Atlantic Africa Start-up Forum: Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology for New Economy


In a changing economic, social and political global scenario, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the African economy adds a further degree of complexity to the ongoing challenges posed by the convergence between the physical economy and the digital economy, or the direct and indirect consequences of climate change. Greater accessibility to the Internet, or emerging and disrupting technologies that combined have an exponential impact on people’s lives and work, generates conflicting expectations of progress and uncertainty about how to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth that does not reinforce inequalities within countries’ borders. In the coming decades, entire industries and sectors will undergo a revolution that will have effects on society, the future of work, or how we understand talent competition, among many other issues. The new economy needs a workforce with the necessary digital skills and access to fundamental resources such as education, technology, infrastructure, and investment. But also the creative entrepreneurs capable of increasing the size and quality of the economy.

This conference addresses the transformational changes that the African continent, and in particular the Atlantic African region, is currently undergoing. Hence, it is important to acknowledge the power of new ideas and the role of emerging actors – entrepreneurs and technology startups – who yearn for more prosperous societies capable of generating better economic opportunities and quality jobs. Their dynamism and enormous work capacity that allows them to access private capital and not to depend on national or local funding, often clashes with the bureaucratic and regulatory obstacles of their countries, generating frustration and leading to a drain of talent to more advanced regions.

The Canary Islands is redefining its role as a catalyst for the dynamics of cooperation in entrepreneurship, innovation, science and technology that are taking place between Africa and Europe, and by extension with other parts of the planet. The Atlantic coast of Africa brings together some of the most vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems of the continent – from Morocco to South Africa, through Mauritania, Senegal or Nigeria -. Cities and rural areas, some with serious levels of poverty and inequality, face the most serious challenges associated with climate change and global warming, the need for energy resilience, the transformation of its industries or the process of economic diversification through the creation of added value. The promotion of scientific-technological cooperation, education and training programmes, the exchange of know-how and knowledge, economic-commercial relations or innovation as an engine for growth, – in its broadest sense, technological but also social innovation -, are essential strategies.

With the participation of local and international public and private actors actively engaged in different technology and business projects in Africa and worldwide, the aim of this event is to obtain lessons learned on how the Canary Islands and Africa can collaborate more efficiently and in a bidirectional way in the economic development of these countries. With this vision, the Directorate General for Economic Affairs with Africa of the Government of the Canary Islands will report on its plans to make entrepreneurship and innovation one of the axes of its new strategic plan and will reflect on how to evaluate and improve the impact of the actions that are already being carried out in African countries.

Registro on-line

Confirmación de asistencia:;


  • EMERGE Association
  • Mondragon Foundation
  • IBC Spain
  • Directorate-General for Economic Affairs with Africa, Government of the Canary Islands.

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, November 25, 2021: 10:30am-2:20pm
  • Venue: Casa África, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria


Thursday, November 25, 2021. Casa África

10:30 Inauguration

  • Elena Máñez Rodríguez, Regional Minister for Economy, Knowledge and Employment, Government of the Canary Islands
  • José Segura Clavell, Director, Casa África
  • Nasara Cabrera Abbu, Senior Director for African Economic Affairs, Government of the Canary Islands (moderator)

10:45 Panel 1: Economic and social transformations: Towards the creation of an Atlantic area of shared prosperity.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Claire Spencer, Visiting Senior Research Fellow, The Policy Institute, King’s College London


  • Claire Spencer, Visiting Senior Research Fellow, The Policy Institute, King’s College London
  • Nasara Cabrera Abbu, Senior Director for African Economic Affairs, Government of the Canary Islands
  • Josefa de la Rosa, Coordinator for Cooperation, Vice Rectorate for Internationalization, Mobility and International Projection, ULPGC (Moderator)

11:30 Coffee-break

12:00 Panel 2: Startup Africa: The Entrepreneur as an Agent of Change

  • Bosun Tijani, CEO and co-founder, CO-Creation Lab (CcHub)
  • Patricia Fraile, Archipelago Next
  • Adnane ADDIOUI, Founder, Moroccan Center for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship
  • Navin Khemlani, IBC Spain (moderator)

12.45 Panel 3: Social impact, empowerment and economic development.

  • Awamary Lowe Khan, Founder, Woman Boss
  • Zeinebou Abdeljelil, Founder, Hadina Rimti
  • Tekheye Ka, Hahatay Project Technician
  • Maialen Mendizábal, CEO Diversity4Equality (moderator)

13:30 Panel 4: Best practices and the impact of scientific and technological cooperation. Knowledge capitalisation

Keynote speaker. Dr. Ana Pantelic, Executive-Director, MIT D-Lab (online)


  • Ana Pantelic, Executive-Director, MIT D-Lab (online)
  • Sebastián López Suárez, Director for Innovation and Technology Transfer, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC)
  • Gonzalo Piernavieja, R&D and Innovation Coordinator, Canary Islands Institute of Technology (ITC)
  • Juan Ruiz Alzola, Professor, Imaging Technologies, Signal Processing and Communications Department, ULPGC. Founder, EBATINCA.
  • Moisés D. Santana, Director, Emerge Association (moderator)

14:15 Closing ceremony

14:20 Networking Cocktail


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