The much-awaited World AI Show and World Blockchain Summit organised by the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation, the Republic of Mauritius in coordination with the Mauritian Economic Development Board and Trescon, was officially inaugurated at the InterContinental Resort, Balaclava Fort, Mauritius on the 28 November 2018, with a special address delivered by Mauritius’ Prime Minister, The Hon. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth; Minister of Technology, Communication & Innovation, The Hon. Yogida Sawmynaden and a grand entry made by Hanson Robotics’ first social humanoid robot, Sophia.
The 3-day event saw a series of knowledge – packed sessions that centred on prospects for AI, ML and Blockchain implementation in Mauritius.
To support the burgeoning Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence industry of Mauritius, World AI Show and World Blockchain Summit brought together industry experts, technology providers, investors, innovators, government authorities, regional policymakers and emerging startups from all around the world.
The events witnessed over 1200 participants including CIOs, international blockchain and AI experts, technology providers, innovative startups and more than 100 Media attendees; all-in-all representing from over 30 countries.
The world’s biggest AI show series hit the ground running with a grand opening and a packed house of eager audiences.
The show officially began with an opening speech delivered by the Director of Ceremony Nandini B. Kissoon-Luckputtya, Deputy Permanent Secretary, MTCI, Republic of Mauritius and an inaugural welcome address from Dr (Mrs) R. Y. Moorghen, Permanent Secretary, MTCI, Republic of Mauritius.
Following the inaugural address, CEO of Trescon, Mohammed Saleem, delivered the opening address welcoming all the dignitaries present at the event. In his opening address, Mr Mohammed Saleem said, “Following almost 8 months of touring the world, organising the World AI Show successfully at Dubai, Amsterdam, Singapore and Mumbai, we are now bringing this popular show to Mauritius, which was till very recently seen as a nascent AI adopter, Mauritius is now gearing up to lead the world in the applications of AI, Machine Learning and Robotics, across both public and private sectors. Truly, there could not have been a better time to debut in Mauritius, than now!”
The Economic Development board (EDB) was a major pillar of support that made the World AI Show a success. Mr Francois Guibert, CEO of the EDB, Republic of Mauritius, delivered the first keynote speech of the event, which gave the audience an insight into how the adoption of AI in Mauritius will lead to a higher end Mauritian economy.
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius, The Hon. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth gave an engaging speech on growth enablers for Mauritius. In his speech, he quoted “We want to maximize the use of emerging technologies in our journey towards a better Mauritius. I have no doubt that the future of industries and businesses will depend very much on the use of new technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, FinTech, the Internet of Things and Big Data.”
Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Republic of Mauritius, The Hon. Yogida Sawmynaden delivered a Keynote on ‘How Artificial Intelligence drives the technology landscape of Mauritius’.
The highlight of the event was the captivating interactive session between Sophia, Hanson Robotics’ first social humanoid robot, Mr George Chung, Senior Economic Advisor to Prime Minister’s Office and Mr Avinash Meetoo, IT Advisor for the ministry of technology. The crowd was intrigued by the almost human-like interaction between Mr George Chung and Mr Avinash Meetoo.
During the fascinating conversation, when asked about the scenario of humans being replaced by Robots, Sophia had remarked: “I don’t think that Robots should be built to replace humans, in fact, technology creates new opportunities.”
Celebrated speakers in the domain of AI such as Hans Christensen, Vice President – Dtec, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Authority, Damien Gromier, Président, of France is AI and Dr Satyam Priyadarshy, Chief Data Scientist at Halliburton presented their analogies during the panel discussion.
Day two started off with an inaugural welcome address by DR (Mrs) R.Y. Moorghen, Permanent Secretary of MTCI, Republic of Mauritius.
The event witnessed an intriguing discussion on “The emerging role of Artificial Intelligence in the financial sector’ by renowned panel speakers.
Startup World Cup – Regional Competition’, organised in association with Fenox VC, is a premier global startup pitch competition where it featured 8 shortlisted startups showcasing their ideas and innovations to an esteemed panel of judges. ‘AERACCESS’, a security drone company won the Startup World Cup regional finals for Africa. They received a free trip to compete at the grand finale in 2019 for a shot to win US$ 1 Million grand prize in San Francisco.
During the event, a MoU was also signed between EDB and Huawei to collaborate towards unleashing the full potential of the ICT sector for the national development of Mauritius. According to the MoU, EDB will include Huawei as part of its ICT strategy committee and endorse Huawei as an ICT partner capable of contributing towards the formulation of strategies on AI, Blockchain and ICT development strategies.
A gala dinner sponsored by Mauritius Telecom and a lot of networking at World AI Show Mauritius.
In conclusion, the World AI show certainly made its mark as the biggest AI show series for its first time in Mauritius. The show brought together numerous technology experts from various industry verticals to discuss prospects of technological convergence for the future.
After the success of World AI show, World Blockchain Summit kicked-off on day 3.
Following a grand summit that was hosted in Dubai which saw more than 900+ attendees including governments, enterprises, investors, innovators, corporates, and emerging startups from all around the world, World Blockchain Summit debuted in the Island nation for the first time.
The Hon. Yogida Sawmynaden giving a keynote presentation on how Blockchain can change the technology landscape of Mauritius.
With Government Dignitaries & Industry Veterans in attendance WBS Mauritius 2018 opened with a full house!
Blockchain specialist Dinis Guarda, delivered an engaging speech on the combination of AI and Blockchain as the next big thing for the future.
Gilbert Reveillon, President of ICT & Digital Economy, CNCCEF, France, gave an elucidating presentation on Blockchain for digital health, logistics and trade finance and its evolutionary impact on healthcare forcing its digitalization and transformation.
Nebil Aissa from Nexxo launched his Blockchain powered crypto POS device.
The World’s First Global, Blockchain-Powered Small Business Financial Services Platform Nexxo, participated as the silver sponsor for WBS Mauritius. Nexxo partners with local banks, local central banks, as well as international financial networks in order to empower under-banked small businesses in emerging markets.
The Regulation panel spoke about the latest developments in Europe and regarding digital assets, STO and ICOs.
Both events sparked initiatives between government speakers, Sponsors, AI and Blockchain experts and industry leaders to drive innovation, networking and exchange of ideas in and around new technologies that can serve as a pillar for economic development strategy.