• Over 200 Participants acknowledge groundbreaking impact at a 48-hour hackathon 
  • Innovators to Mountain Hub, “We want you here, we need more”
  • Design Meetup Team makes its mark on the CITS journey 

The Cameroon International Tech Summit (CITS) 2024 has the goal of igniting the spirit of technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability to supercharge the national economy. This goal led them to make their second stop from the North West region to the West region as part of their national tour. The week-long activities centered around the theme “Climate-smart agriculture and food security,” taking place from February 25th to March 2nd, 2024. The events included a competitive hackathon, a resourceful Innovators meetup, detailed pitch Masterclasses, and a pitch Friday contest and award ceremony.

Over 200 attendees who visited and lodged at the Addys Hotel benefited from what was termed the first-ever technology and innovation week in the region. The Cameroon International Summit successfully ignited a technology push force that the region now relies on to create a full technology and entrepreneurship ecosystem around the West region.

Welcome speech at the Opening ceremony

Ayuk Etta, the CEO of Mountain Hub and Project Lead, emphasized during the innovation week the goal of CITS to create an ecosystem that promotes sustainable technology and innovation across the West region, in Cameroon, and beyond Africa.

The Cameroon International Tech Summit 2024 aims to cultivate a culture of creativity, technological advancement, and problem-solving across the nation and beyond Africa’s borders. I firmly believe in the potential of youth to spark innovative ideas and drive sustainable progress. Thus, our mission is to empower local communities and devise distinct solutions that enhance the well-being of our populace in the Western region. I encourage everyone to seize this opportunity to participate in the grand conference as we strive to make a substantial difference,”

CEO Mountain Hub/ CITS Lead

The hackathon played a pivotal role during the innovation week. The 48-hour hackathon brought together participants from different ends of the West region to compete and provide various solutions to community problems. The participants received guidance from seasoned climate change enthusiasts, Clietsa Gloria and Mbog Mbog Tongnam, who provided essential insights into finding possible solutions to agricultural and environmental problems. Additionally, the hackers benefited from masterclasses covering hackathon structure, research and development, design, and pitching.

The opening ceremony welcomed keynote speaker Mr. Alphonse Nafack, president of JFN Group and former boss of Afriland First Bank, who appreciated CITS for organizing an innovation week in his region of origin. He assured participants of more opportunities like this coming to Dschang, thanks to CITS. During the hackathon, several other important officials visited the hackers to encourage them and applaud the efforts of the organizers, reinforcing the commitment to the vision set by CITS.

JFN Group President and CITS Organizers at Opening Ceremony

A highlight of the innovation week was the Innovators meetup, where technology and entrepreneurship enthusiasts discussed the challenges they face with technology and innovation and how they could contribute to building a technology-centered ecosystem. The panel discussion, chaired by project lead Ayuk Etta, included stakeholders such as the founder and CEO of West tech, Ngniguepa Faha Therence, the President of the Information and Technology Club at the University of Dschang, Mougoue Toumeni William, CEO of Visibility.CAM Sarl, Nguefack Patrick, among others.

The stakeholders identified issues in the region, including cultural barriers, stereotypes about technology, lack of awareness and communication about technology advancements, limited presence of stakeholders in the innovation process, limited networking opportunities, and inconsistent electricity and internet connection.The stakeholders committed to using this innovation week as a platform to advocate for the growth and sustainability of a tech-minded community and ecosystem. In a post-event chat with one of the main stakeholders, founder and CEO of West tech, Ngniguepa Faha Therence, he expressed his joy in the organization of the event, believing it will boost and unite the ecosystem. “The tech ecosystem here is not united. We needed an event like this to build up the spirits of tech enthusiasts in the region. Now that CITS has laid the foundation, I think this will encourage more people to join us,” Therence added.

Community Stakeholders at Innovators Meetup

The event served as a platform for countless participants to express on social media the impact that the innovation week had on their careers. It also officially showcased the success of the Design meetup, a pre-event that brought together designers from across the nation to discuss the ethics and future of design, on the road to CITS.The week featured resourceful masterclasses and, notably, the Pitch masterclass, which prepared startup owners and those with sustainable projects for the mega pitch Friday.

The event concluded with a final pitch day welcoming 10 teams to pitch their businesses to investors, hackers ready to win prizes, and poets involved in the Green poetry contest. At the close of the event, the project lead assured the winning teams of a secured place at the mega hackathon set to take place at Palais de Congrès in Yaounde in September 2024, encouraging other participants to mark their calendars for the event.The Cameroon International Tech Summit will make its next stop at the Grand Nord from March 24th to 29th, 2024. This event is anticipated to be one of the greatest innovation weeks during the journey, as it combines three significant regions in Cameroon. As the CITS team travels throughout Cameroon, these things are certain: Technology, innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainability.