MWC Kigali Dailies | Enabling Partnerships and Cross-Industry Cooperation

We are delighted to be present at MWC Kigali, where we have the privilege of witnessing the tech industry’s collaborative spirit taking center stage.

We are delighted to be present at MWC Kigali, where we have the privilege of witnessing the tech industry’s collaborative spirit taking center stage. The inaugural day of the event was nothing short of remarkable, commencing with the insightful speeches delivered by President Paul Kagame and Minister Paula Ingabire. Their words echoed a common theme: the fusion of government and industry efforts to propel Africa into a future that transcends mere connectivity.

The day unfolded with riveting panel discussions led by industry luminaries, which emphasized the concerted endeavors to bridge the digital divide and extend inclusive, cost-effective services to the people in the region. These dialogues underscored the pivotal role that partnerships play in shaping Africa’s digital future.

President Paul Kagame, in his thought-provoking address, articulated the urgency with which we must confront the disparities in access and connectivity. He astutely observed that, although Africa boasts the fastest-growing mobile penetration rate globally, there is still an arduous journey ahead. The imperative, he stressed, is to continue prioritizing digital skills and literacy. He highlighted the global momentum building to support Africa’s digital transformation, reaffirming the continent’s place in the digital realm.

“We have to address the gaps in access and connectivity with a sense of urgency. Too many Africans remain offline. Today, Africa has the fastest-growing mobile penetration rate globally, but we still have a long way to go. We must continue to prioritize digital skills and literacy. Globally, we are also seeing a strong momentum to support Africa’s digital transformation.”

President Paul Kagame

Minister Paula Ingabire added her voice to the narrative, underscoring the dynamic interplay between the challenges of our time and our ever-evolving technological landscape. She poignantly noted that these challenges are not only a test of our humanity but also catalysts for innovation, leading to the creation of products and services that empower our people. The overarching theme of this year’s event, she explained, offers an opportunity to delve deeper into the technological solutions available today and those on the horizon. The overarching goal is to ensure that no African is left behind, thereby enabling them to harness the potential of the internet for their benefit.

“Everyday new challenges tests our humanity just as much as our need to understand and adapt technology. New products and new services emerge from these challenges to empower our people. This year’s theme provides an opportunity to learn more about the technology solutions available today. And on the horizon that can ensure no African is left behind by being connected and finding utility in the greater access to the internet.”

Paula Ingabire, Minister ICT, Rwanda

As we are getting ready for day 2 of MWC Kigali, we are inspired by the unity and determination exhibited by industry leaders, governments, and thought visionaries, all converging to pave the way for a truly connected and technologically empowered Africa. The journey is underway, and the future holds the promise of a digitally inclusive continent where every African can thrive. We eagerly anticipate what the subsequent days of the event will bring as we explore the intricate tapestry of technology, innovation, and collaboration that is weaving a brighter future for Africa.

Enabling Partnerships and Cross-Industry Cooperation

The CEOs of six of Africa’s leading Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) gathered at MWC Kigali, uniting their vision for the future of connectivity and digital inclusion across the continent. Their presence at this momentous event showcased their commitment to exploring the potential of deeper partnerships with African governments, creating a collective force to drive the advancement of mobile infrastructure and digital access.

It is their collective belief that a fully connected and dynamic Africa, driven by inclusive mobile connectivity, is not a distant dream but an attainable reality. However, realizing this vision and permanently bridging the digital divide necessitates robust political support, both in terms of existing partnerships and forging new ones. Of paramount importance is the creation of a conducive environment for digital infrastructure investment across the continent.

Priority 1: Achieving Inclusive Connectivity through Policy Reforms The CEOs recognize that fiscal and policy reforms can enhance consumer affordability and incentivize operator investments, as taxes and fees currently account for 30% of industry revenues. Initiatives such as infrastructure sharing and national roaming can also foster a competitive environment.

Priority 2: Bridging the Investment Gap for Broadband Infrastructure The World Bank estimates that $100 billion is needed to achieve universal connectivity in Africa. Collaborating with the UN Broadband Commission, the CEOs are working to implement financing models that support digital infrastructure development, encompassing all beneficiaries of the digital economy.

Priority 3: Environmental Impact Environmental sustainability is a pivotal concern for the MNOs, with commitments from operators to achieve net zero carbon emissions. These goals involve significant reductions in carbon emissions over the next decade.

The collective commitment of this historic assembly is represented by the CEOs of six leading African Mobile Network Operators. These signatories, including Segun Ogunsanya (Airtel Africa Group), Hassanein Hiridjee (AXIAN Group), Frehiwot Tamru (Ethio Telecommunications), Ralph Mupita (MTN Group), Jerome Henique (Orange Middle East and Africa), and Shameel Joosub (Vodacom Group), embody the shared vision for an inclusive, connected Africa. Their dedication to driving meaningful policy progress and fostering collaboration with African governments underscores the power of mobile technology to promote economic and social inclusion throughout the continent. They extended an open invitation to other African Heads of State to join them in this transformative journey.

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 2

KEYNOTE 1: DKEYNOTE 2: BUILDING A CONNECTED AFRICA
Wed, 18 Oct: 09:30 – 10:45 CAT

In Africa, the journey to 5G has begun but it is still early stages for network deployment and commercialisation. Governments and enterprises in the region are increasingly using technology to tackle the biggest challenges faced by society, and 5G will no doubt play a key role in this area. But digital innovation relies on data and connectivity, where providing highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform is key. Today, through cloud, hundreds of thousands of businesses are being powered to transform and with increasing investment into digital infrastructure, efforts towards 5G will be critical to ensure the growth of Africa’s economies and livelihoods for years to come. Join us as we explore what can be achieved when governments and industry leaders align to fulfil the promise of a connected Africa.

Session Moderator
Louise Easterbrook, Chief Financial Officer, GSMA

Session Speakers
Bocar Ba, CEO, SAMENA Telecommunications Council
Dr Philip Song, CMO, Huawei Carrier BG
Lacina Koné, Director General & CEO, Smart Africa
Philip Besiimire, MD, Vodacom Tanzania

5G SUMMIT

In Africa, the journey to 5G is gaining traction, as evidenced by recent 5G network launches in Nigeria and Mozambique by Airtel and Vodacom, respectively, and 5G spectrum auctions in several markets, including Namibia, Senegal, and Uganda. There are now nearly 20 commercial 5G networks in the region, with many more expected in the coming months and years, as governments and other stakeholders look to use the technology to tackle some of society’s biggest challenges. The 5G summit at MWC Kigali is the foremost platform for stakeholders to exchange ideas on efficient network deployment, innovative applications and use cases, and forward-looking regulations to drive 5G rollout and adoption. 

14:00 – 15:00 – 5G state of play: network deployment and adoption trends in Africa.
15:00 – 16:00 – 5G for verticals: emerging 5G enterprise use cases and applications in Africa
16:00 – 17:00 – The 5G showcase: innovative solutions leveraging 5G to benefit society

Session Moderators
Kenechi Okeleke, Director, Social and Regional Research, GSMA Intelligence

Session Speakers
Afef Boulares, Manager Orange FAB, Orange FAB Tunisia
Amir Abdelazim, Expert Partner and Detecon Cairo Managing Partner, Detecon Consulting
Angela Wamola, Head of Sub-Saharan Africa, GSMA
Axel Hansmann, Director of Industrial IoT Security, Rohde & Schwarz
Caroline Kamaitha, Vice President Africa, Enterprise & Cloud, SES
Elizabeth Migwalla, Vice president, International Government Affairs, Qualcomm, Qualcomm
Frehiwot Tamru, CEO, Ethio Telecom
Geofrey Mutabazi, Co-Founder, CEO, Karaa
George Muhuhu, Founder, OneTouch Diagnostics
Hassan Jaber, Chief Operating Officer, MTN Nigeria
Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, Chief Digital Advisor, Africa CDC
Jocelyn Karakula, Orange MEA Networks Technology and Information , Orange
Li Tao, President of Huawei Southern Africa Wireless Business, Huawei
Philip Besiimire, MD, Vodacom Tanzania

SUSTAINABLE IMPACT: SCALING DIGITAL INNOVATION IN AFRICA
Wed, 18 Oct: 14:00 – 15:15 CAT

Since 2013, in partnership with the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and other donors, the GSMA has supported more than 130 organisations with equity-free grant funding to test and scale innovative digital technologies and business models that boost local ecosystems, improve livelihoods and drive prosperity. Several of these have scaled over the years, whether through expansion, additional follow-on funding or strategic partnerships.

The scaling journeys of these business and projects have generated important lessons about raising follow-on funding, including that there are several pathways to scale, and that the fundraising journey is a useful way to measure and track scale in low- and middle-income countries.
This theatre session will share more on the principles identified through our analysis of the scaling journey of 21 of our past grantees, with speakers including grantees themselves, and their scaling partners.

Session Speakers
Simone Hinrichsen, Insights Manager, GSMA Innovation Fund
Elizabeth Okuneye, Head of Customer Success, Hello Tractor
Eva Waweru, Senior Associate, Communications – EMEAA, Village Capital
Gerald Otim, CEO and Founder, Ensibuuko
Luisa Odell, Innovation Advisor , FCDO
Michael Ogundare, Founder and CEO, Crop2Cash
Niklas Simola, Investment Manager, Finnfund
Serge Nsanzineza, Innovation Ecosystem Analyst, Rwanda Innovation Fund

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 

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

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 

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! 

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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