After 42 years of its existence, GITEX GLOBAL, the world's mega tech showcase, is embarking on a new journey into Africa with the inaugural GITEX Africa announced to hold from May to June 2023 in Marrakech, Morocco.
GITEX AFRICA is launched in partnership with the Digital Development Agency (ADD), 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.
"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 startup funding recording the best year ever in 2021 at six times over the global average," Trixie LohMirmand, CEO of KAOUN International and Executive Vice President of Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of GITEX, said.
This is the first overseas venture for GITEX GLOBAL. According to a statement seen by Benjamindada.com, the ongoing 2022 edition of the tech exhibition outran the capacity of the Dubai World Trade Centre venue to cross two million sq. ft. with more than 5,000 exhibitors from 90 countries, including African unicorns; Jumia, Flutterwave, and Chipper Cash, as well as ministerial delegations from Nigeria, Morocco and Ethiopia.
"Morocco is playing a crucial role to assist and support the development of Africa under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohamed VI and to link it economically to the rest of the world." Mohammed Drissi Melyani, General Director of the Digital Development Agency, said. "We are deeply engaged to contribute to the success of this first edition of GITEX AFRICA and will work very hard to make it exceptional for us all."
Morocco is Africa's fifth largest economy with foreign investment rising, particularly in sectors such as manufacturing, through favourable macroeconomic policies, trade liberalisation, investment incentives, and structural reforms. the new Moroccan national strategies emphasise value-added industries such as renewables, automotive, aerospace, textile, pharmaceuticals, outsourcing, and agro-food.
Per BD Africa Funding Tracker, Moroccan startups have raised $8.5 million as of October 2022, like the rest of the Maghreb region—Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania and Libya—is low as compared to African tech hubs like Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Kenya. However, analysts argue that Morocco is the choice destination for GITEX in Africa due to its existing relationship with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Gulf region.
In 2018, Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco said that Morocco and the UAE are like twin brothers, according to him, the only thing that separates them is geography. Morocco has long been a popular destination for Emiratis. For an estimated 100,000 Moroccans, the UAE is home, making them one of the largest communities in North Africa living here, this is according to The National, a media outlet covering the Middle East.