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DEMO Africa, a flagship initiative of the Liberating Innovation in Opportunity Nations in Africa (LIONS@frica) which aims to connect African startups to the global ecosystem has announced a shortlist of  40 startups from  Sub-Saharan Africa to launch at DEMO Africa in Nairobi Kenya from October 24th to the 26th, 2012. The 40 finalists went through three rigorous vetting processes with the final vetting and adjudication done by a pan-African panel of judges including entrepreneurs, academics and venture capital investors.

Partners of LIONS@frica includes DEMO, Microsoft, InfoDEV, Nokia and US Department of State. DEMO Africa, the first ever Pan African technology launch pad will be hosted by African eDevelopment Resource Centre and CIO East Africa under the auspices of Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communication.

DEMO Africa
will showcase products across five core categories including consumer electronics, web-based applications, mobile technology, social media, life sciences, as well as sustainable and renewable energy.

DEMO will discover hard-to-define products that represent new categories and trends. DEMO Africa will also provide scholarships for young startups to deliver Alpha Pitches on stage – typically these are pre-revenue student startups.

“This has been a very enriching exercise seeing the kind of quality innovation coming out of Africa,” said Harry Hare, Executive Producer, DEMO Africa, when announcing the names of the final 40. The process included several DEMO Africa innovation tours to encourage participation from technology startups from as many countries as possible.

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Thomas Oppong is the founder @Alltopstartups.