Johannesburg Tourism Company, recently partnered with Africa’s largest Enterprise Artificial Intelligence & Intelligent Automation trade event, AI Expo Africa, to showcase the growing trade, investment and job creation opportunities the sector has to offer. It has shown keen interest to have AI Expo Africa 2023 being hosted at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa, with the new dates of 2nd-3rd November 2023 being recently announced.
Now entering its 6th year, the annual AI Expo Africa unites regional and international suppliers of the latest cutting edge 4IR technologies, from the biggest global brands to the smallest and newest local SMMEs. The core focus of the show are real world applications you can deploy today with an audience composed of Enterprise and Government buyers, deployment & service providers, start-ups, educators, NGOs and ecosystem builders.
Rendani Khorommbi, Deputy Director of the Johannesburg Convention Bureau at the Johannesburg Tourism Company stated, “Given the recent challenges we have all endured with COVID19, the return to in-person trade events was truly welcomed in 2022 and the City of Johannesburg Tourism Company was very keen to support the event to reach a larger audience in the Gauteng & Tshwane regions and to showcase the local and global tech ecosystem to regional and international buyers”.
The 2022 show was packed with new innovations such as an industrial robot showcase from Johannesburg Start-up Ctrl Robotics who have created unique software to work with service robots that are deployed in hospitals and hotels. Star of the 2022 show was Spot the robot via the University of Johannesburg who have been working with the Boston Dynamics robot platform that resembles a dog and deployed in various scenarios such as surveillance and industry inspections.
Dr Nick Bradshaw, CEO & Founder of AI Expo Africa stated, “AI Expo Africa 2022, our 5th Anniversary Edition, had a great turn out. The buzz from the show floor was amazing and it was clear to see the progress that has been made in the African AI Ecosystem since our first event in 2018. The show was attended by 60+ vendors & 50+ speakers and also hosted a Women in AI Zone, the Johannesburg Tourism Company SMME Pavilion, a Start-up Zone, a University R&D Poster Zone, an AI generated Art Gallery plus seven networking sessions and four Skills Workshops aimed at youth, students and entrepreneurs, giving them a free learning experience from the likes of NVIDIA, Arm and Intel. We even heard reports of several tech VCs having identified local tech companies they want to invest in.”
Khorommbi concluded, “Suppliers reported significant interest from buyers at AI Expo Africa 2022. The global tech giant Arm signed a new partnership agreement with the regional tech accelerator M Lab to help drive skills & tech engagement with youth and rural community innovators. The newly launched “State of AI in Africa Report” also highlighted that 4IR technologies are being adopted across the board in Africa with South Africa positioned No.1 in this segment on the continent – another big reason why we are getting behind AI Expo Africa 2023.”
COP28: Shelter Afrique secures grant from IsDBI to pioneer affordable housing products
Shelter Afrique, the leading Pan-African Housing Finance Institution, announced a collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBI) at the sidelines of COP28. The partnership aims to develop Islamic Housing Finance Products to respond to the growing demand for affordable and climate adaptive housing solutions across the continent.
The Pan-African Housing Finance Institution has sought this collaboration with the IsDBI to create tailored products in harmony with principles of responsible investing. This partnership is timely as several African countries are making notable progress in developing their Islamic finance markets, presenting untapped growth opportunities.
Shelter Afrique recognizes a gap in the availability of diversified financial products at scale. As a Pan-African Housing Finance Institution committed to innovation, Shelter Afrique views the development of Islamic finance products as a viable alternative financing model to effectively address Africa’s housing and urban development challenges.
Mr. Thierno Habib-Hann, Managing Director of Shelter-Afrique, expressed delight at the strategic significance of the program, stating, “We are thrilled to collaborate closely with IsDBI on this initiative. Rent to own schemes are natural products for islamic finance, hence will be leveraged to address the large housing gap. In addition, this collaboration aligns with our commitment towards a dedicated funding thematics dedicated to ‘Green financing and Islamic finance”.
Shelter Afrique’s continuous efforts to enhance its product offerings underscore its commitment to meeting the diverse needs of its clients and fulfilling its mandate of delivering affordable housing for all in Africa. The collaboration with IsDB, a multilateral development bank known for its impactful initiatives in member countries, positions Shelter Afrique to pioneer developing and delivering unique financial offerings and structures for housing infrastructure across the continent.
In his comments on the collaboration, Dr. Sami Al-Suwailem, Acting Director General of the Islamic Development Bank Institute, said, “This partnership is part of our collective effort to promote inclusive and sustainable housing solutions through Islamic finance. The Technical Assistance provided by IsDBI aims to equip Shelter Afrique with the necessary tools to navigate the evolving landscape of affordable housing and urban development in Africa. We believe that through strategic collaborations like these, we can drive positive change and contribute to the continent’s socio-economic development.”
mediaReach OMD Nigeria Appoints Stephen Onaivi as New Managing Director
mediaReach OMD Nigeria Board of Directors has confirmed the appointment of Stephen Onaivi effective January 1st, 2024. Onaivi will become the managing director of the nation’s foremost media investment and management agency, known for its thought leadership and innovativeness. The Regional Chief Executive Officer of Omnicom Media Group West & Central Africa (OMG WeCA), Alaba Fadero, announced Onaivi’s appointment in Lagos.
According to Fadero, “Stephen’s appointment is the result of a careful succession planning and talent development program. He is expected to maintain OMD’s industry leadership and drive our regional growth strategy across the three critical global pillars of Client, People, and Capability.”
Onaivi is a homegrown, globally evolved professional who has been responsible for driving innovation across major brands, including Diageo, Airtel, Olam, Vodafone, Virgin Atlantic, Google, Uber, and GSK, to mention a few across the West and Central African region.
In addition to being the Managing Director of OMD Nigeria, he has a mandate to drive the OMD brand across West and Central Africa to enhance client value and ensure the seamless integration of OMD values, technology, and strategic processes.
Before his new appointment, Onaivi was the Managing Director of OMD Ghana, where he contributed to developing a multi-disciplinary, forward-looking media and advertising industry and serviced an array of national, multinational, and regional clients.
Reacting to his new appointment, Onaivi expressed confidence that the industry leadership and innovative strides of OMD Nigeria would be maintained under his leadership, stating, “We are proud of our thought leadership and pragmatic approach to providing value-driven services to our clients, and they should expect more with our team’s renewed commitment.”
According to Onaivi, key focus areas of OMD Nigeria will include innovation driven by technology and marketing science, the development of local talents, and enhanced strategic thinking to improve the agency’s value proposition to its clients.
Onaivi is a communication expert who has attended several management training courses and conferences from renowned business schools across the globe, including the Lagos Business School and London Business School. He is a keen golfer and a firm believer in the importance of community service. He is also the founder of the “Play with Stephen” golf tournament held annually in Accra, Ghana. The tournament leverages golf as a ‘passion point’ for key decision-makers to create awareness and support for Autism across Africa.