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8 - 12 November 2021
Virtual Event

Connecting the Next Billion

Uniting Africa’s connectivity champions to deliver on the promise of affordable, reliable, and sustainable digital connectivity for all

The Connecting the Next Billion track at AfricaCom brings governments, MNOs & ISPs, global tech giants, rural & remote access solution providers and digital inclusion experts together to explore why access, affordability and applicability remain the key challenges to connecting the continent.

What's it about?

Internet connectivity is a critical accelerator of socio-economic development and has the potential to enrich the lives of hundreds of millions of people. Outlined as of critical importance for Africa for many decades, bridging the digital divide has remained a central tenet of the continent’s digital transformation journey. Join governments, MNOs & ISPs, global tech giants, rural & remote access solution providers and digital inclusion experts to explore why access, affordability and applicability remain the key challenges to connecting the continent. We’ll examine business and partnership models that make rural connectivity more financially viable, learn about innovative technologies and discuss the role of policymakers and regulators in creating an enabling environment that supports Africa’s connectivity champions.

Key sessions include...

Why authentic African stories are a critical piece of the 4IR

  • Tailored tales: Discussing the link between bespoke digital content and engagement - how country-specific video, music, and news brings, keeps and inspires Africans online

  • Going global: The next frontier for African music, movies, and stories - showcasing what the continent has to offer international audiences, and monetising it

  • Adoption hurdles: Exploring the challenges of slow and expensive internet, high production costs, competition and the potential for national content frameworks

  • Nollywood effect: Nigeria’s second largest employer and export, generating ~$800M p/a for the economy - what makes Nollywood special, and what can the continent learn from Nigeria?

Project Taara: Delivering wireless light-beam broadband for Africa

  • InnovaTech: Looking at the nuts and bolts of the tech behind the project - how data transmission via light beam can deliver 20+ Gbps connectivity over distances of >20km

  • Integration: How can the technology integrate into Africa’s wider connectivity matrix to bring internet access to remote and unconnected areas?  

  • Partnerships: Which partnerships is the project leveraging with the continent’s telcos, ISPs, governments and infrastructure partners?

  • Scalability: Exploring opportunities for scalable uptake of wireless optical communication across the African continent

Africa’s evolving connectivity models in 2021 and beyond

  • Model matrix: Unpacking how new fibre-satellite collaboration is facilitating more complementary connectivity models, and how novel tech breakthroughs are plugging in

  • Major moves: Exploring the status and impact of the biggest fibre and satellite connectivity projects on-continent

  • Value-based policy: Policy to champion super-fast, affordable broadband; knowledge sharing; and industry consultation as the very foundations of technological integration

Africa’s Internet Connectivity Key Trends in 2021

Connecting off-grid markets to bring Africa’s next billion online

Video: The value of connectivity in poor, marginalised and remote areas


Mike Jensen , Managing Director at ICT Consulting is joined by Patrick Byamungu, Co-founder at Director at La Difference  talk about the value of connectivity in poor, marginalised and remote areas

Liquid Intelligent Technologies surpasses 100,000 km of fiber

Liquid Intelligent Technologies has reached a major milestone, passing 100,000 km of fiber in Africa. This makes the company – which was formerly called Liquid Telecom – the largest independent fiber network provider on the continent and in emerging markets globally.