AI Expo Africa is the largest B2B buyer / supplier focused AI trade event in Africa.  The 2019 conference and expo was held on the 3rd-5th September at CCCC, Cape Town, South Africa and built upon the phenomenal success of the inaugural 2018 event. 

Original Concept

The 2019 programme had a range of new features for sponsors and speakers alike building upon the success of AI Expo Africa 2018 held in South Africa.  Outline of main activity was as follows;

  • Build & VIP Opening & Awards Event – Tuesday 3rd September 2019
  • Main show September 4th – 5th September 2019
  • Evening networking reception
  • 4x Track speaking programme with 60+ talks & keynotes
  • 4x Skills workshops aimed at young engineers / student talent
  • Media / VIP area
  • Complimentary Executive delegate pack
  • Food, refreshments, wifi & free parking included as standard

New features for 2019

  • New – Technical Demo Zone
  • New – AI Art & Music Competition
  • New – Dedicated AI Innovation Cafe with additional catering 
  • New – Executive workshops aimed at CxO / Decision Makers
  • New – Innovation Wall showcasing academic R&D for industry uses
  • New – AI.TV Media Hub / interview suite

Headline Stats 2019

  • 2947 community members   160% growth
  • 1027 registered delegates  + 42% growth
  • 372 companies  + 35% growth
  • 106 speakers  53% growth
  • 53 accredited media & press 0,5% growth
  • 55 sponsors 27% growth
  • 35% female engineers at talent workshops + 34% growth

The stats above represent initial feedback from survey respondents immediately from the event (115 in total as of 7th September 2019).  More detailed inputs will come when more respondents reply over the next 4 weeks.

News & Launches at show

  • South African 4IR Fund announced by Minister Stella Abrahams to help grow the 4IR economy
  • Keynotes from AI thought leaders Simon See, Karim Beguir & Jacques Ludik
  • Wits University launch Cirrus Foundry with Cortex Group to stimulate AI start-up scene in SA
  • French embassy delegation joined for first time bringing multiple companies to trade in region
  • The launch of The Robo World Cup in Africa along with Robot Workshop with children from Mitchells Plain 
  • ITU Global AI For Good Summit Switzerland seeks to collaboration with AI Expo Africa 2020
  • Invite from ITU to SA Ministerial Delegation to attend 2020 AI for Good Conference 
  • Start up Enlabler launches data labelling app for mass job creation in SA / Africa
  • Fliptin & AI in Africa showcase their AI teaching programme for schools in disadvantaged communities 
  • Signing of agreement between TIA & French Embassy “Young Enterprise Initiative” (YEI ZA)
  • Multiple new products showcased at Expo from 50+ vendors and 100+ speakers
  • “Tech Adjacent” book launch by Mushambi Mutuma – An African perspective on the 4IR in our region

News Coverage

Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams visits AI Expo Africa 2019


U Tube Coverage on AI TV

  • Videos – Day 1 LINK       
  • Videos – Day 2 LINK

Comments from delegates & community members

“World Class Event”

“Great conversations at the Africa AI Expo Africa with an inspiring panel of women who advance AI development in Africa.”

“It was good to hear the consistent view that ethics, diversity and inclusion should not only be a side conversation but should be present in every other tech and AI discussion. Kudos to panelists and leading facilitator.”

The 2nd instalment of AI Expo Africa was quite an eye opener. As the South African Ambassador for Women in Big Data, we are grateful to have been invited.  It was a pleasure to have met all those I did, I’m looking forward to concretising our newly found relationships.”

“The Lightblue Cognitive Solution team truly enjoyed a superb AI Expo Africa, Cape Town. Many a promising customer discussion was had and a very positive reception to our new AI solutions.”

I attend a lot of AI events around the globe and AI Expo Africa definitely ‘Gets it’. Diversity & inclusiveness is key if we are serious about scaling AI for Good”

“The @ITU AI For Global Summit will be working with @AIexpoAfrica to engage the African AI community in the 2020 Summit & beyond.”

“First time at AI Expo Africa, this is a truly special conference to attend. Especially for Networking (and Hackathons :’)”

“Thanks for organising the AI Expo and bringing many of the players in the industry together under one roof! Very much enjoyed carrying further the conversation on privacy engineering. It’s important that data scientists and companies understand that there is no clear contention between the quality of your analytics and the confidentiality of one’s private data”

“AI Expo Africa 19 was a massive success! So many international institutions looking to do business around AI within the region were present. So many homegrown AI businesses and solutions were present! I’m super proud to be part of this amazing community!”

“Really great to have been part of AI Expo Africa ! Looking forward to next year.”

Key metrics – Logistics & Planning

  • It is perfect
  • I was impressed by every part of the logistics.
  • I think logistics was fine
  • Overall it was good 🤙
  • Nothing further to be improved
  • Logistics are fine
  • Well organised
  • Service is excellent
  • I highly recommend it
  • I wish everything in my country was like it 😎
  • Overall, the event was very well organiseer and delivered quality results.
  • Keep up the great work, you are literally changing the course of the African discourse by positioning AFRICAN for the future economy and quality of life through AI.
  • Staff service was excellent as was pretty much all aspects of the conference
  • No complaints
  • We walked, all good 🙂
  • Spot on as is.
  • It worked well
  • All good
  • Simple and easy
  • Food and staff great.

Key metrics – Content & Programme

  • It is perfect
  • This program was awesome. Keep it up.
  • Keep doing what you’re doing! Thanks!
  • It was all very good.
  • Case studies were good
  • Good range of topics
  • No its okay as it is🙂🤞
  • Just keep doing what you doing, great expo!
  • All slides had a wealth of knowledge
  • Good combination.
  • Topics great
  • I think the mix of speakers was good.
  • Brilliant organisation
  • All good

Key metrics – Value & ROI

  • Perfect – don’t change a thing
  • Great venue
  • The UiPath demo zone concept is great
  • Keep the lamb chops flowing!
  • Keep having it at this venue
  • I like the university posters, maybe there can be a section where it’s just innovative AI
  • This year is perfect , i just can wait for next year 🤞
  • All good so far
  • Keep spread of local vs International
  • Bigger & Bigger
  • Worked well
  • I learnt a lot
  • Continue on your path and get more interest and awareness
  • Looking forward to seeing the event grow.
  • Keep doing the great job
  • All good


Overall – What were the Items that caught your eye, impressed you the most ?

  • The professionalism of the event
  • The great hospitality
  • Robot programming
  • The food
  • Everything
  • Neo the Robot
  • Nick:)
  • The automated walking Robot from Ocula Technology
  • The lamb sauce
  • The lamb chops! Amazing!
  • Diverse participation in terms of companies background
  • Zindi AI Art Challenge 
  • People’s passion
  • The quality of this event was world class
  • Dancing robot 😀
  • Attendants are more engaged compared to last year
  • Auction
  • Women in Ai
  • Great welcoming feel
  • AWS Innovation Cafe
  • Good venue
  • FOOD 🙂
  • Universities at the expo
  • Great quality brochure
  • Robots
  • Dr Jay Van Zyl – Ecosystem AI was brilliant
  • Good overall attendance
  • Diverse crowd. Wonderfull
  • Everything was eye opening
  • The food!
  • Minister Stella was great
  • Liked the use of Emcees in each space
  • The food was particularly good for a mass-catered event.
  • The seating was great and loved the space to eat
  • Everything
  • Machine learning talks
  • Nao robot demo
  • Zindi challenge suggestion board was nice
  • The Quantum Machine Learning Presentation was succinct and insightful
  • Honorable mention to UiPath.
  • The RPA training program they offer is brilliant will definitely take advantage of it.
  • The UI track was a very cool space
  • Women in AI stand!
  • The layout was great
  • 💪🏻Great
  • Thanks
  • The whole experience for me was amazing.
  • Great event but needs more real world ready proven tech
  • Great job so far. Honestly, a little more African context and you will be wonderful
  • Thanks for an amazing experience!
  • So far so good – It was a great event – I hope to engage more next year
  • Good job everyone
  • No additional thoughts
  • All good
  • Really great food and was really great being exposed to the AI/ml world. Thanks for the opportunity.
  • Love the expo
  • Thank you so much for having us!
  • The event was brilliant and we were very well watered, fed, informed and inspired. Just my comments already mentioned but very small things to iterate on.
  • Good work in organising the event 👌
  • It surpassed all my expectations, keep it up.
  • I think you guys did a really great job and next year’s event will be even better
  • Thanks guys well done