Pre-event Overview | MWC Kigali 2023: Empowering Africa’s Digital Future

Embrace the transformative power of technology and connectivity in Africa at MWC Kigali 2023, where industry leaders and innovators converge to shape a brighter digital future for the continent.

TechAfrica News is thrilled to be an official media partner at MWC Kigali 2023, the African continent’s largest and most influential connectivity event. As we gear up to cover this pivotal gathering, let’s delve into what makes this event special, the critical themes it addresses, highlighted sessions, and the importance of fostering partnerships and cross-industry cooperation.

MWC Kigali 2023, hosted at the Kigali Convention Centre from October 17th to 19th, is set to bring together powerful innovators and political leaders from all corners of Africa. This event seeks to create a better future for the continent by addressing pressing issues. The key topics include bridging the digital divide, harnessing mobile technology for socio-economic development, and aligning industries with UN Sustainable Development Goals. These discussions revolve around MWC Kigali’s four core themes: Accelerate Africa, FinTech, HealthTech, and Powering Digital, all aimed at advancing the digital era on the African continent.

At TechAfrica News, our mission is to be the bridge between innovation and progress in Africa. By covering events like MWC Kigali, we believe that sharing the stories of technological advancements on this vibrant continent can inspire a brighter, digitally connected future for all.

Akim Benamara, Founder of TechAfrica News

His Excellency Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic of Rwanda will be the on-site to open MWC Kigali 2023.

It is a great honour for His Excellency Paul Kagame to open MWC Kigali 2023; his participation is a mark of how Africa’s digital transformation journey is gaining momentum and empowering communities, government and businesses. As 4G moves forward and 5G emerges, frontier technologies offer huge potential and fintech continues to connect millions within the formal economy for the first time. I am looking forward to three days of debate and inspiration with international industry leaders and high-level African policymakers.

Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA

Significance of Enabling Partnerships and Cross-Industry Cooperation

MWC Kigali plays a pivotal role in fostering partnerships and cross-industry collaboration. In a world where connectivity is central to progress, this event provides a unique platform for diverse stakeholders to come together. By connecting the technology sector with various industries, it creates opportunities to explore innovative solutions and drive economic and social growth. This interconnected approach is vital for building a prosperous and inclusive digital future for Africa.

Key Topics and Themes

Accelerate Africa

Africa’s tech ecosystem saw unprecedented growth in 2022, with startups raising over USD 3 billion in funding. This theme explores the transformative potential of connectivity, AI, AR/VR, Web3, and the Metaverse. Key events include the GSMA Africa Policy Leaders Forum, discussions on handset affordability, and the role of governments and enterprises in connecting Africa.


FinTech has revolutionized Africa’s financial sector, promoting economic growth and financial inclusion. This theme focuses on the evolving industry, exploring innovations, customer-centric propositions, and future opportunities. Leading figures from Africa’s FinTech space will discuss trends and experiences during the FinTech Summit.


Technology is reshaping Africa’s healthcare landscape, making healthcare more accessible and sustainable. This theme examines innovations in healthcare and their impact on communities. The Africa HealthTech Summit will spotlight digital health innovations in collaboration with Africa CDC and Smart Africa.

Powering Digital

With over 1.2 billion connections and 650 million unique mobile users in Africa, the continent is entering its Digital Era. The Powering Digital theme discusses how leaders are working together to transform networks and deliver next-generation services, from Open RAN to FWA and satellite connectivity.

Highlighted Sessions

MWC Kigali will feature prominent keynote speeches and discussions from influential figures within Africa’s telecoms and tech landscape, including representatives from MasterCard, Wi-Flix, Gamma, Huawei, Orange MEA, Smart Africa, Samena Council, Vodacom Tanzania, Take Back the Mic, and ZTE.

Day 1

The GSMA’s Director General, Mats Granryd, will present Keynote 1 on the ‘Digitalization of Everything,’ emphasizing the opportunities intelligent connectivity can bring to Africa if high-quality communication networks and services are made available and affordable to all.

Tue, 17 Oct: 09:30 – 10:45 CAT

Africa, boasting the world’s most youthful population, has witnessed an unprecedented surge in the demand for digitalization. This surge has been primarily fueled by the rapid urbanization and a substantial increase in the utilization of online services. In this era where technological advancement and economic prosperity are intertwined, cutting-edge technologies like Generative AI present a significant prospect for revolutionizing the telecommunications sector and its offerings.

The advent of intelligent connectivity has unlocked fresh avenues for innovative collaborations and partnerships. However, it’s crucial that high-quality access to communication networks and services is universally accessible at affordable rates. We invite you to join us in a conversation featuring regional leaders as they discuss their vital contributions to shaping our digitally interconnected future.

Session Moderator
Angela Wamola, Head of Sub-Saharan Africa, GSMA

Session Speakers
Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Darren Zhao, President, MEA, ZTE
Dr Jean Kaseya, Director General, Africa CDC
Ebenezer Twum Asante, SVP Markets, MTN Group
Jerome Henique, CEO, Orange Africa
Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA
Segun Ogunsanya, Group CEO, Managing Director of Airtel Africa

Tue, 17 Oct: 13:15 – 14:15 CAT

The introduction of 5G technology in Africa presents a remarkable opportunity for bolstering socioeconomic progress, enhancing connectivity, and propelling digital transformation across various industries. On a global scale, 5G connections are anticipated to reach 1.5 billion, constituting approximately 17% of all mobile connections worldwide. As the world increasingly gravitates toward extensive digitalization, 5G emerges as a pivotal stride for the continent in bridging the digital divide and expediting its advancement.

We invite you to join us for a discussion on the accelerating deployment of 5G technology in the region, along with a focus on surmounting the obstacles that hinder the full utilization and widespread implementation of 5G.

Session Moderators
Mandisa Mazibuko, Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company

Session Speakers
Hossam Kandeel, VP, Head of Global Customer Unit, Ericsson Middle East & Africa
Jason Zhang, Marketing VP, Overseas Carrier Account, Huawei
Mazen Mroué, Chief Technology & Information Officer, MTN Group
Shen Yang (Darwin Shen), Senior Solution Architect, ZTE Corporation

Tue, 17 Oct: 15:00 – 16:00 CAT

Exclusive presentation of the State of Mobile Internet Connectivity Report for 2023. During this session, the speakers will share valuable data pertaining to mobile internet coverage, usage patterns, and gender disparities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, we will delve into the challenges that hinder individuals from accessing and utilizing mobile internet services.

Session Speakers:
Hon. Mrs Paula Ingabire, Minister of ICT and Innovation, Rwanda
Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Claire Sibthorpe, Head of Programme, Digital Inclusion , GSMA
Dorothy Okello, Head of Regulatory Authority, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC)
Fawzia Ali-Kimanthi, Chief Consumer Business Chief Officer, Safaricom Kenya
Grace Cramer, Portfolio Lead, Tech & Innovation Unit, FCDO
Nompilo Morafo, Group Chief Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Officer , MTN
Kim Viljoen,Director Market Engagement, Digital Inclusion, GSMA

Stay tuned for the upcoming sessions and highlights!

Exhibitor Spotlight

Stay tuned for our in-depth exhibitor spotlights, where we’ll explore the companies and organizations driving innovation at MWC Kigali 2023.

Rohde & Schwarz

Rohde & Schwarz is a global technology company specializing in test and measurement equipment, radio frequency (RF) and microwave technology, broadcasting and media solutions, and secure communications. With a history dating back to 1933, the company is renowned for its cutting-edge innovations in the field of telecommunications, contributing to the advancement of technology and connectivity worldwide. 

Make sure to stop by the Rohde & Schwarz!


PortaOne is a renowned software company that specializes in the development of billing, business support, and customer management solutions for telecommunications service providers. Founded in 2002, the company has established itself as a leader in the field of unified communications and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). PortaOne’s versatile and scalable software platforms cater to a wide range of telecom services, including hosted PBX, SIP trunking, and wholesale VoIP, enabling service providers to efficiently manage their operations, billing, and customer interactions. With a global presence, PortaOne’s solutions play a pivotal role in Africa, enhancing the telecommunications industry’s capabilities and service delivery.

Be sure to visit the PortaOne stand!


MwareTV is a dynamic and innovative company specializing in the development of cutting-edge software solutions for IPTV and OTT streaming services. With a focus on empowering service providers, MwareTV offers a versatile and customizable platform that enables the creation and delivery of IPTV and OTT content to a wide range of devices, including smart TVs, mobile devices, and set-top boxes. Their technology is designed to enhance the user experience, allowing service providers to offer interactive and personalized content, video-on-demand, and live streaming services. MwareTV’s solutions are instrumental in the evolution of the television and entertainment industry, catering to the diverse needs of modern viewers and service providers.

Make sure to stop by the MwareTV stand!


Sicurlock is a Spanish company specializing in the deployment of CyberLock access control technology around the world. CyberLock’s access control technology is  well-suited for demanding professional and industrial applications. CyberLock locks are designed to be vandal-proof and have a strong track record of reliability, with numerous satisfied customers and extensive operational experience in harsh conditions. When combined with their robust management software platform, CyberLock’s end-to-end solution stands out as a compelling option for those seeking to deploy a highly reliable and durable access control system quickly and cost-effectively.

Meet Sicurlock in Kigali! 

More Exhibitor Spotlights

Huawei Technologies

Established in 1987, Huawei has emerged as a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. With a vast workforce of 207,000 employees, the company’s presence spans across over 170 countries and regions, where it caters to the needs of more than three billion people worldwide. Huawei is resolutely committed to the vision of making digital connectivity accessible to every individual, household, and organization, contributing to the realization of a fully interconnected and intelligent world.


ZTE has maintained a presence in the African market for 27 years. Leveraging our cutting-edge technology, ZTE concentrates on enhancing communication and digital infrastructure development throughout Africa. Over this time, ZTE has delivered state-of-the-art network connectivity to over 400 million individuals on the continent. Additionally, they collaborated with governmental and industry partners on various initiatives, including expanding rural network coverage, facilitating distance education, supporting telemedicine, and advancing smart grid technology. They have an unwavering commitment to leverage technology for the betterment of local communities, transforming lifestyles and bringing benefits to the people in the region.

In recent years, the requirements of African countries for digital transformation have become more and more. ZTE would like to share our experience about network development and help to construct high-quality, high-reliability, and high-security networks in Africa. In nearly future, ZTE will carry out customized solutions to improve the customer experience for African countries

Quote from a GSMA Q&A with Mr. Wu Jianjun, ZTE’s CTA


Intelsat’s dedicated worldwide workforce is committed to delivering reliable and secure satellite-based communication solutions to a diverse clientele, including government entities, NGOs, and commercial enterprises, all through the company’s cutting-edge global network and managed services. By spanning the digital gap and operating one of the largest and most sophisticated satellite fleets and connectivity infrastructures globally, Intelsat empowers individuals and their devices to communicate across vast oceans, connect across continents, and communicate through the skies. For over six decades since its establishment, the company has remained synonymous with pioneering achievements in the satellite industry, consistently serving its customers and contributing to the well-being of the planet.


Avanti stands as the premier provider of high-throughput satellite capacity for the telecommunications sector across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. We deliver high-throughput satellite backhaul solutions to both fixed and mobile operators, enabling them to extend their network coverage into remote regions, eliminate connectivity gaps, and reinforce their networks during outages or periods of heightened demand. Our mobile backhaul solution is well-equipped to support 2, 3, 4, and 5G services with strict service level agreements (SLAs) and is presently employed for critical applications, including 4G backhaul for emergency services networks. By harnessing our satellite technology, we are committed to safeguarding communities and unlocking opportunities for individuals, communities, businesses, and governments across the globe.

Stay Tuned for Special Event Coverage

TechAfrica News is committed to bringing you extensive and up-to-date coverage of MWC Kigali 2023. Be sure to follow us for exclusive insights, interviews, and highlights from this groundbreaking event. MWC Kigali promises to be a pivotal moment in shaping the digital future of Africa, and we can’t wait to share it with you.

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