Afrotech Fest took place 26th - 27th January at Rich Mix London.
The two-day technology festival for black people of African and Caribbean heritage featured panel discussions, workshops and art installations from startup founders, civil servants, developers, designers, artists, writers and many more.
As soon as you stepped into the venue, you felt welcomed. At home with long lost friends.
It was also encouraging to meet people outside of tech who were to learn more about the industry. A youth programme was also put on to inspire the next generation to think about creating technology. Plus the conference was incredibly inclusive for all.
Here are a few of the high quality panels and workshops.
YSYS Founder Series Panel featured Darren Tenkorang CEO of TRIM-IT, Urenna Okonkwo Founder of Cashmere, Product Manager Yommy Ojo and Startup Advisor Andy Ayim shared their journeys in tech, how companies can scale and the need for more sustainable businesses within the black community.
Eunice Baguma Ball from Africa Technology Business Network talk highlighted women are leading tech startups across several African countries.
Abi Mohamed, Tech Director at CGV detailed the need for more discussions around privacy rights and the rise of data broker companies.
Paris Petgrave from Rareseed Capital presented the need for more investment within the Afro/Caribbean community and demystified venture capital.
The underlying theme that struck me at Afrotech Fest was the need to create more intergenerational wealth and encourage more community support.
Doing so will aid in solving urgent issues within the Afro/Caribbean communities. Technology can help in addressing issues but without enough resources and community support startups and their products will not reach enough scale to benefit the community.
Afrotech Fest 2018 was a pivotal moment for the UK Tech ecosystem, an event for everyone to establish connections and for those who are not usually visible at tech conferences to be visible.
Congratulations to the Afrotech Fest team and volunteers for putting on such a fantastic conference.
Bring on next year!