AfricaCom 2019

Free talks by industry leaders and visionaries to provide insight into how Africa can unlock its true potential – transformation, sustainability and economic freedom


Over the past 20 years and more, AfricaCom has become synonymous with thought provoking content, diverse opinion and visionary insights. AfricaCom 2019 will be no exception, with a speaker line-up set to inform, inspire and even challenge attending delegates to think beyond the norm in creating the solutions for to

The AfricaCom Headliners feature 30 of Africa’s most prominent digital tech and telecoms thought-leaders. Discussions around digital transformation, sustainability and driving enterprise and entrepreneurial growth through communications and connectivity, will take centre stage at the Headliner sessions. And, the best bit? They are all completely free to attend and take place each day of AfricaCom.

Tom Cuthell, Event Director at Informa, organisers of AfricaCom and AfricaTech said: “Each year, we look to provide further value to all our delegates. The importance of the conversation around telecommunications and technology—convergence and potential—is highlighted at AfricaCom and I believe that the content this year, is particularly excellent and will indeed, be a valuable contribution to Africa’s progression.”

Here are some of the AfricaCom 2019 Headliners to look forward to:

The Hon. Mohamed Rahman Swaray, the newly appointed Minister of Information and Communications for the Republic of Sierra Leonne, is a firm believer in the power that unlocking Africa’s connectivity can have, for the continent as a whole. Swaray will be joined by The Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications, Republic of Ghana, as well as Nic Rudnick, CEO of Liquid Telecom and Mohamed Dabbour, EVP Africa at Millicom. Together, they will examine economic growth through digital connectivity, including a robust discussion around the need for ICT strategies to encourage entrepreneurs to do business across borders.

Sport and particularly football, is a passion for multitudes of people but, as we move ever further into the digital realm, it is becoming increasingly necessary to adapt strategies to keep fans engaged and coming back for more. Discussing this, Ahmad Ahmad, President at the Confederation of African Football (CAF), will present a session around ‘The Digital Game.’

Adaptation to a technology-led world is an ongoing conversation, and one that will be driven by a panel discussion moderated by De Wet Bischoff, Managing Director for Communications, Media and Technology, South Africa at Accenture. This CXO Panel will also explore how digitalisation is impacting business efficiency, how telcos need to adapt to 4.0 and what the user experience of the future will be like.

Despite leaps in technology, the world is still an unequal society. A key theme at this year’s AfricaCom is how technology can address this divide, empower and transform societies to ensure digital inclusivity and democracy. A keynote address that will look at digital transformation through the telco lens and engage will be presented by Rob Shuter, Group President and CEO of MTN on how to ensure the digital society is an inclusive one.

Underpinning every discussion throughout AfricaCom, will be the rollout of 5G and the opportunities this presents. The monetisation of 5G is a critical presentation that will take place on Tuesday 14th November and is not to be missed.

On Wednesday 15 November, the Headliner sessions kick-off with a panel discussion, moderated by Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng, Chairperson ICASA, on the framework needed to propel Africa forward. The right environment needs to be created to encourage innovation and the investment needed to unlock Africa’s potential. What will unlock it?

Other presentations and panel discussions on Wednesday will continue the conversation around what is still needed for Africa’s digital economic transformation. What do enterprises need in order to update their legacy approach to embrace a more digi-centric approach to future customers, for example. Speaking to the future, Isobel do Santos, Chairwoman of UNITEL, Angola’s largest telecommunications provider will lead a discussion around the emerging technologies that are required to support a vibrant and secure digital economy, while Calvo Mawela, CEO of the Multichoice Group, will present a paper on leveraging digital and human capabilities to enable business success.

With innovation a key theme at this year’s event, Thursday will herald the final round of the Africa50 Innovation Challenge: Crowdsourcing innovative solutions to drive last mile connectivity on the continent. This session showcases the shortlisted ICT developers, innovators, engineers and entrepreneurs as part of the Africa50 Innovation challenge to help increase access to high-speed internet in under-served areas in Africa.

The winning solutions will receive cash prizes and/or will be considered for project development funding. Projects will be rolled-out in Rwanda as the pilot country, with the objective to scale them up to other countries in Africa

Data, data and yet more data…what to do with it and how to derive the maximum benefit from the reams of information collected per second of everyday. Discover how in a session entitled: Making a step change for digital customer experience.

AfricaCom’s Headliners will close with perhaps one of the most important discussions —how to develop the necessary skills to ensure that Africa claims its technological potential. Education models need to change to take account of this new paradigm. An illuminating panel discussion on ‘skills development for the job market of the future’, will be presented by Debbie Schäfer, Provincial Minister for Education, Western Cape Government. What is required for the youth to be fully versed in technology and how to reach hard to reach areas to fast-track true transformation and inclusion —find out on Thursday 14th November 2019.

For over 20 years, there has been no better place to meet everybody who’s anybody in African connectivity and communications, than at AfricaCom. AfricaTech will ensure that the same now applies to enterprise digital transformation.

AfricaTech Centre Stage sets the scene

Don’t be left behind in the digital race. Free talks to learn from experts in preparation for beyond tomorrow

Visitors at this year’s AfricaCom can expect even more than in previous years, with the launch of a brand-new show feature—the AfricaTech Centre Stage. This is a focused centrepiece at AfricaTech, a new zoned exhibition area dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, fintech, cloud, data and security, and cutting edge content, along with a host of excellent networking opportunities.

The AfricaTech Centre Stage will explore the intersection of technology innovation and enterprise digital transformation and will provide attendees with a series of free talks, presentations and discussions around what is required to secure Africa’s place on the future world stage.

Taking place 12-14 November 2019 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), and co-located with AfricaCom, the AfricaTech Centre Stage will open at 11H30 each day. Sessions on Tuesday will culminate in a Women in Tech Takeover, just ahead of the official launch party of AfricaCom at the AfricaTech hall.

Presentations and discussions will be wide-ranging and critical to learning what works, what doesn’t, and the strategies that are needed to make the most of the burgeoning 4th Industrial Revolution. Blockchain, AI, IT trends and investment priorities, data driven farming, how technology is revolutionising healthcare, agriculture, mining, finance and banking, as well as the effective leadership required to get there in an age of technology innovation and digital disruption will form part of the dialogues on offer.

What will the future of work actually look like and how can digital transformation be translated into economic prosperity? How can enterprises futureproof their survival—what indeed, will businesses look like in two, five and ten years’ time and how can enterprises revitalise and reshape the workplace as an energetic and inclusive environment? AfricaTech Centre Stage will examine these topics and provide much to think about for all audiences.

Security is always a hot topic when it comes to operating in today’s digital world. Cyber security, data privacy and lessons derived from data breaches, will also come under the spotlight.

The final day of the AfricaTech Centre Stage talks will posit the need for disruptive mindsets to take full advantage of the technology at our fingertips.

It is not enough just to have the tools, it’s what to do with them that matters. And, it must matter. In an age where digital has the ability to close the inequality gap, how technology is applied will make the difference. Pertinent talks on the subject include: Innovate or Die and how to use innovation to combat Africa’s challenges. Disrupt or be Disrupted, as well as a panel discussion on putting Africa’s IoT plan into action and immersive experiences that will explore the use of AR and VR in the enterprise context are also on offer.

No stage would be complete without the spotlight being shone on one the fastest growing sports and entertainment genres in the world —eGaming and eSports. This will no doubt be a packed session especially given the recent number of gaming millionaires.

Speakers in the spotlight at AfricaTech Centre Stage include:

  • Prof. Brian Armstrong, Chair of Digital Business, Wits Business School
  • Dr. Bitange Ndemo, Chairman of the Blockchain and Artificial intelligence Taskforce, Government of Kenya,
  • Tebogo Nakampe, Co-Founder & CEO, ABI
  • Adrian Ho, Practice Leader, Enterprise Advanced Digital Services, Ovum
  • Alex Granger, Think Shifter, Author, Co-Founder and Chief Purpose Officer, Twice Blue
  • Dr. Nyankomo Marwa, Senior Lecturer in Econometrics and Development Finance, University of Stellenbosch Business School & Director of Policy Research and Planning, Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank
  • Hon. Michael Onyango, Distributed Ledgers and Artificial Intelligence Taskforce, Ministry of ICT, Kenya
  • Isabel dos Santos, Chair, Unitel
  • Tony Parry, CEO, Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA)
  • Seaparo Phala, CIO, Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa
  • Dr. Kiru Pillay, Chief Director: Cybersecurity Operations, Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Government of South Africa
  • Henry Denner, Information Technology Security Officer, Gautrain Management Agency
  • Modibedi Oliphant, Group Chief Information & Digital Officer, Prostar Paints South Africa
  • Seaparo Phala, CIO, Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa
  • Mandla Magagul, Blockchain Consultant, Rand Merchant Bank
  • Peter Greenwall, Creative Director, Innovation101
  • Joseph Ndaba, Commissioner 4IR, Republic of South Africa, Founder and CEO, Mahikeng Innovation Hub

AfricaTech at AfricaCom 2019, is the place to be for unparalleled knowledge and acumen around a host of critical topics in preparation for everyone’s future - it is simply not to be missed.

Top 7 Reasons to Visit AfricaCom in 2019

AfricaCom 2019 featuring AfricaTech is only a few weeks away, and with a multitude of content on offer, here is a quick round-up of the top reasons why professionals in the technology and telecommunications space, and just about anyone who has an interest in how these sectors are shaping our collective future, should attend. (The event takes place 12-14 November 2019 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), South Africa).

Here’s a snapshot of what’s on offer:

  1. Exhibitors – two separate exhibition halls to accommodate the vast array of companies and organisations involved in delivering connectivity, along with some of the technological advancements that are defining how we work, live and play. In its 22nd year, the event has attracted some of the biggest global brands, along with a host of innovative challengers.
  2. The Connectivity Hall - home to the worlds of connectivity and communications, enterprise digital transformation, ICT policy, broadcasting and digital media. Delegates can meet up with China Mobile, Vodacom, Maraphone, World Telecom Labs, Huawei, Liquid Telecom, Wiseasy, Ericsson, Airtel Business, Avanti, ZTE, Anritsu, and Openserve along with a host of other telecoms providers who are making it happen. The Connectivity Hall is where visitors will also discover satellite providers, wireless organisations and innovators that are delivering software solutions that disaggregate hardware and software for a collaborative approach to connectivity. AfricaTech - The Home of IT and Enterprise Digital Transformation. This Hall located in CTICC 2, is dedicated to IT and enterprise digital transformation. The floorspace is split into different technology zones along with premium conferences dedicated to IoT, Blockchain, AI, Fintech, Cloud Computing and Data Centres. Also, network features, technology and industry specific deep dive sessions and a host of new social spaces. Meet the likes of, Cassava Fintech, Intel, Deloitte, Darktrace, Polymorph, Bluebridge One, Core Vision, Paxful, Red Hat, TPP, Wipro, Truphone, and banking institutions that are leading digital transformation in South Africa such as FNB and ABSA.
  3. Conferences, Panel Discussions and Masterclasses – world-class speakers and experts who will share their knowledge with conference goers. This premium content is also FREE to all registered visitors. LeadersIn Summit – a gathering of industry VIPs who meet to discuss and formulate solutions to many of the challenges facing Africa’s digital progression.
  4. Investment Opportunities – start-ups and entrepreneurs are the fuel driving the future of Africa and each year AfricaCom featuring AfricaTech, attracts some of the brightest minds and young companies that are creating world class solutions to local challenges. AHUB over in the AfricaTech hall for example, will present some exciting options for investors who have keen eyes on the technological future of tomorrow.
  5. Networking – AfricaCom featuring AfricaTech, is the place for local and global colleagues to meet to entrench relationships and partnerships, form new friendships and discover new ideas. While digital communication is efficient and far-reaching, there is much to be said for face-to-face contact, which AfricaCom featuring AfricaTech, more than amply provides.
  6. Social Scene – all work and no play would probably be incredibly dull so, the organisers of the event ensure there are plenty of opportunities for delegates and visitors to shake off the rigours of a busy workday with happy hour events at the AfricaTech hall, and of course, AfricaCom’s famous AFestparty. The highly anticipated AfricaCom Awards night also plays host to a well attended after party.
  7. Business – there is no doubt about it, AfricaCom is the biggest and most successful marketplace for doing business. Each year, a raft of business deals and partnerships are constructed. Some are pre-planned but, many are new contracts concluded as a result of attending the world’s largest event of its kind and being exposed to fresh thinking and new suppliers.

AfricaCom featuring AfricaTech, is expecting to break attendance records this year, attracting more than 15 000 visitors. This is driven in part by the growing dependence on digital but, also due to the superb content that is on offer in 2019. It is certainly an event whose importance and influence can be under estimated.

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