International Brokerage Event | Bologna

International Brokerage Event | Bologna

On the 2nd and 3rd of November, the AfriConEU project held its first event of the AfriConEU Transcontinental Partnership programme – the International AfriConEU Brokerage Event – in Bologna, Italy with parallel events in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda, gathering more than 160 investors, startup entrepreneurs, DIH teams, African-European diaspora communities, among others support network participants.

The main goal of the two-day event was to promote collaboration and knowledge-sharing between the African and European innovation ecosystems which was achieved through the outline that the event presented over the course of its 2 days, with both knowledge-sharing presentations and interaction/brainstorming discussions facets included.

On the first day of the International AfriConEU Brokerage Event, several expert speakers in the different thematic fields (Agritech, Edtech, Fintech and Technology for Development) presented a set of experiences, good practices and existing solutions in the African and European innovation ecosystems. This proved to be key for attendees to have an overview of the state of the art in the EU-AU collaboration at the moment, and also share their own insights, possibly connecting to replicate their solutions in other markets. Across the different themes, different views were shared but there was a key takeaway that is transversal: “If we do not support collaboration, we lose innovation“, Gideon Brefo, HapaSpace.

On the 2nd day, participants had the spotlight. They were invited to brainstorm and identify the challenges and opportunities connected to the work that AfriConEU has already conducted in the areas of Business and investment opportunities in the African market; Digitalisation, jobs for the 21st century and employment opportunities; Scouting digital entrepreneurs and startups in the African market; and Towards a common digital market and a connected startup ecosystem in the WorldCafé discussions. The main outputs of the discussions held in the 5 different countries were presented at the end of the day. Although different takeaways were presented, a common vision on the future of cooperation between Europe and Africa has been identified as a good path to follow for fruitful cooperation between the 2 continents. This includes the need to take advantage of existing EU initiatives, continuing and sustaining what is already created and works; the need to create and foment non-hostile environments to reduce the brain drain of the African local talents; the identification of key traits to stand out in the future job and tech markets (flexibility, technology readiness, adaptability, mindset, perception and linguistic qualities) among others.

Furthermore, participants had the opportunity to connect with a community of colleagues from across various backgrounds, with a focus on building partnerships leading to new projects and opportunities. This was achieved either onsite or online, through a networking platform available for participants during the event that registered over 100 meetings scheduled.

The connections made during the AfriConEU International Brokerage Event will be further supported to continue and evolve with the organization of 4 design thinking boot camps that will take place in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda aiming to bring together digital ecosystem stakeholders and experts from Europe and Africa and facilitate knowledge and experience sharing towards common projects development.

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