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‘It’s time for Africa’: Gitex opens doors to next happening continent in tech world

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Gitex Global, the world’s mega tech showcase, is switching continents and venturing to Africa, leveraging a 42-year legacy of connecting tech titans, governments, start-ups, investors and global innovation hubs, to accelerate, collaborate in the world of rising tech.

The inaugural Gitex Africa will take place from May 31 – June 2, 2023, in Marrakech, Morocco, and is expected to rally the tech world’s attention to the vast potential of the globe’s youngest continent.

The landmark event is the first overseas venture for Gitex Global, the influential tech brand trusted by international tech executives. It was announced today at a press launch during Gitex Global 2022, which this year outran capacity at the Dubai World Trade Centre venue spread across two million square feet.

Mohammed Drissi Melyani and Trixie LohMirmand shake hands after formalising the agreement for Gitex Africa. Courtesy DWTC

Gitex Africa is launched in partnership with the Digital Development Agency, a strategic public entity leading the Moroccan government’s digital transformation agenda under the authority of the Moroccan Ministry of Digital Transition and Administration Reform.

KAOUN International, the overseas events organising company of DWTC, will lead the partnership in the highly sought-after tech region, officially launching the “Go There” global campaign for Gitex Africa today.

At the show’s official announcement and signing ceremony today, Mohammed Drissi Melyani, General Director of the Digital Development Agency, said: “We are honoured to organize this event in a continent which is seeing great dynamic, economic and social growth in many fields.

Trixie LohMirmand, KAOUN International CEO and executive vice president of DWTC, added: “The time for Africa is now. Against a stuttering world tech market, Africa has risen and punched well above its weight recently, with big tech investments rocketing and start-ups funding recording the best year ever in 2021 at six times over the global average.

“It takes a lot to build and sustain an outstanding tech event. Gitex has a global following of communities that trust the brand’s motivation in discovering new tech geographies and marketplaces for greater empowerment and knowledge sharing in the new generation economies.

“The Digital Development Agency Morocco is committed to accelerating wide scale digital transformation of its society and the tech modernisation of the wider African continent. The unified commitment from the stakeholders embodied in Gitex Africa shall amplify the African tech opportunities and bring to forth the world’s next biggest digital economy.”

One Africa, limitless opportunities in world’s burgeoning tech frontier

With tech-friendly policies in a continent that is now far more accessible, African investment is rocketing. Analysts predict the tech market is on track to scale from $115 billion to $712 billion by 2050, while growth in start-up funding is six times higher than anywhere else. In only six years, Africa went from zero to seven unicorns, with four all born last year.

African talent development is also at its fastest. Global tech titans Microsoft and Google are already setting up billion-dollar innovation and talent hubs in Africa, while the number of people with internet access has grown to 522.8 million, or 40 percent of the African population.

Meanwhile, a youthful populace coupled with Africa’s rapid urbanisation is accelerating digital economic growth, with 70 percent of the Sub-Saharan African population under 30 years of age and 45 percent of Africans set to live in cities by 2025.

The pervasive confidence and upbeat outlook on the African tech landscape are shared by global start-ups and investors, accentuated by the unrivalled opportunities, global visibility and economic impact brought about by the debut of Gitex Africa.

Morocco is Africa’s fifth-largest economy, the second-biggest African investor in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the largest African investor in West Africa, while it also sits third of all African countries in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index.

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GCC powers reiterate ADIPEC message at COP27 on two-pronged focus

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This article is part of a syndication service from Al-Monitor.

As the United Nations Climate Summit COP27 comes to a close this week in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh, the conference’s key aim of ensuring full adherence to the Paris Agreement is unlikely to be fulfilled. Since last year’s COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, “only 29 out of 194 countries [in the agreement] came forward with tightened national plans,” a UN press release stated.

Yet, while most members are making some efforts to cap climate change, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have focused on the need for a two-pronged approach to climate — focusing on both oil and green energy — amid rising energy demand following the war in Ukraine and the nations’ reliance on energy exports as a mainstay of their economics.

Pointing out the impracticality of the climate goals laid out at last year’s summit, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., said that the lack of sufficient investment in fossil fuels before alternatives were able to meet the world’s energy needs is “a recipe for disaster.”

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UAE energy company reckons Africa to be hydrogen hub

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This article is in syndication from Al-Monitor.

Hydrogen continues to be a major topic at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, aka COP27.

The Emirati renewable energy company Masdar released a report today on the potential of the African continent to become a hub for the generation of green hydrogen.

What is green hydrogen? Hydrogen can be used as an energy source when it is separated from water via electricity. When that electricity is powered by renewable energy, such as solar or wind power, it is referred to as green hydrogen.

Africa’s potential: Masdar identified several factors that indicate the potential of African countries to produce green hydrogen. The continent has an abundance of sunshine and land, as well as relative cost effectiveness vis-a-vis other areas.

The Abu Dhabi-based company, which is owned by the Emirati government, predicted that Africa could produce 30 to 60 million tons per year of green hydrogen by 2050. This would require between $680 billion and $1.3 trillion in investment, however. At present, Africa as a whole accounts for only about 3% of global hydrogen project announcements, according to Masdar’s report.

Masdar is not alone in its thinking. The DC-based Brookings Institution released a report in May noting Africa’s excellent solar and wind resources and hydropower potential along the Nile and Congo rivers. The report further noted that several European countries have expressed interest in developing Africa’s hydrogen sector.

Challenges: It will be difficult for Africa to become a hydrogen hub, however. The Brookings report also pointed out that more than half of Africa’s population does not have electricity. Hydrogen also requires water at a time of rising water scarcity in Africa. Moreover, maritime shipping of hydrogen would add to costs, according to Brookings.

Why it matters: Gulf states, including the UAE, are showing increasing interest in green hydrogen. In May, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company signed a green hydrogen cooperation agreement with British Petroleum.
Some of the Gulf’s hydrogen projects are in Africa. In October, Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power signed a green hydrogen deal with South Africa.

Egypt and Morocco have also shown a strong interest in green hydrogen. The Saudi company Alfanar pledged in August to start building a green hydrogen plant in Egypt.

Know more: Green hydrogen is a stated focus of COP27 this year. Egypt announced another green hydrogen project at the conference this week. At the same time, many more fossil fuel industry lobbyists are present at the conference this year than compared to last.

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World’s tallest residential tower to be built in Dubai

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Uniting their rich heritage and iconic architectural and horological codes, power brands Binghatti and Jacob & Co introduce their ultra-luxury Dubai skyscraper. The project, ‘Burj Binghatti Jacob & Co Residences’, aspires to achieve the record for the world’s tallest residential structure. Burj Binghatti Jacob & Co Residences coins a new term in upper-crust real estate: hypertower. Opening a new era in uber-luxury living, this unparalleled skyscraper aims to set a record as one of the tallest residential constructions in the world. In a great leap upwards, it stands opulently in the heart of Dubai’s most eminent financial district, Business Bay.

The proposed design comprises over 100 stories that are made of lavish two-bedroom and three-bedroom residences. This jewel of a building features unique designs co-signed by and co-designed in the recognizable style of watchmaking and jewelry brand Jacob & Co and leading Dubai-based developer Binghatti. Burj Binghatti Jacob & Co Residences includes multiple levels dedicated to such amenities as an infinity pool overlooking the entire Dubai skyline, a luxury spa and a gymnasium. This hypertower also houses a dedicated concierge team, offering à la carte services such as daycare, bodyguard, chauffeur and private chef.

“This unparalleled skyscraper aims to set a record as one of the tallest residential constructions in the world,” according to a Binghatti statement. In a great leap upwards, the property developer said ultra-luxury skyscraper will stand opulently in the heart of Dubai’s most eminent financial district, Business Bay. The proposed design comprises over 100 stories that are made of lavish two-bedroom and three-bedroom residences.

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