AfricaCom 2017 illuminates in an uncertain age of digital disruption and transformation

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London:  In less than a month anyone who’s anyone in African telecoms and technology will be in Cape Town at AfricaCom 2017 from 7-9 November. The continent’s single largest and most influential technology, media and telecoms (TMT) event, promises opportunities to witness future tech trends, network with the industry elite, and learn from a line-up of global thought leaders providing inspiring content.

In a session moderated by the hugely entertaining and knowledgeable, Toby Shapshak, Delegates will be able to hear Herman Singh, Group Chief Digital Officer of MTN, share his thoughts on how Africa can capitalise on the potential of disruptive technology, or the fourth wave of the mobile industry, as he puts it. M-commerce, he believes, will be far more “disruptive” than PC-based e-commerce ever was.

“The combination of identity, location and ‘transactability’ is far more disruptive than e-commerce ever was on PCs. You don’t carry a PC into a shop; your phone, you do,” he says.[1]

Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom, will describe how innovative mobile network operators can bridge the digital divide and connect the next billion. (Safricom is the pioneer of Mpesa, the world’s most developed mobile payment system).

If you’re looking to discover what support mobile operators need, mobile companies Millicom, Safaricom and Orange will offer expert guidance on how the mobile network operator role is evolving in response to a rapidly shifting digital landscape.

AfricaCom 2017 will provide three days of thought-provoking content and essential learning opportunities, including a chance to map Africa’s journey towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution with Luke Mckend, Country Director of Google South Africa and World Economic Forum Global Shaper, Rapelang Rabana.

Industry 4.0 will make manufacturing more efficient and productive. By optimising factories, it will directly improve yield. On the product side, it will also extract greater value from data for usage-based design and mass customisation, which in turn will open the way to new markets. On many levels, it will completely change the business model to an outcome-based approach.

Key to any future development will be the policies that enable or curtail progress. A keynote panel hosted by Shola Taylor, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation will explore how creating an enabling environment will support digital transformation in Africa. Also, joining Taylor on the panel, Is the Hon. Tjekero Tweya, Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Republic of Namibia, who will lend his voice to a discussion on the critical features of such an enabling environment; developing ICT policy to facilitate and accelerate the spread of Internet connectivity and aligning public policy and private sector development in the ICT space.

Unathi Mtya, CIO of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, will also facilitate a panel discussion (Nov 09, 09:30), unpacking how digital disruption is dislodging established business models and creating new opportunities for African start-ups and tech entrepreneurs. The panel will also tackle the critical importance of entrepreneurship in fuelling Africa’s digital econ