For the first time since 2019 the industry gathered back in-person in Cape Town. It’s time to look at how the 2022 edition of AfricaCom was received.
It was good to meet with some old friends and colleagues for the first time in a few years. Finally, meeting and catching up with people you have only seen virtually for two years. As much as conferences and exhibitions had started to be taken for granted, not having them for a while has reinforced that there is no substitute for meeting people face to face to talk business. Hopefully, organizers of all events in Africa can build on this, enable conversation between the industry and governments, and we enter a period where digital inclusion happens across the continent.
I believe that the next wave for telcos is all about partnerships, and in different forms. One form would be when you have so many plans, but you cannot do everything by yourself. So, then you have to search for partners as you don’t have either the cash or the capability to do the entire project on your own.Dejan Kastelic
Group Chief Technology Officer, Vodacom
Meeting in person and exchanging with the people behind the future of connectivity in Africa and the Middle East is crucial for the industry. Throughout our interviews, we discussed the amazing strides being made to connect the unconnected, and the tremendous benefits not only for the companies behind this connectivity, but rather for the communities all around Africa.
The new world is a world of partnerships, and there are partnerships not only between suppliers and telcos or partnerships with customers or channels, but also partnerships across sectors. So now you have to think more broadly and have to be open that the thinking is much more about what you can do together, rather than you issuing an RFP.Siyabonga Mahlangu
TechAfrica News Industry Voices
Watch our video interviews from the AfricaCom show floor to hear directly from the people and companies making an impact on the market, driving digital inclusion and the future of connectivity in Africa.
TechAfrica News had the opportunity to speak to Semir Hassanaly, Head of Cellular Backhaul & Trunking at ST Engineering IDirect. The conversation followed the latest solutions and advancements showcased by ST Engineering in various sectors, such as aerospace, broadband, defense, and public security.
Francis Letourneau, President & CEO of NuRan Wireless, met with TechAfrica News to discuss the future of connectivity. He shared how to connect billions of people in rural and remote regions to a fast, reliable and scalable wireless network through innovative and affordable solutions —bridging the digital divide, one connection at a time.
Semir Hassanaly gave us an important insight into its recent advancements in cellular backhaul, which has been essential in helping connect rural and semi-rural Africa in general connectivity. At AfricaCom, ST Engineering has been showcasing its various solutions, including Square Flow which enables the cost-effective distribution of content. Additionally, IoT equipment helps capture information from remote sensors along with an array of traditional satellite equipment.
So ultimately, what ST Engineering will achieve is very high flexibility, very high scalability, full interoperability with the terrestrial world but also interoperability on the terminal side. All this with a very low cost of ownership.Semir Hassanaly, Head of Cellular Backhaul & Trunking, ST Engineering IDirect
In the recently concluded AfricaCom 2022, our Chief Editor, Chris Green, spoke with Doreet Oren, Senior Director of Solutions and Product Marketing at Gilat Satellite Networks. Chris and Doreet had a conversation spanning the various facets of Gilat’s operations worldwide, along with their modern technological advancements and vision for the future.
Our Chief Editor, Chris Green met with Nurani Nimpuno, Head of Global Engagement of LINX (London Internet Exchange). Watch our interview with one of the world’s leading experts in interconnectivity and peering.
Our vision is that we believe in the right of people to be connected. That is very important to us, globally, not only in Africa. We provide to the most remote areas in Latin America, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the US. It is really in our DNA to bridge the digital divide. And yes Africa is a very important place, we work with many types of customers in Africa including governmental agencies, telcos, mobile network operators, and education projects as well.Doreet Oren, Director of Solutions and Product Marketing at Gilat Satellite Networks
Taking the opportunity to meet in person during AfricaCom, TechAfrica News discussed with Justin Lipshitz, CEO at AXON Wireless, the future of customer enrolment and how to reduce fraud and identity theft in Africa.
During AfricaCom TechAfrica News had the opportunity to meet with Guillaume Briche, the Chief Executive Officer at Digital Virgo. Our discussion followed the progress and the achievements of Digital Virgo along with their future ambitions for Africa.
The journey for Africa as a continent has been an interesting one. In some cases, they have leapfrogged the rest of the countries with the introduction of payment technologies like M-PESA and mobile money. Along with this, there has been development on the telecommunications side with no need arising to introduce landlines. So from our side what we have had to do is work with local partners since many countries have localized flavors or specific problems that they are trying to solve. So we want to work with those partners to help bring innovative products to our customers. Secondly, we have been working with group companies, there are many with a strong presence across the continent and deliver solutions within their geographies and territories.Justin Lipshitz, CEO at AXON Wireless
We had the chance to meet James Williams from Informa and hear more about Africa Tech Festival from the organizer’s perspective.
Are these events essential to enable the industry to talk to each other? Is it making an impact on the communications industry? How do you see it?
James Williams: We hope so. All the feedback that we have is that it does make a difference. Our job is as a forum. It’s bringing people together to meet, do business, change how they do things, and educate. We’re also a pretty broad event. So we cover a whole continent of 54 countries, and we try and cover all the different industries within that. Our content as the backdrop is quite broad, and really, our job is, as I say, to bring people together and help host those business conversations and that education for the industry, so I hope so.
You can read the full Q&A here.
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The TechAfrica News Networking Night during AfricaCom 2022
On the 9th of November 2022, the first edition of the TechAfrica News Networking Night was held in the amazing venue of the Gin Bar in Cape Town. It was a night to remember!
Our goal was to bring together global industry leaders and people driving a notable transformation in Africa’s Telco and communications sector, as well as friends and partners of the industry from around the world in an open dialogue under one roof to discuss and exchange ideas, become aware and more engaged in initiatives taking place in Africa.
More than 100 industry leaders and executives attended the first edition of the TechAfrica News Networking Night! We were excited to see the industry coming together to share success stories, build new partnerships, and gain insights into the growth and expansion of this space.