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EMERGING Valley: Marseille, an anchor point between African and European tech

The EMERGING Valley Summit, an unmissable event for African tech players, will be held on December 14 in Marseille. In total, more than 200 speakers and 2,500 participants are expected by the organizers, who are thereby strengthening their role as a “bridge” between the entrepreneurial scenes on both sides of the Mediterranean.  

By editorial staff

A major annual meeting of African and European tech players, the EMERGING Valley Summit will hold its 5th edition on December 14, in Marseille (France). Launched in 2017 and organized on the territory of Aix-Marseille-Provence, the event connects the digital players of the Europe-Mediterranean-Africa axis, and as such attracts investors and startups who want to enhance their international attractiveness. The 2021 edition should indeed be part of this dynamic. In total, more than 200 speakers and 2,500 participants are announced by the organizers, who also specify that the summit will be conducted in a hybrid mode, both in person and online. That mobilization is welcomed by the founder of EMERGING Valley, the French-Algerian Samir Abdelkrim. In his press release announcing the summit, this tech savvy – and also author of the book Startup Lions, dedicated to business creation and innovation in Africa – said he saw in this 5th edition of EMERGING Valley the best proof of “the common will to make the continent […] a global digital hub”, so that “[it] becomes a source of inspiration for the entire world”. 

The 2021 edition structured around six key themes 

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In tune with the times, this 2021 edition will focus on six key themes: Biodiversity, a challenge for which a series of technological initiatives in the service of nature will be presented; Sustainable cities, where the reflection will focus on new urban innovations providing essential services to the populations of major African cities; Women entrepreneurship, the new engine of the digital revolution in Africa and the Mediterranean, with more than 600 million female entrepreneurs; creative and cultural industries, which contribute to generating new forms of culture and creation; E-health, which saw an unprecedented acceleration during the COVID-19 pandemic; and finally, the financing of innovation. A backbone, which despite the difficulties born of the health crisis, has not failed the continent.  “While the year 2020 was predicted to be difficult for African startups, the continent has managed to contradict all predictions with a 44% increase in the number of deals compared to 2019. An extraordinary resilience that highlights the strength and dizzying growth potential of the continent’s jewels. The month of September 2021 confirmed this trend with the arrival of the very first unicorn in French-speaking Africa, the fintech Wave,” said Samir Abdelkrim, in the above-mentioned statement. 

A summit under the high patronage of the French President of the Republic

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By saying he was also “more than honored that this 5th edition of EMERGING Valley is placed, for the second time after 2018, under the high patronage of the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron,” the organizer of the summit has strengthened, subtly, the legitimacy of the event to create links between Europe and Africa. A recognition that should materialize in the participation of African ministerial representatives and French and European institutions. The main speakers expected include Lydie Beassemda, Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation of Chad; Désiré-Cashmir Kolongele Eberande, Minister in charge of the Digital Economy of the Democratic Republic of Congo; Taleb Ould Sid’ahmed, Minister of Employment and Professional Insertion of Mauritania; Roger Adom, Minister of Digital Economy, Telecommunications and Innovation of Côte d’Ivoire; but also Grégory Clemente, Director General of Proparco; Isabelle Bébéar, Director of International and European Affairs of BPIFrance and Bertrand Walckenaer, Deputy Director of the French Development Agency.

EMERGING Valley, “an anchor point between Europe and Africa”

All this goodwill should help enhance the position of EMERGING Valley as an “anchor point between Europe and Africa” in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship. 

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