Africa Tech Festival

Africa Tech Festival 2020

Top things to look out for at AfricaCom and AfricaTech in 2020

The virtual Africa Tech Festival is fast approaching (09-12 November 2020) and with an exceptional line-up of speakers, content and discussion points like never before. 

In advance of the events, the organisers have also opened up the platform to allow registered delegates, speakers and exhibitors the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the virtual real estate.  This also affords those attending and participating, the prospect of pre-arranging meetings and setting up their viewing agendas.  

Here are some of the key highlights to expect:

1.       AfricaTech Festival

Africa Tech Festival is the new name for a week of world-class tech events that includes AfricaCom (the home of connectivity and digital infrastructure), AfricaTech (the home of enterprise transformation and emerging technologies); the AHUB (unleashing the power of Africa’s Tech Start-Up Ecosystem; and accelerateHER Africa (addressing the underrepresentation of women in technology). Being virtual, has afforded organisers the ability to arrange a superb line-up, as well as making the event infinitely more accessible to participants and delegates within Africa and beyond.

2.       The Africa Tech Festival Headliners

Featuring Africa’s most prominent digital thought-leaders from organisations including MTN, Vodacom, FacebookUnited Nations Economic Commission for Africaand more, the AfricaCom Headliners will share their insights on the most important topics in African technology, telecommunications and innovation. 

·         Siya Kolisi, co-Founder, Kolisi Foundation

·         Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Republic of South Africa

·         Paula Ingabire, Minister of ICT & Innovation, Republic of Rwanda

·         Shameel Joosub, Group CEO, Vodacom

·         Lillian Barnard, Managing Director, Microsoft South Africa

·         Charles Molapisi, Group Chief Technology & Information Officer, MTN

·         Alioune Ndiaye, CEO, Middle East and Africa, Orange

·         Pinky Kekana, Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Republic of South Africa

·         Yolanda Cuba, Group Chief Digital and Fintech Officer, MTN

·         Professor Tshilidzi Marwala, Deputy Chair, Presidential 4IR Commission

·         Alice Munyua, Director, Africa Innovation and Public Policy, Mozilla

·         Nenzeni Babs Duma, CIO, WesBank

·         Nitin Gajria, Director – Sub-Saharan Africa, Google

·         Izabela Milewska, Digital Skills Global Leader, Amazon Web Services

·         Bob Skinstad, Former Springbok Captain and World Cup Winner, Partner, Knife Capital

·         Emmanuel Lubanzadio, Head of Public Policy for Sub-Saharan Africa, Twitter

·         Kojo Boakye, Director, Africa Public Policy, Facebook

·         Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director at International Trade Centre

·         Dejan Kastelic, Group Chief Technology Officer, Vodacom.

3.       Announcement of the Africa50 Innovation Challenge Winner

Hear from Africa50, Smart Africa, the ITU and Paula Ingabire, Minister of ICT and Innovation, Rwanda, about the importance of investing in digital infrastructure and find out who from the Africa50 Innovation Challenge came out on top.

4.       AccelerateHER Africa – new for 2020

Addressing the underrepresentation of women in technology. Hear from Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Republic of South Africa, Arianna Huffington, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global, Yolanda Cuba, Group Chief Digital and Fintech Officer, MTN and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women

5.       Global Tech Brands Sharing Exciting Africa Plans

Find out why Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, WeWork and others are so excited about Africa’s 4IR potential and learn about their strategies for the continent.

6.       New AfricaCom Awards theme: Building a Better Digital World

Check out new categories for 2020 such as the COVID-19 Response Award, the Last Mile Connectivity Award and the Building a Better, More Inclusive, Digital World Award and celebrate with the winners.

7.       Mobile Network Operator Heavyweights Out in Force

Find out what Africa’s connectivity champions are doing to connect the next billion. Hear from Shameel Joosub, Group CEO, Vodacom, Charles Molapisi, Group Chief Technology & Information Officer, MTN, Alioune Ndiaye, CEO, Middle East and Africa, Orange.

8.       Enterprise Transformation gGants Share 4IR Vision

Explore the forefront of emerging tech and find out what the likes of Microsoft, AWS, IBM and Oracle are doing to power enterprise digital transformation across the continent.

9.       Top African Tech Start-Ups take to the Stage

Visit the AHUB to see top Africa tech start-ups pitch courtesy of our partners VC4A, Startupbootcamp Africa and ITC SheTrades. The theme is entrepreneurship as an engine for job creation and economic growth.

10.   Deep Dives into Healthcare as well as Banking and Financial Services are on offer along with a series of key tracks that include:

·         5G Africa

·         Data Centres Africa

·         Artificial Intelligence Africa

·         AfricaTech Centre Stage

·         Fintech Africa

·         Future of Work

·         Blockchain Africa, and

·         IoT Africa

11.   Other top speakers include sponsors such as:

·         Louis Richards, Ecosystem Partnership Director, EMEA, Console Connect, PCCW Global

·         Jean Claude Tshipama, Business Development Director, Konnect Africa

·         Raul Martinez, Chief Commercial Officer, Upstream

·         Clive Charlton, Head of Solution Architecture – Sub-Saharan Africa, Amazon Web Services

·         Zubin Chagpar, Head of Public Sector, Middle East & Africa, Amazon Web Services

·         Lucky La Riccia, Head of Digital Services, Ericsson Middle East & Africa.

12.   Exhibitor Announcements/launches/press conferences:

PCCW Global – Console Connect by PCCW Global and Balancing Act will be launching theAfrica Interconnection Report at AfricaCom 2020 on Monday 9thNovember at 12pm SAST. 

Based on recent research, the session uncovers valuable insights and predictions on Africa’s developing Cloud and Data Centre market and introduces Console Connect as Africa’s first Software Defined Interconnection platform. Visit the PCCW Global Virtual Booth on Monday 9th November to download a copy of the report.

Ericsson – will also host a roundtable about digital connectivity for schools and learners to bridge the digital divide. Experts from UNICEF, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Ericsson will highlight the joint UNICEF and ITU Giga project and how internet access in education is a key enabler for today’s youth.

On the 10th of November, President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa, Fadi Pharaon will set #AfricaInMotion in a keynote speech, followed by a presentation by Ericsson Middle East and Africa’s Head of Networks Chafic Traboulsi focusing on ‘5G Progress and Prospects in Africa’ and concluding the day with a workshop focusing on ‘Virtual Leaders in Africa Summit 2020’ by Vice Presidents of Ericsson Middle East and Africa Nora Wahby, Nicolas Blixell and Todd Ashton.

On the final day, Lucky La Ricca, Head of Digital Services in Ericsson Middle East and Africa will speak about ‘Smarter networks accelerating Africa’s digital agenda’ followed by a presentation by Eva Andrén, Head of Managed Services in Ericsson Middle East and Africa on ‘Applying AI Automation across the entire lifecycle of Network Operations’. The day will be concluded with a continuation of the workshop on ‘Virtual Leaders in Africa Summit 2020’.

Orange – Since 2011, the Orange Social Venture Prize in Africa and the Middle East, rewards start-ups promoting social development through the innovative use of ICT. The competition is organised in two stages: first a national competition in 17 countries; then an international jury chooses the Grand Prize winners. The 3 big winners are rewarded either by a sum €25,000 by a sum of €15,000 or a sum of €10,000.

To mark its 10th anniversary, Orange will reward even more start-ups, with the launch of the international women’s prize worth €20,000 and the addition of a “special prize” worth €10,000 specific to this edition. A total of 5 prizes will therefore be awarded by the international Grand Prix jury. In addition to an award of up to €25,000, The Grand Prix winners benefit from personalised support from Orange experts, and high media coverage of their project on the continent and beyond.

 Orange will be revealing the international winners of OSVP 2020 during the AfricaCom Awards ceremony on Monday 9 November at 2:40 pm Central African Time.

Mondia  will have experts on content portal creation, management, acquisition of new audiences including the full life cycle management and even digital payments. They will share opportunities in the digitalization of Africa and how to monetise in the emerging world.

The company is also expected to launch a first of its kind entertainment B2C portal during the show and all attendees will receive a complimentary 60 min to explore the future of content distribution and consumption firsthand.

Nexign – On November 9, Nexign will announce that it has signed a deal with Ucell – the largest mobile operator in Uzbekistan. The provider chose Nexign to renew its billing system and increase the quality of customer service. By implementing Nexign Converged BSS solution, Ucell will be able to reduce operating costs and increase revenue by quickly bringing competitive products and services to market.

On November 11, Nexign will unveil its new solution tailored for quick launch on most, profitable B2C mobile market. It will enable mobile operators or MVNOs to bring its concept to market quickly and cost-effectively, with the highest level of customer service. For African operators, the new BSS solution provides an opportunity to start small and build a long-term strategy. 

On November 11 at 14:20 SAST Alexey Vedin, Director of Network Monetisation Products at Nexign, will take part in the panel discussion called “Debating the Viability and Opportunity for Private Networks in Africa”. Alexey willshare his views on the role of service providers in building private 5G networks.

Also on November 11 at 14:55 SAST Maxim Nartov, Business Development Director at Nexign, will join the session called “BSS transformation dilemma: balancing quick wins with long-term strategy”. Maximwill reveal the best practices behind Nexign’s global transformation projects and present the opportunities for African operators to start small and build a long-term strategy.  

Although this is a digitally driven event, some of the world’s best organisations involved in connecting Africa’s next billion, will also be setting up shop in online exhibition booths, and which, due to the sophistication of the conferencing platform, will engage in AI-powered networking, to ensure that progress on the continent, in terms of its digital migration, along with demos and product launches, can continue despite global lockdowns.  To discover the full line-up and plan your agenda, visit the Africa Tech Festival website.

To register for a FREE delegate pass to the Africa Tech Festival – click HERE

For further information please visit the 2020 website

Media accreditation is now open:

For other media enquiries, interviews and/or images please contact:  Kaz Henderson or call on +27 (0) 82 339 1199.  Please note that media registration will open next week. 

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