Hamwe 2023 Networking Night’s Recap: Over 250 Industry Leaders Meet, Network, and Ignite Innovation

On the 15th of November, TechAfrica News hosted the Hamwe Networking Night during AfricaCom 2023 for the second year in a row, where industry leaders, professionals, and enthusiasts gathered for an evening of collaboration and celebration. The word “Hamwe,” meaning “together” in Rwanda, perfectly captures the event’s spirit—a get-together highlighting unity’s power in shaping a brighter digital future for Africa.

Against the vibrant backdrop of the Hamwe Networking Night, the importance of partnerships and togetherness in shaping Africa’s digital landscape became vividly apparent. In a region where collaboration is not merely a strategy but a way of life, the event served as a unique catalyst, unlocking crucial networking opportunities in a relaxed and sociable setting. Beyond the formalities of business discussions, the Hamwe Networking Night provided a platform for forging genuine connections, a testament to the understanding that some of the most innovative ideas and fruitful collaborations can emerge in a laid-back environment. As the industry united under the banner of “Hamwe,” the event seamlessly blended the serious networking business with the Gin bar’s amazing atmosphere, creating a space where partnerships were formed and celebrated.

I say a big thank you to every one of you who joined us in making ‘Hamwe’ a remarkable success. Let us continue to build a more connected Africa, one partnership at a time, and shape a future where unity, collaboration, and partnership are the driving forces that propel us toward a digitally empowered and inclusive continent.

Akim Benamara, Founder, TAN

The event took place at the amazing Gin Bar, Cape Town’s premier speakeasy. Located in the city’s heart, the Gin Bar offered a warm and inviting atmosphere, complemented by an exquisite selection of local gins and bubbly wines. Attendees enjoyed a sensory experience that mirrored the dynamic and innovative nature of Africa’s tech landscape.

This year’s Hamwe Networking Night saw an impressive turnout, with over 250 attendees – a fantastic leap from 2022, representing 100 African and international companies. We had attendees from Africa’s leaders – Vodacom, MTN, M-Pesa, C-Cell, Telkom, Safaricom and more. The event’s popularity speaks volumes about the growing interest and commitment within the tech community to collaborate and foster meaningful connections during open networking events.

This was the second year after last year’s initial event and what a success it was. The Gin bar was packed from early on. Many people I spoke with understood about the need to come together and discuss business in a more relaxed and open environment and we all know that sometimes that’s how you can come up with new ideas, new ways of thinking things through by discussing in a relaxing convivial environment. 

Chris Green, Chief Editor, TechAfrica News 

LINX on the Power Of Collaboration and Partnerships in Africa

During the Hamwe Networking Night at AfricaCom 2023, Nurani Nimpuno, Head of Global Engagement from LINX, and Chris Green from TechAfrica News engaged in an interview. Nurani expressed excitement about the event, highlighting the vibrancy of AfricaCom and LINX’s focus on the continent. Reflecting on a busy week, including a successful ISP launch in Nairobi, Nurani emphasized the importance of connecting with people on the ground.

I really like the concept of Hamwe, the idea of coming together. In the industry, especially in our niche, collaboration is key. We all play different roles in this ecosystem, so organizing an event with a focus on bringing people together aligns perfectly with what we do. While we work hard and use these events for business discussions, having a moment for food and drinks, relaxing together, meeting old friends, and making new connections is an essential part of the package. It’s our way of doing business, and I’m grateful we can do that here.

Nurani Nimpuno, Head of Global Engagement from LINX

TechAfrica News expresses gratitude to the event’s sponsors, whose support played a pivotal role in making the night a resounding success. ST Engineering iDirect, Protei, and the London Internet Exchange (LINX) were among the key sponsors, emphasizing their dedication to advancing Africa’s digital ecosystem.

Networking for Success: Protei’s Perspective on Partnerships in Africa

Daria Obukhova, PROTEI’s International Business Development Manager highlighted the special connection PROTEI feels with Africa, particularly Cape Town, Obukhova emphasized the unique atmosphere and the organizers’ efforts to ensure comfort during the exhibition’s demanding days. She underscored the significance of events like Hamwe, providing a relaxed platform for both socializing and engaging in business discussions. Looking forward to 2024, Obukhova expressed eagerness for PROTEI’s return to Africa, marking the 7th consecutive year at the event. The interview concluded with appreciation for the warm welcome and anticipation for continued growth and development at Hamwe, emphasizing the company’s commitment to connecting and growing together in Cape Town.

Participating in events like these is a key for us and this is why we joined Hamwe. It provides a platform for the industry to come together, not only to socialize but also to engage in business discussions in a more relaxed environment. Cape Town, with its unique charm, allows for communication with people beyond the formalities of exhibition hours. Thanks to TechAfrica News, the evening became an opportunity to connect with others, away from the formalities of suits and business attire. 

Daria Obukhova, PROTEI’s International Business Development Manager

The Hamwe Networking Night provided an unparalleled platform for networking, creating an atmosphere where professionals could exchange ideas, forge partnerships, and explore opportunities while toasting to a successful day at AfricaCom. The positive energy was palpable as attendees engaged in lively discussions, sharing insights and experiences contributing to the industry’s growth.

The highlight of the evening was witnessing the industry coming together in the spirit of collaboration. The networking event facilitated connections that transcend borders, fostering a sense of unity among diverse stakeholders. These connections drive innovation, foster knowledge exchange, and propel Africa towards a more connected and digitally empowered future.

ST Engineering iDirect’s Craig Bowley Shares Highlights from AfricaCom

Chris Green, the Chief Editor at Tech Africa News, had a conversation with Craig Bowley, the Regional VP EMEA at ST Engineering iDirect, during the Hamwe Networking Night at AfricaCom 2023 in Cape Town. Craig expressed his delight at being at the event and highlighted the positive engagement and projects resulting from the show. They discussed the busy nature of ST Engineering iDirect’s booth, emphasizing the opportunity to meet partners and build relationships. 

I feel like a lot of the work done in Africa and this region relies heavily on personal relationships and understanding the requirements of the customer. Sometimes, it’s easier to have those conversations in the background, over a drink in the evening.

Craig Bowley, Regional VP EMEA, ST Engineering iDirect

Reflecting on a night filled with positive energy and meaningful interactions, we are inspired by the collective commitment to building a robust digital future for Africa. The Hamwe Networking Night at AfricaCom 2023, organized by TechAfrica News, stands as a testament to the power of togetherness in shaping the future of Africa’s digital landscape. As we celebrate the night’s achievements, we eagerly look forward to welcoming everyone again in 2024!

Togetherness is the cornerstone of my digital vision for Africa: I see a future of collaboration, partnerships, and collective action among governments, private sector players, civil society, and international allies, including PortaOne and other technology companies like us. A united effort is how we will ensure that Africa’s digital landscape is innovative, inclusive, and transformative.

Roman Khalenkov, CCO, PortaOne

We want to say “Thank you” to our amazing sponsors ST Engineering iDirectLINXPROTEIDEVEO and invictus 46664 for co-hosting the Hamwe Networking Night with us!

Get a glimpse of how the night unfolded!

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