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Africa Tech Festival 2022 - The Home of AfricaCom
Core Agenda & Exhibition: 8-10 Nov
Partner Programmes & Digital Content: 7 - 11 NovCape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town

Core Agenda & Exhibition: 8-10 Nov
Partner Programmes & Digital Content: 7 - 11 Nov,
Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town

Changing Lives Award

Voting is now open!

This award recognises organisations and initiatives that have made a significant contribution to helping us build a more accessible and inclusive digital world.

SeamlessHR & Special Olympics Nigeria

Codeable initiative

Special Olympics Nigeria, in partnership with SeamlessHR, has launched a new training programme tagged “Codeable” to empower vulnerable young people with technology skills, increasing their access to opportunities that enhance independence. 

The partnership which is the first of its kind is set to train over a hundred young people in the next three years, offering internship placements to the best performing students at the end of the program.

Hormuud Telecom

Somalia is on the brink of famine. Since January 2021, one million people have been displaced by drought. Aid has become a lifeline to survival. Yet humanitarian organisations face challenges reaching people migrating from drought-affected areas to Somalia's cities. Only 15% of the population have a bank account and even then, sending individual transfers is a time-intensive process. 


However, many IDPs use Hormuud Telecom's EVC Plus. As Somalia's most popular mobile money service, it is free at the point of use and is used by over three-quarters (76%) of the population. Recognising the critical utility of its large customer base, Hormuud developed its humanitarian portal. 


The portal provides a traceable, efficient, and timely way to distribute cash assistance via mobile money. With it, humanitarian organisations can distribute $1 million at a time to up to 10,000 beneficiaries with just a click of a button. The service is regulated by the Central Bank of Somalia and complies with international standards. Considering many humanitarian organisations left Somalia during Covid-19, Hormuud is enabling organisations to donate from anywhere in the world, continuing to access and help beneficiaries. 


Used by some of Somalia's largest international aid donors, as well as grassroots organisations, the portal is an effective and nimble solution to reach those affected by the drought. EVC Plus runs on both smart and basic cell phones. So, in creating a digitally inclusive platform for humanitarian organisations use, mothers can now purchase food and water to keep their families alive. They can also share aid with their relatives at no cost. Since 2020, the humanitarian portal has seen a surge in donations of 50%, demonstrating its crucial role in providing aid to one of Somalia's most vulnerable populations in their hour of need.

Project Isizwe

#AfricaUncapped is Project Isizwe's vision. 

We believe that everyone has the right to fast, reliable, and sustainable uncapped internet. Ideally, we believe this should be free to all Africans, just like water and electricity. We work with partners and donors to make this happen. Where we don't have sponsors to provision a free allocation, we deploy an affordable solution that is sustainable for our users at R5 per 24 hours of uncapped WiFi. The prohibitive mobile data costs mean that Africans pay 100 times more than first-world citizens to connect to the internet. 

By provisioning free and affordable internet, Project Isiziwe is making the online world more accessible and ensuring inclusivity for those otherwise left behind, on the wrong side of the digital divide. Education is at the forefront of Project Isizwe's strategy. No learner in the world should have to pay for internet access. We are driving a programme to bring 17,000 schools in South Africa that currently have no internet, online to ensure equitable access for teachers and learners. Almost 80 schools have access to free internet from Project Isizwe. Each month, Project Isizwe changes the lives of 35,000+ users who consume 80TB of data. Collectively, Project Isizwe's free and affordable WiFi saves our users more than R200 million a year, which is what they would pay to access the internet via expensive mobile data. This is how Project Isizwe is changing lives.

M-KOPA

M-KOPA combines mobile payments and IoT connectivity to enable people in remote parts of Africa to purchase the products they need, and power them affordably. 

Today, M-KOPA offers its customers a choice of six solar-powered lighting systems, five solar-powered televisions, one solar-powered fridge and a wide variety of smartphones. Over half a million mobile payments are now processed daily via M-KOPA's financing platform, with customer credit monitored and managed remotely. 

To date, M-KOPA has unlocked $600m in credit for more than two million low-income customers in sub-Saharan Africa and enabled 600,000 people to access the internet for the very first time by making smartphone ownership affordable. The company estimates that the lives of 3.8 million individuals have been improved through access to clean energy generated by the products it provides. 

The Industrial Parks Development Coorporation

The Ethiopian Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) was established in 2014, as one of the public enterprises. Inspired by the full support of the government, IPDC is becoming an engine of rapid industrialization that nurtures manufacturing industries, accelerates economic transformation, promote and attract both domestic and foreign investors.

To activate both pre and post-investment servicing, it avails serviced industrial land, pre-built factory sheds equipped with all-encompassing utilities, and infrastructural facilities that fit international standards, with no compromise on workers’ security and environmental safety.

Indeed, it is important to note, that IPDC, in collaboration Ethiopian Investment commission and Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority, and more institutions provide a one-stop-shop service for investors investing in designated industrial parks.

ANSI

ANSI: Smart Villages for rural growth and digital inclusion

The Smart Villages for Rural Growth and Financial Inclusion Project for Niger aims to increase access to cellphone and broadband services in rural areas and to bring digital financial services to selected underserved areas.

Intelsat has partnered with Niger’s Agency for Information Society (ANSI), to implement a pilot of 10 Smart Villages in rural Niger. As a result, 10 villages were equipped with a complete turn-key public Wi-Fi access service via satellite to connect communities where existing communications infrastructure doesn’t reach.

The Republic of Niger is a country with a young population living mostly in rural, remote, and hard-to-reach areas. The lack of coverage is the primary binding constraint that explains why key digital services are not more widely accessed and used in rural Niger.

Extending mobile coverage of mobile networks to people currently unserved (almost ten percent of the Niger population) has a lot of benefits:

  • Rural populations will have access to a number of services that are not currently available or not optimally accessible 
  • Through technology and e-learning, education in rural areas will be improved

This is a project that puts technology at the service of development. The project also involves the expansion of priority digital services in areas such as health, education, agriculture, finance, and commerce.

This is a true example of a public-private partnership to bridge the digital divide.

Nokia & Forge Academy: BBBEE

Despite the right to equality, not all people in South Africa are born to equal circumstances. The history of South Africa has resulted in an economic and opportunities disparity based on race and has resulted in many Black people in South Africa not enjoying the same opportunities and so being substantively equal to the remainder of South Africa.

The purpose of the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment is to bridge the gap between formal and substantive equality to ensure that all people in South Africa fully enjoy the right to equality. This can only be achieved through well designed programmes where intent is clear and purposeful and outcomes are constantly measured and evaluated to ensure the goals of economic empowerment are met. Nokia together with Forge Academy have implemented a three-year programme that successfully addresses the goals of economic inclusion through access to educational pathways linked to 4IR, employment and small business support.

Forge Academy & Labs welcomes research fellows and local technology companies to its first 5G Futures Lab in Africa, which is based on the Nokia 5G Futures Labs model in Sydney, Australia. Nokia describes its 5G Futures Lab as enabling the development, testing and demonstration of potential 5G use cases in the lab and in the field. They are also a place where Nokia, its partners and customers come together to explore the potential of 5G.

Since its launch in 2019, the academy has hosted several hackathons and offered 4IR internships to help young South Africans grow their digital skillsets.

Forge Academy notes the 5G Futures Lab is part of continued investment in all future skills technology, to stay ahead of 4IR training delivery, adding it can be used by other companies as a 5G testing facility to test apps and development in this space.

Furthermore, the academy will rollout 5G global certification training to African students based on Nokia Bell labs 5G certification for anyone wanting to certify in the technology.

“Nokia has always prioritised ensuring that countries get equipped for the fourth industrial revolution. The build of the 5G Futures Lab with Forge Academy ensures we build the skills and opportunities to do just that," emphasises Pat Wiehahn, head of strategic relations and transformation at Nokia.