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The Future of African Cities Closes its Massive Summit Today in Cairo

In an unprecedented collaboration between District Spaces, Progrss, AfriLabs, and Hivos, the conference gathered co-working spaces and collaborative initiatives from across Africa in the heart of Cairo.

Staff Writer

Pan-Arab network AfriLabs joined forces with Cairo's urban hub Progrss, District Spaces and Hivos to co-host a three-day gathering to discuss the Future of African Cities at the heart of Cairo. With representatives from startups, key urban players and collaborative spaces from across Africa and the world, the event was a chance to bring together AfriLabs’ Annual Meeting and The Coworking Summit, in a massive event-in-motion that touched down key areas of Egypt's collaborative ecosystem, such as the French and American Universities in Cairo, the Greek Campus, and KMT House, the soon-to-be-launched first Urban Tech co-working space in Africa.

Hovering over key issues related to smart cities, infrastructure and urban communities, the talks discussed the roles of disruptive, grassroots’ innovations in city transformations and the integration between co-working spaces, accelerators and incubators in a continent that is home to 16.4 percent of the world population and has seen, in the past decades an economic boom in its cities, despite urban challenges. 

“Startups are changing the face of cities in France and Africa and that’s why we are proud to host tonight the makers of the African city of the future,” said Stephane Roumtier, the French Ambassador to Egypt, in his inaugural speech. “We are very excited about this strategic partnership between all parties - first off, District Spaces and progrss hosting the African innovation ecosystem in their great city, Cairo, and Hivos bringing their amazing network of collaborative spaces with our network of Innovation Labs,” said Anna Ekeledo, AfriLabs’ Executive Director.

Egyptian entrepreneurs had a prominent role throughout the summit, showcasing their business at the Cairo Disrupt session, while key panels discussed smart cities and Internet of Things (IoT), collaborative spaces and corporate engagement. "For two years now, The Coworking Summit has been empowering managers and founders of collaborative spaces by allowing them to connect, share experiences, and expand their networks. Observing the diversity of participants and different partners coming together to be part of this event from both networks is mouth watering. We can't wait to see what collaborations and exciting ideas will come out of it," said Hivos' Project Manager, Ahmed Sameh.
Main photo: Stephane Roumtier, French Ambassador to Egypt. Courtesy of Progrss.

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