LAST MONTH'S HEADLINES
During the month of March, the focus across the Middle East and Africa region was broadband and mobile fintech as key growth areas in the future.
In East Africa, Safaricom launched the first commercial 5G network in Kenya, in partnership with Nokia. The operator has provided a range of 5G devices, with plans to expand the portfolio in the coming months. However, device affordability will remain a great challenge for the operator in promoting the uptake of the service.
Airtel Africa sees mobile financial services as a key segment to power its growth in the future. The operator has a strategic plan to attract investors in its mobile money business by selling stakes in Airtel Mobile Commerce (AMC) BV, the holding company for several of Airtel Africa's mobile money operations in sub-Saharan Africa.
Across the Middle East, key operators have started shutting down their 2G networks to focus on 3G and 4G network expansion due to the increasing demand for broadband services.
Here are some of Omdia's African highlights for the month:
- Safaricom launches East Africa's first commercial 5G services in Kenya
- South Africa spectrum licensing process further delayed by court case
- Airtel Africa's mobile money business attracts $200M investment
- Hormuud Telecom awarded Somalia's first mobile license
UNITING TECH AND TALENT
We are committed to running our event in an environmentally and socially responsible way. We also want to go further and inspire the sustainable development of the industry we serve. By connecting people with relevant networks and knowledge at our event, we’re helping them to solve some of the biggest challenges facing the sector to ensure long-term, sustainable growth. Here are some of the ways we're putting our words into action on Africa's largest tech event.
TECH AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
STATE OF 5G AND AI SERVICES IN SOUTH AFRICA
Based on an Omdia survey that examines South African enterprises’ digital agenda with a focus on 5G and AI/ML services. Enterprise adoption of those technologies is increasing in South Africa to improve competitive differentiation.
FREE EBOOK: CLOSING THE GAP - ACCELERATING WOMEN IN STEM
50% of Africa's population are women, but studies show they make up only 30% of Sub-Saharan Africa's tech industry. It's time to close the gender gap.
The past year has been a wild ride for everyone. As we celebrate International Women's Day 2021, we partnered with accelerateHER and InspiringFifty to cover the state of the profession for women in tech and share tips for how to accelerate the careers of women in science and technology.
We thank Tinyiko Simbine, Kim Palmer, Lesego Masethe, D.R. Persadh, Rumbidzaishe M., Lauren Kohn, Stella Pickard, Venisha Nayagar, Dr Caroline Pule, PhD, Nerushka Bowan, Neroshnee Raga, Prof. Carolina Ödman Govender, Alinafe Sani-Chimwele, Kimryn Sherwood, Amy Turner, Carolyn Dawson and Laura Stebbing for their contribution.
THE AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA (AFCFTA): WHAT IS IT? HOW COULD IT BENEFIT YOU?
The AfCFTA, introduced on 1 January, is an exciting turning point for the continent, and the flagship project of the African Union's Agenda 2063 to boost intra-African trade. According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), AfCFTA could become the largest regional free-trade area in the world, with combined corporate and consumer spending of $6.7 trillion by 2030.
Robots, Risk, Creativity: How to build the workforce of the future
Worried about robots putting jobs at risk? Unsure how to re-train your staff following the pandemic?
In this exclusive interview for Africa Tech Festival, Sterling Bank's William Anwana shares his top tips to help you.
HOW YOUTH EMPLOYMENT SERVICE IS USING TECH INNOVATION TO REDUCE SOUTH AFRICA’S YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT CRISIS
We caught Youth Employment Service's CEO, Dr Tashmia Ismail-Saville, to chat about the importance of digitisation disrupting conventional training, using tech to reach youth during COVID-19, and building digital spaces to prepare the workforce of the future. Read the conversation here.
Connecting the Next Billion: Interview with MTN Sudan's CEO, Malik Melamu.
Find out how MTN Sudan is bridging the digital divide to enable everybody to participate in Africa’s thriving digital economy.
Also, hear from Malik on the journey to his career, challenges of network connectivity in Sudan, and the books he recommends for other tech and telco leaders in 2020.
Uniting Tech and Talent for Socio-Economic Impact
"Evolve or die, right? Telcos don't have a choice - we all have to evolve".
Watch highlights from 10th November, covering the emerging technologies across Africa. Hear from Safaricom, Microsoft, and more.
Key takeaways from 2020
Webber Wentzel was invited to speak at Africa Tech Festival. Here are some of their key takeaways:
Africa represents the greatest opportunity for exponential tech growth, and the global COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated both the need for tech adoption and the opportunity for investment. What is needed is a concerted & collaborative effort by all players to remove some of the main digital inclusivity barriers facing Africans, in order to unleash Africa’s potential to become a leader in the 4IR.
KEY DRIVERS FOR ACCELERATING AFRICA’S DIGITAL FUTURE
1 Improve infrastructure: broadband & fibre connectivity; access to and affordability of mobile devices.
2 Increase connectivity: speed, quality & cost of data & internet connection; improve digital literacy. [Africa has the highest growth rates globally in mobile & data traffic – Ericson Mobility Report]
3 Improve policy & regulatory environment: key to attract investment and encourage market development through innovation, partnerships, entrepreneurship, job creation & knowledge sharing.
“350m internet users in Africa in 2019, which is more than 20 times that of 2005, however, digital inclusion remains a key barrier in Africa.” Alioune Ndiaye, CEO – Middle East and Africa of Orange