INTERVIEW: Private sector, AI solutions imperative for accelerated digital transformation across Africa: CEO of KAOUN

Doaa A.Moneim from Marrakech , Friday 7 Jun 2024

The private sector should be a key partner to the governments in Africa, in general, and in North Africa, in particular, to accelerate the digital transformation process, boost the continent’s innovation, and adopt the cutting-edge technologies now dominating the world, stressed Trixie LohMirmand, CEO of KAOUN International and Executive Vice President of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).



TLohMirmand made her comments in an interview with Ahram Online in Morocco on the sidelines of the second edition of GITEX AFRICA held on 29-31 May in the city of Marrakech.

She added that the involvement of the private sector is also crucial for the startups and the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to enable them with the required finances, as well as help them to get access to innovations and to be digitally transformed.

International tech companies ramp up partnerships with GITEX Africa Morocco to secure competitive advantage in the burgeoning African digital valley

GITEX Africa 2024, the continent’s largest tech and startups show, was held in Marrakech over three days, gathering global leaders, tech enthusiasts, and innovators from over 130 countries.

GITEX Africa Morocco is organized by KAOUN International, the overseas affiliate of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), which organizes GITEX GLOBAL in the UAE, the world’s largest and most trusted tech and start-up event. 

“Without the private sectors involved in such a process, the ecosystem cannot operate fast,” because a lot of startups need to be compatible and financed and have access to the new technologies the private sector can offer, she explained.

Africa, she noted, must integrate the private sector into the strategy of each country to create a digital economy.

LohMirmand hailed GITEX AFRICA for its role in accelerating the digital transformation process in Africa, especially the North African region.

LohMirmand asserted that without GITEX AFRICA – which aggregates experts, technology solutions, investors, startups, and researchers from around the world – Africa would be left behind unable to learn and collaborate with the global community.

“Just imagine Africa isolated and detached because they don't have a platform and events like this for them to learn and meet people and understand what's going on in the rest of the world. You will always be left behind”, LohMirmand explained.

She added that the sequel of this year’s GITEX Africa followed the upbeat trend of tech discovery it created last year in its inaugural edition.

“The global community is experiencing the growing energy, curiosity, and demand for digital advancement from Africa which is outpacing that of matured developed continents,” LohMirmand clarified.

The depth and breadth of the tech showcase, including the much-hyped AI in society and business at GITEX Africa Morocco, would be an eye-opening experience fostering great knowledge sharing and collaboration opportunities between the public and private sectors, and amongst businesses worldwide, she added.

Three major events have been held during the second edition of GITEX AFRICA, underscoring AI’s role in accelerating Africa’s digital transformation and economic growth and the ongoing global and regional challenges.

One of these events was the World Future Health Africa.


Experts at the events asserted the necessity of attracting more investments into such a vital sector, affirming that adopting AI solutions across healthcare services is crucial for delivering more advanced and higher-quality care to patients.

In this respect, LohMirmand stated that AI solutions have become no longer a desirable goal but rather imperative for the healthcare sector across Africa for the benefit of the people.

She also asserted the wide-scale adoption of such solutions will push the continent forward to become a leader in the healthcare sector, particularly in telemedicine.

"It is an imperative. It is mandatory,” she noted, asserting the urgency of using technology to improve lives.  She also expects Africa to be a leading player in telemedicine and digital healthcare.

According to a recent report by the American multinational technology company IBM, generative AI began to permeate the business landscape in 2023, with 2024 remaining a crucial year for the future of AI.

The report found that three out of four (75 percent) global CEOs believe that the organization with the most advanced generative AI will have the ultimate advantage. Moreover, 43 percent of CEOs said they will use generative AI to inform strategic decisions.

Companies worldwide are recognizing the benefits of gen AI and its crucial role in their success. This is driving a new era of work, productivity, and opportunities across industries, according to the report.

As per the report, AI is projected to boost human productivity and unlock an astounding $16 trillion in value by 2030; larger than the fifth-largest economy by GDP in 2023.

When combined with automation technology, generative AI can help clients improve interactions with customers and partners, as well as boost operational efficiency and productivity, added the report.

GITEX AFRICA announced during its second day that GITEX will dedicate a version to Nigeria (GITEX Nigeria) that is scheduled to be held in September 2025.



“The format of GITEX Nigeria will be unique. It will enable the exploration of vast potential during a time when Nigeria is experiencing exponential growth impact in sectors such as AI, Health, Finance, and Startups,” LohMirmand explained

“We hope to co-create and multiply global partnerships to forge new opportunities for Nigeria across industries with the biggest societal betterment potential,” she added.


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