Africa Tech Festival 2024 – The Home of AfricaCom, AfricaTech & AfricaIgnite is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

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Africa Tech Festival 2024 – The Home of AfricaCom, AfricaTech & AfricaIgnite
Event dates: 11-14 Nov 2024
Exhibition Opening Dates: 12 - 14 Nov 2024Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town
Event dates: 11-14 Nov 2024
Exhibition Opening Dates: 12 - 14 Nov 2024,
Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town

Digital Infrastructure Investment to Drive Economic Growth

Available on-demand until July 9 2021

In our second digital symposium of 2021, our line-up of expert speakers shared insights into green ICT, the journey to a 5G-enabled continent and the rise of the African data centre. We'll also be looking at how Africa's digital infrastructure backbone will be built in 2021 and beyond.

Symposium Host: Paula Gilbert | Connecting Africa

Paula Gilbert joined Connecting Africa as Editor in June 2019. The South Africa-based journalist previously worked as a TV producer and reporter for business television channels Bloomberg TV Africa and CNBC Africa and started her career in radio news. She has been reporting on key developments in Africa's telecoms and ICT sectors for most of her journalistic career and prior to joining Connecting Africa was the telecoms editor at online publication ITWeb.

What's on the Agenda?

Webinar 1: Building Africa’s Digital Infrastructure Backbone: 2021 & Beyond – 11am CAT, Tues 8 June


  • Infrastructure investment status check: Examining where are we now, where we’re going and who is spending what, where. We’ll count the cost of building a digital continent, and long-term costs of not investing
  • Infrastructure models: The varied roles of fibre, satellite, and mobile – deepdives into country strategies to integrate diverse infrastructure matrices, and understanding the limits of infrastructure models for landlocked countries and remote areas
  • 4IR-ready infrastructure: Building networks fit for the wave of disruptive technology integration
  • Governance and regulation that drives pan-African partnerships and PPPs to address continental infrastructure challenges. The role of foreign investment and issues of ownership and control


  • Razvan Ungureanu, CTO, Airtel Africa
  • Jane Coffin, Senior Vice President, Internet Growth
  • Aminata Drame, CEO, Orange International Networks Infrastructure Services (OINIS Afrique)
  • Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa (Moderator)

Webinar 2: Accelerating the Journey to a 5G-enabled Continent – 12.35pm CAT, Tues 8 June


  • Pursuing efficient roll-out of 5G infrastructure to deliver real value for consumers and enterprise, examining realistic timelines and ecosystem impact in Africa
  • The migration from 2G & 3G to 4G & 5G: examining how unused 3G & 4G spectrum affects 5G roll-out
  • Truly digital infrastructure: leveraging 5G to enhance the connectivity potential of smartphones, online platforms, and digital financial services as rapid routes to bring people online. Addressing the enduring issue of affordability for consumers: 5G-enabled handsets and data
  • 5G-ready policy frameworks: exploring the role regulation is playing in this journey, and how early adopters are creating fertile environments for 5G growth and integration across the continent
  • Disruptive Tech: understanding the opportunities and challenges for 5G-enabled disruptive technologies such as AI, Robotics, Big Data and Cloud Computing


  • Shoaib Khan, Chief Technical Officer, Cable & Wireless Seychelles
  • Angela Wamola, Acting Head, GSMA Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Thecla Mbongue, Senior Analyst - Serive Provider, Omdia
  • Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa (Moderator)

Webinar 3: The Rise of the African Data Centre – 11am CAT, Thurs 10 June


  • Mind the gap: Examining how burgeoning adoption of cloud and broader digital services is increasing demand for data centre capacity for enterprise growth into the next decade. What is being done to achieve Africa’s lofty data centre goals, and what are the costs of missing them?
  • Tech evolution: How are innovations driving operational efficiencies that mitigate increasing storage demands and power consumption? In the context of telcos, banking and the public sector markets
  • Data privacy & security: Exploring new African data privacy frameworks and how data centre providers are navigating the increased spotlight on enterprise data protection, and consumer privacy
  • Exploring South Africa’s thriving data centre industry: what can aspiring nations learn from SA’s journey, and how can these learnings help address unequal distribution of capacity across the continent


  • Lucy Chege, Head: Energy, Env & ICT, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA)
  • Russell Southwood, CEO, Balancing Act
  • Kyle Spencer, Executive Director, Uganda Internet eXchange Point
  • Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Webinar 4: Green ICT and sustainable routes to electrification – 12.35pm CAT, Thurs 10 June


  • Championing electrification: Prioritising the provision of affordable, reliable and sustainable energy as the first step in Africa’s green energy drive, and realistic timelines for widespread adoption
  • Challenge 2035: Unpacking Africa’s incredible natural resources in regional contexts, exploring latency, and examining how nations are addressing legacy challenges such as infrastructure investment and outdated policy to drive meaningful progress towards a ‘Green Africa’
  • Green pioneers: Africa’s early adopters of truly sustainable power generation. How are these national efforts, by countries such as Morocco, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, being achieved through policy & green incentives, PPPs, infrastructure realignment and public education?
  • Disruptive technology: Exploring how innovations in renewable energy tech, and device developments are creating more energy efficient consumer and enterprise markets  


  • Nat-Sy Missamou, Director of Orange Energy OMEA
  • James Li, Member of the Supervisory Board, President of Global Marketing & Sales & Services, Huawei Digital Power, Huawei
  • Michel Fraisse, Europe Vice President & CTO, Digital Power Product Line, Huawei
  • Dulip Tillekeratne, Senior Manager - Market Engagement, CleanTech, M4D at GSMA
  • Chido Muzondo, Energy Policy Consultant, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
  • Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa (Moderator)

Green ICT - Platinum Sponsor: Huawei