I.T entrepreneur Clarisse Iribagiza’s rise to this year’s Forbes Africa, “Africans to watch under 30,” could not have been in hindsight if it wasn’t for Transform Africa 2013.
The then 24 year old’s startup company, Hehe limited received a cash prize of $7,500 after emerging as the best i.t company for transforming ICT solutions among over 500 participants.
The company currently has a $200,000 turnover per year according to Forbes Africa from building mobile apps and software solutions to ease access to information.
Clarrise’s case is one that is set to be replicated at this year’s summit that is set to attract 13 heads of state for what has turned out to be the continent’s biggest ICT gathering.
Seven heads of state graced the initial summit in 2013 that saw a shift in commitment towards the sector in their respective countries.
“Transform Africa 2013 showed the importance and role of ICT to not only our leaders but to the continent as it opened a wave of digital compliance,” said Minister Philbert Nsengimana in a recent interview.
With more than 5,000 delegates expected the 2015 summit is set to not only be a checker of the manifesto to which 9 African countries are signatory but also a bed of opportunities for budding ICT entrepreneurs.
The inaugural Transform Africa Summit in 2013 saw participating countries launch a smart Africa manifesto that sought to put information and communication technology (ICT) at the centre of their socio-economic transformation.
Nine African states represented at the summit and ICT partners such as International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and AU Commission began implementing the manifesto with an aim to further connect sub-Saharan Africa.
Countries signatory to the initiative include Burkina Faso, Gabon, Kenya, Mali, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan, Chad and Uganda.
Through the initiative, the countries were keen on unlocking the potential of ICT in sustainable development.
Among the highlights of the manifesto were that nations would; put ICT at the centre of their development agenda; improve access to ICTs especially broadband; improve accountability, efficiency and openness through ICT and prioritise the private sector to boost the industry.
Part of the agenda in the 2015 summit slated for next week will be to evaluate progress made by countries and the continent at large in promoting ICT uptake