Connected Africa 2023 | Accenture’s Vision for Africa: Leading Global Excellence in Telecommunications

Akim Benamara, and Nitesh Marcel Singh, Managing Director for Communications, Media & Technology at Accenture discussed Accenture’s involvement in Africa’s telecommunications industry, challenges and strategies for African telcos in adopting digital transformation.

Could you provide some insights into the experience of the Connected Africa summit event?

The Connected Africa summit started during the pandemic, and it was a digital event. Since then, we’ve been traveling throughout Africa with the Connected Africa team, discussing how to connect the continent, addressing industry challenges, and improving the overall customer experience. The summit aims to help the industry progress to the next frontier, benefiting all consumers.

The speed of technological innovation is a key challenge due to the high pace of disruption in the industry.


Is there a well-defined strategy or blueprint that African telcos should adopt to focus on new revenue streams or services?

There isn’t an exact science or clear blueprint for this. Each organization needs to understand its capabilities and offerings to customers. As consumers engage more with digital brands like Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, and Uber, telcos must transform and understand their target market and align their strategy accordingly. Partnerships play a crucial role in this process, and successful telcos worldwide deeply understand their customers’ needs.

Regarding the decision to manage software in-house, do you agree with telcos who argue it is beneficial? While there may be advantages, it also necessitates expertise and competence, which may require significant time and resources.

Managing software in-house can offer benefits, especially in terms of having better control over product and service delivery speed. However, balancing this with the need for external expertise is essential. Telcos can partner with organizations like ours to insource software development, train their teams, and ensure they have the best talent to serve customers effectively.

From your perspective, what are the primary challenges faced in Africa concerning digital transformation?

Africa faces various challenges in its digital transformation journey. Power availability is a significant problem in some regions, requiring rethinking of energy solutions for base stations. The speed of technological innovation is a key challenge due to the high pace of disruption in the industry. Other challenges include regulatory issues, like delays in adopting new technologies such as 5G, and the need for open architecture to democratize networks and simplify access.

Learning and staying informed are crucial for African businesses to avoid being disrupted themselves. Access to information and advisory firms can help them understand disruptive technologies and trends.


How can African businesses navigate and avoid common pitfalls while driving innovation?

Learning and staying informed is crucial for African businesses to avoid being disrupted. Access to information and advisory firms can help them understand disruptive technologies and trends.

There’s a need for positive changes in the public sector in Africa. I’ve noticed the progressive government in Rwanda, which actively facilitates the development of infrastructure by partnering with the private sector. A stable and progressive government can play a vital role in enabling infrastructure development and creating an environment conducive to business growth. With the right support, Africa has the potential to leapfrog ahead in innovation and global excellence.

Looking ahead, what role does Accenture envision for itself in assisting African businesses in achieving international excellence in the forthcoming years?

Accenture’s strategy in Africa has always been to empower our African telecommunications organizations to excel globally. Our mission is clear: we want to see Africa lead and be at the forefront. In our Africa market unit, we are witnessing significant growth in cloud, AI, and digital services, comparable to or even surpassing what’s seen in Europe or North America.

Accenture plays a vital role in putting Africa on the map. We believe Africa should be the first to embrace 6G and launch new digital services. I have personally been involved in groundbreaking innovations like Safaricom’s mobile money launch, and we aspire to witness more of such transformative milestones in Africa.

African operators have shown remarkable progress, with high AAR (average annual revenue) compared to North America and Europe. We want global organizations to learn from their achievements, and Accenture is strategically supporting them in this journey.

Our focus remains on reinvention, helping African telecommunications providers to redefine themselves and become the best in the world. We are committed to empowering Africa’s growth and success in the ever-evolving global telecommunications landscape.

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