AfricaCom 2017 - Post event report and six key takeaways
Africa opening doors to Digital Transformation
AfricaCom, Africa’s largest annual convention for telecom operators, entrepreneurs and service providers opened its doors for the 20th time on 7th November, Tuesday, welcoming more than 450 exhibitors who entertained 13,000+ delegates over the course of 3 days.
The 20th-anniversary edition of AfricaCom celebrated innovation, entrepreneurship and digital transformation in the African region over the last two decades by launching several new thought-provoking discussion streams and bringing together industry leaders.
This year, the show was bigger and better than previous episodes as almost every stakeholder with an interest in the technology spectrum of Africa was present.
The newly launched Innovation Stage, Africa 20/20 and the AHUB received a positive response from the audience and seem to be on the right path to weave a way for a brighter, easier and convenient digital future for Africa. The conference exhibition halls were clearly divided in two segments – main exhibition hall for the drivers of innovation in B2B industry and the new Technology Arena where B2C companies showcased their products and services for the end-user.
Being avid supporters of business in Africa, Seamless Distribution Systems was a sponsor and an exhibitor at AfricaCom. Our team showcased the diverse projects that we do in Africa along with our dynamic product range and its impact on the African economy.
Bogdan Sacuiu, Chief Commercial Officer at SDS, was invited to speak at a panel discussion in the Mobile Finance and Commerce stream on the first day. Bogdan has more than 20 years of experience in the areas of digital distribution, transactions and payments, specializing in the domain for telecom operators. Conversation in the panel discussion circled around the topic of “Growth in transacting through digital technology”.
The three-day conference was filled with meaningful interactions regarding digital distribution particularly in the telecom segment. At SDS, we understand how the traditional MNO role is evolving in response to the changing technology landscape and enable our telecom clients to stay on the forefront of digitization. To summarize the knowledge shared, some of our major key takeaways from the conference are given below:
- Technology sector in Africa is growing and businesses must adopt digital transformation to stay on top of their game.
- Connectivity in telecom sector remains the focus point of the convention with topics centered around cost, range of products, equipment, emerging technologies etc. However, over the years, the conversation has shifted to a broader technology spectrum encompassing all things that influence Africa’s digital future.
- Time and resources should be dedicated to educate people on the proper usage of emerging technologies. Teaching the users and public at large on how to make the most of the tools and services they have will facilitate and speed up the technology adoption process.
- Telecom Operators play the most crucial role in establishing trust in digital technology in the African region and in connecting it with the world.
- Telecom operators should look to partner with tech startups or software service providers to provide innovative payment and transaction methods to speed fast progress in the growing mobile financial and commerce industry.
- African initiatives must empower women to contribute towards positive economic growth, enabling them to tap their potential and become part of the technology ecosystem.
Africa is opening its doors to digital transformation along with the rest of the world. The market for digital in Africa is overwhelming, however, there is no “one size fits all” solution. A keen eye needs to understand the challenges of the region and design solutions that meet those specific requirements. Problems faced by this region must be confronted and resolved before they turn into long-term problems. Telecom operators, together with government regulators, hardware and software solution providers, shall construct momentous strategies and initiate progressive partnerships to shape the future of digital Africa.
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