This week, Smart Africa hosted its fifth edition of its flagship event, The Transform Africa Summit under the theme “Boosting Africa’s Digital Economy.” It’s a bold and innovative commitment from Africa Heads of State and government to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development on the continent, ushering Africa into a knowledge economy through affordable access to broad usage of information and communications technologies.
The Summit featured the second Transform Africa Economic Forum, a government to business engagement where attending ministers and cabinet secretaries engaged with a targeted audience of business leaders and high net worth investors on investment opportunities and areas of collaboration. The event also featured young entrepreneurs pitching to investors and the third edition of the Miss Geek Africa, a competition designed to inspire African girls to be part of solving the continent’s challenges using technology.
“It is a collective responsibility to ensure that Africa is not left behind in the digital revolution that is sweeping across the globe,” said Lacina Koné, Direct General of Smart Africa. “Our focus should not be about just being part of the revolution, we should be leading it.”
Kountable, a global trade marketplace, attended the event along with 4,000 participants, including Heads of State and Government such as President Kenyatta from Kenya and President Kagame from Rwanda, First Ladies, UN Broadband Commissioners, Ministers, Regulators, Mayors and Governors, industry leaders and international organizations.
Kountable believes that Africa must lead the digital revolution. Founded in 2015, Kountable launched its first market in Rwanda because it saw the opportunity to work with Rwandan SMEs to create a unique solution to challenges that hamper global supply chain efficiency and limit the availability of top quality products, supplies and inputs not just in Africa, but across the southern hemisphere. Connecting the best SMEs building to meet the opportunity that Africa’s future presents requires efficiency.
Kountable’s innovative technology-enabled marketplace for global trade connects the best SMEs in Africa countries to the best suppliers of top quality goods everywhere, to deliver the goods and supplies needed to support innovations in healthcare, ICT and Infrastructure development. Today, the company has offices in Rwanda, Kenya and San Francisco.
The tech company focuses on aggregating the demand side in trade by partnering with high quality entrepreneur owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), bringing access to world class goods to underserved markets and accelerating progress towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).
“Kountable combines local knowledge with global expertise in a truly collaborative manner,” said Kountable President and Co-founder, Catherine Nomura. “Our platform allows players of all sizes from large global suppliers, to local SMEs, logistics providers, banks, and buyers from government, NGOs, and the largest multilateral institutions and foundations to collaborate effectively to bring the right goods to the right places on time and on budget to deliver innovative projects in healthcare, education, ICT and infrastructure development so that everyone wins.”
Nomura added, “Transparent, inclusive supply chains unleash the power of African SMEs to form the core of an entrepreneurial ecosystem that drives growth and development and builds Africa’s bigger future.”
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Now that Kountable has established its position in the country, Hale says the company is looking to deepen its banking relationships to build institutional partnerships with the Kenya ports and wit hthe government getting involved in the new free trade zone.