🚀 This month's special #APSVibecheck Podcast episode is handy for several reasons. First, it has four seasoned ecosystem players and experts, and it brings a variety of perspectives. It’s also brought to you from the sidelines of GITEX AFRICA, the mega tech conference hosted by Morocco in May 2023. Some of the ecosystem’s most prominent players were at GITEX, and if you didn’t make time to attend, this episode is a great place to learn new insights about Morocco and its tech ecosystem.

When people think about Morocco, most think about the city of Casablanca, which headlines the country's startup scene. But GITEX took us to the city of Marrakech, where we spoke to Salma Kabbaj, David Adeleke, Tage Kene Okafor, Nizar Abdallaoui Maane, Mayokun Fadebiyi and Etop Ikpe.

Here are some no-spoiler bits from some of our speakers that should show you why you should listen and share this episode:

💡 Salma Kabbaj

Salma Kabbaj, the Co-founder and CEO of Moroccan accelerator Impact Lab Africa, shares that the Moroccan tech ecosystem is poised for acceleration. With a more robust pipeline of early-stage startups emerging in the last ten years, the ecosystem is starting to bear fruit. If you’re an investor, Salma reckons you should be looking at Moroccan startups while valuations are still super-reasonable!

🗞️ David Adeleke & Tage-Kene Okafor

David Adeleke is the Africa editor of the tech publication Rest of World. Tage Kene-Okafor is a Reporter at Techcrunch. Mostly, they believe Pan-African tech coverage of the nascent Moroccan ecosystem has been relatively accurate. While the country’s GDP and economy suggest that it should have more startups, there’s still some way to go. They sense that government support will be critical to helping the ecosystem grow and that the GITEX summit is a good signal that good things are on the horizon.

🔗 Nizar Abdallaoui Maane, Etop Ikpe and Mayokun Fadebiyi

Nizar is a founder whose business, Kifal Auto, was recently acquired by Autochek. With acquisitions still relatively uncommon in the Moroccan ecosystem, Kifal's acquisition by a Nigerian-headquartered Pan-African autotech startup is an important landmark for the Moroccan startup ecosystem. Autochek CEO Etop and the company's COO Mayokun talk about how they met Nizar, how their Pan-African business push is going and what Nizar joining Autochek means for the business.

That's it for now. See you next month! Olumuyiwa

💡 Top 5 insights unpacked in the episode:

  • The investment potential of Morocco's early-stage startup scene [2:37]
  • Understanding foreign participation in Africa's startup ecosystem [22:09]
  • Autochek's business model [31:08]
  • Unique aspects of the Moroccan market in relation to their sub-Saharan counterparts [31:16]
  • Oversimplifications and misconceptions about the Moroccan tech ecosystem [35:55]


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🔌 USEFUL RESOURCES:

ARTICLE: Autochek expands to North Africa after acquiring Morocco’s Kifal Auto by Annie Njanja [TechCrunch]
ARTICLE: Accelerating Africa's tech boom with GITEX AFRICA by GITEX AFRICA
ARTICLE: From east to west, agritech is gaining ground in North Africa By Impact Lab Africa