 7th edition, whose theme was “Open Innovation at the service of SMEs in Africa”, distinguished 7 categories of entrepreneurs or initiatives, knowing that a SPECIAL AWARD was awarded to Ms. Ameenah Gurib Fakim, 6th President from Mauritius. During the two days of the event, she honored with its presence this event became unavoidable and encouraged young people to believe in them. The Awards went, depending on the category, to:
HUB AFRICA Grand Prix at MARWA by Mr. Karim Tazi;
Entrepreneur Woman Award to Ms. Rokhaya Sall, CEO of MINEEX;
PRICE of the South Cooperation in S2M received by Mr. Aziz Daddane;
PRIZE of the Innovative Company in PILLIOTY awarded to Mr. Hafid Griguer;
Social Impact Award at SODECA and presented to Mr. Eugène Ndiaye;
And the Coup de Coeur at ACCEL CITY, awarded to Mr. Aziz El Yaagoubi.
As for the prizes that rewarded the startups of the African, Pitch Roadshow 2019, having won and participated in the final, the Palmarès 2019 is as follows:
– 1st PRIZE at Tira Robots of Wassim Ben Hamida (Tunis), this project is a solution, specialized in the manufacturing of handling robots.
– 2nd PRIZE Soteko City (Brussels for the diaspora) (Smart City) of the team led by Roxanna Dela Fiamor, moved to tears, and which includes Joel Buleli and Marc DePaus (Brussels for the diaspora)
– 3rd PRIZE at Boostiny de Tarek Nachnouci (Tunis) whose project focuses on a remunerated recommendation platform that makes available to all users a selection of commercial offers and tools to disseminate them through its networks of contacts. He then becomes a NANO-INFLUENCEUR and earns a commission on every click, prospect or sale generated.
Continental Free Trade Area, integration and innovation
Just prior to these Award and Reward ceremonies, the morning and early afternoon of the second day of Thursday, June 13 were punctuated with plenary sessions on “African Entrepreneurial Perspectives,” “Return of experiences of Open Innovation initiatives “,” The ZLEC: Challenges and challenges “. This last session was marked by the Keynote delivered by Mrs. Ameenah Gurib Fakim.
Mountaga Keïta, CEO of Tulip Industries Ltd (Guinea), has just returned during this first session on his career as a businessman, a banker trained at Harvard, who became the inventor of a multitasking and multiservice terminal that greatly telemedecine… . Now that his factory is in place and is starting to produce, he is appealing, especially to African states, for orders and contracts. The CEO of Tulip Industries dares to believe he will have an echo via the interesting people he met at Hub Africa that he compares to a brain nest. Back to Africa to stay there, he says that Africa has interest in Made in Africa.
Mr. Zoghlami, CEO and co-founder of Africup (Tunisia), will insist on the importance of the video game industry which weighs $ 140 billion against $ 70 billion for the cinema. With his video-witness, entitled “Digital Creative Industries”, he focused on Afrofuturism, not without occulting a niche that should surf the digital generation. He assured that his country is positioning itself as a producer of special effects, with studios specialized in video games and that it invests in a school for the creation of black super heroes … An initiative, currently being launched in Burkina Faso. Exactly, he says yes to coding, but also to 3 D.
Following him Aphrodice Mutangana, CEO of kLab (Kigali), summarily sketched the genesis of his co-working space, an area of innovation, serving youth and which has over 2000 members, 400 to 500 mentors. In his opinion, it is imperative to equip young people … in an overall drive that creates an ecosystem generated by academics, academics and other private sector players.
As for Siny Samba, CEO and co-founder of Le lionceau, the first Senegalese company in the agri-food industry for babies and young children, she stressed her ambition to fill a void, to support and support local products.
All the authors of these testimonies found in Hub Africa, a meeting place privileged to make networking.
Called as a great witness Mr. Youssef El Aoufir, Managing Director and Operations Officer of the Intelcia Group, traced the path of this group that is setting up in Africa, Europe and soon in North America. Beyond the expansion of this large group, which used to be an SME of just 200 people, there is a development model. He told us that in this group, they are extremely invested in the countries (their DNA) where they decide to settle, develop and train the human resources necessary for the management of the processes, knowing that it is sometimes necessary to break the already built … This member of the staff of Intelcia pointed out that within the group, innovation is the business of all … with techniques of Design Thinking.
In the following panel “Feedback from Open Innovation Initiatives”, Zineb Bennouna, head of the Innovation Department at Lydec, and Maguette MBow, Founder of Bee’s 55, demonstrated the new face of Africa, an Africa that wins. To do this, and take advantage of the Youth Dividend, it is necessary to break the silos, also that the State puts the hand in the pocket, that financial partnerships following the model PPP (Public Private Partnership) are promoted in the setting up of frames suitable areas (Nearshoring areas, Offshoring areas, Agropoles, Technopoles …) to allow the transformation of the tests.
Wide Spaces, dreams and realities
In the final plenary on the CFTA (Economic Free Trade Area in Africa), Ms. Ameenah Gurib Fakim hailed a treaty, ratified by 24 states, which will eliminate tariffs, establish a single market and boost the GDP of the states African. In the opinion of the 6th president of Mauritius, an integrated continent means more productions, more investments, free movement of goods and people. However, she stressed that these objectives raise apprehensions, challenges and discomfort. Yet, she laments, prosperity is far from being achieved everywhere on the continent. With a densification of trade that will reach 50 to 70 billion by 2040, new opportunities for exporters, an industrial sector that will triple in 2025, increased food security … and last but not least, the CFTA will facilitate financial integration … It was a real advocacy but with safeguards.
For Dr Abla Abdel Latif, Executive Director of the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies, there is a need for a minimum infrastructure, then the state encourages investment, then fight against corruption and eliminates conflicts of interest.
Taking the ball rebound, Mr. Mohamed Aziz Kadiri, Vice-President of the CGEM, insisted on the infrastructural and educational bases to put in place first for a successful CFTA. He used the imaginary example of the snake biting its tail … and drew attention to the role to be played by the private sector in the development of the continent. He praised the efforts of African states that are pushing for openness, as the world closes its borders. Ms. Marie Ba, former President of the Order of Chartered Accountants of Senegal and President of Netforce, who moderated this meeting, will ask Mr. Tony Ejinkeonye, Vice President of NACCIMA (National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture), how to prepare before going to the ring? The latter will point out that only 2 countries, namely, Nigeria and Seychelles have not signed it. And in turn to ask “Why Nigeria that makes 70% of the continental GDP, did not sign, while it is behind this Agreement? In his opinion, the cart was put before the horse, for the simple reason that, the consultation did not take place with the other forces of the nation. Favorable, the ZLEC, the VP of NACCIMA suggests to go slowly, especially in a context of exacerbated terrorism.
Still addressing the constraints and opportunities of the ZLEC, Alioune Guèye, CEO Hub Africa, recalled the NEPAD launched by a group of heads of state and he had assimilated to a NOPAD if we were not careful … after we know it. In his opinion, we must start small and the example of the EU, (An EU started on an agreement on coal and steel, but which will reach the countries of the East after the fall of the Berlin Wall) could be educational. Today, the circulation of goods and people is an asset, he praised. This led him to mention this letter “No Visa for entrepreneurs in Africa”, written by Mr. Zakaria Fahim, President of Hub Africa, and himself and addressed to the current AU Chair, to a number organizations and bodies of the continent. The obvious example is this group of young winners of the African Pitch Roadshow who could not compete in the final in Casablanca, for lack of visas. Disabilities that make it “kill” Einstein, Jeff Besos … While he says, we must not lose sight of the security aspect, but nevertheless, it is necessary to set up an Entrepreneur Act, go to an Alliance under the form of an ERASMUS, having a language of Business to mitigate or even abolish the breaks between the 2 Africas …
Finally, Dr. Abdallah Souleymane, CEA Regional Integration and Trade Division, has called for more integration into a balkanized continent since the 1884-1885 Berlin Conference, with 84,000 km of borders, representing 84,000 problems. With respect to the implementation of the CFTA, he praised the private sector for its enthusiasm. What is good war, he believes, as we move towards a potential market of 1.3 billion consumers to generate billions of dollars in revenue. He was delighted that in just over a year, some 24 countries had signed the Agreement. Dr. Abdallah Souleymane believes in launching the ZLEC at the upcoming Niamey Summit.
From now on, HUB Africa, which has signed a number of agreements, makes an appointment with Entrepreneurs and Investors at the same time in 2020, just after the month of Ramadan, on a theme revolving around “PPP, lever of SMEs in Africa “.