After a 2 year break, the AfriCom Tech Festival returned with over 12,000 attendees from every corner of the globe.
AfriCom Festival – 7th to 10th November – Cape Town International Convention Centre, SA
“Uniting Business and Technology to Create a Better, More Inclusive Digital World”
Paradigm was represented by our Operations Director Adrian Chapman, who met clients and competitors, and heard from keynote speakers announcing some of the latest developing technologies and discussing recent trends with industry leaders.
- Mobile penetration has grown from 1% to 43% since AfriCom was founded 25 years ago
- More than 1 billion SIM cards have been sold in Africa over the last 30 years
- Mobile Money was launched – Africa is the global leader in mobile money transactions
- Digital transactions tripled during the pandemic
Contemporary and future issues were also addressed:
- There is a need for national regulatory frameworks to be adapted, which would enable companies in Africa to accelerate digitalisation and address the digital divide on the continent
- Political will is necessary to release additional spectrum to assist MNOs in increasing capacity
- Digital literacy in Africa is critical and various initiatives have been launched to connect rural communities and schools to the internet
There was an insightful presentation from Nick Rudnick, Deputy Group Chairman from Liquid Intelligence Technologies, on issues surrounding connectivity and affordability of data services. The fourth industrial revolution is dependent on every African citizen having an affordable internet connection, but he revealed that, in some markets, data costs exceed 20% of disposable income. This encourages rationing and prevents users being creative with their data.
Other discussions centred on the importance of cybersecurity and making the transition from Telco to Techco, as it is clear that MNOs expect revenue from tech services to grow significantly over the next decade. This will follow their evolution from an airtime and data distribution business to an eCommerce business, through additional value-added services and tech services.
In short, it was a great opportunity to connect with everyone under the same roof and spend time in beautiful Cape Town.
We look forward to returning in 2023.