March was an innovative month for Ivory Coast as it welcomed its first Digital Week, in Abidjan, at a time where the digital scene is on a strong rise in the country. The digital week of Abidjan (DWA) lasted from March 9th to March 15th and was the occasion for participants from a wide range of sectors to discover more in depth the digital world of Ivory Coast. It aimed at grasping the opportunities offered by the digital and numeric markets to promote a viable collaboration between all involved in this accelerated development.
The DWA was divided in several complimentary elements. It hosted a fair that showcased companies, projects, start-ups, and brands. It also offered a discussion hosted by a panel of speakers from several African countries that tackled digital focused topics. The third part of the Digital Week was a pitch challenge that allowed 5 start-ups to compete in front of a selected jury. Each group was given 3 minutes to present their solution, product or services and demonstrate how they would help out the African market. The goal behind this event was to channel the digital development for the Ivorian population, allowing them to take part to the full-blown digital boom experienced by the country. In organising the event, the promoter Mohamed Diaby, put an emphasis on the rise of the digital economic sector and the crucial role that it will play for the local economy as it tries to solve the Ivorian unemployment problem. With the Digital Week he gave the opportunity for enterprises and brands to showcase their services but also to shelter a factual global conversation. Whether innovators, developers, brands, entrepreneurs or leaders, the attendees took part in a strategic conversation and contributed to raise awareness to the opportunities offered by the numeric sector.
The DWA is the perfect illustration of the rise of such events on the continent. Other similar events like Demo Africa in Lagos focused on the future of angels investing in Africa. Another instance is The Innovation Prize for Africa, which brought together the trade, investment and digital economy facet of innovation by uniting the continent’s brightest innovators and strategic stakeholders. The asset that such events bring to the continent is invaluable as it allows a valid, durable and sprouting discussion. Seeing the countless events of this nature happening outside the continent, it is excellent that they start happening on a bigger scale from the inside.