LONDON – The world’s largest and most influential Africa-focused technology and digital connectivity events – AfricaCom and AfricaTech – will take place in 2020 as fully virtual events, under the umbrella of the new Virtual Africa Tech Festival.
The events will run simultaneously from 9-13 November, 2020. Being virtual and providing access to exceptional content for free, the events expect to welcome an even greater number and range of participants than ever before.
Announcing the news, event director and the portfolio director of Connecting Africa at Informa Tech, Tom Cuthell, said: "After an extensive period of review and consultation, we have decided to proactively transform our events into fully virtual events in 2020 with AfricaCom, AfricaTech and all our co-located conferences now forming the Virtual Africa Tech Festival."
Virtual events, usually webinar-based, have increasingly become the norm thanks to the spread of COVID-19 and resultant economic lockdowns the world over. However, the Virtual Africa Tech Festival promises to be different. Organizers have confirmed they will be making use of an advanced event platform with superior functionality to continue to deliver the incredible networking value that both events are so well known for.
Embracing technology innovation, the Virtual Africa Tech festival will offer conference delegates, expo visitors and exhibitors a best-in-class digital experience. In addition to 20 premium conference tracks with a host of visionary keynote speakers, there will be an AI-powered matchmaking engine, smart networking via integrated video chat, a virtual expo with virtual booths, more interactive sessions than ever before, intimate virtual VIP breakouts, smart lead capture and many other game-changing features.
New Features in 2020
Attendees can also look forward to exciting new features such as accelerateHER Africa, a co-located event that will champion women founders, leaders and change-makers in tech; new AfricaCom conference tracks – Digital Infrastructure Investment and Connecting the Next Billion, AfricaTech Industry Deep Dives – looking at emerging tech such as AI and IoT in a range of different business contexts; and the new 4IR Talent and Skills Summit.
Enabling and Accelerating Economic Recovery
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of tech in tackling global health crises, as well as tech's vital role as a business enabler. As such, technology is a powerful engine for economic recovery.
"We recognize that in these difficult circumstances there is an even greater need to convene Africa’s tech and business communities," commented Cuthell, who observed that conversations defining the roles of technology and telecommunications in addressing the challenges that lie ahead need to be had with some urgency.
The new Virtual Africa Tech Festival is the culmination of 23 years of connecting and informing business leaders, technology experts and policymakers on the African continent. High on this year’s agenda is the mission to equip and inspire people to design, build and run a better, more inclusive, digital world – to unify Africa’s response to the 4IR and, in doing so, accelerate socio-economic development across the continent. In a post-COVID-19 economic landscape, this is more important than ever.
Realizing the full transformative potential of technology with greater urgency will require collaboration, creativity, education and focus. At a time when physical, face-to-face contact is more difficult, Virtual Africa Tech Festival will provide a broad digital platform from which to unify and accelerate these efforts.
Going virtual in 2020 also presents an excellent opportunity to make these events infinitely more accessible both within Africa and beyond. An internet connection is now all that is required to participate and be part of a community that is actively shaping Africa’s digital future. Geographical and logistical restrictions are a thing of the past.
Virtual Africa Tech Festival will connect the dots between digital infrastructure investment, enterprise transformation, emerging tech, ICT policy and regulation, start-up investment, digital skills development and tech for good.
To register for a FREE delegate pass – click here.
For further information please visit the 2020 website.
This year did not begin the way most people expected it to, so what does the future of the telecoms sector look like in Africa in 2020? In this Connecting Africa online event, local analysts and industry stakeholders will discuss what African operators’ priorities for the year should be and the most significant market trends expected to dominate in 2020.
Will MNOs focus on sweating their current assets rather than investing in new technologies like 5G?
What impact will COVID-19 have on the continent’s networks?
What are the hot market trends in Africa when it comes to voice, data and mobile financial services?
The majority of 5G in Africa is still in the testing stage. However, as operators prepare their networks for the technology jump, what strategies are they deploying to ensure they gain the full value that 5G can offer Africa? This digital symposium will give you an insight into the opportunities and challenges facing Africa’s 5G rollout, with some country specific case studies unpacked.
How 5G-ready is African enterprise?
Is 5G a priority for in Africa, should it be? Or can operators and businesses focus on growing their 3G and 4G networks for enterprise instead?
What are the most significant enterprise business applications for 5G deployment on the continent, and where can 5G facilitate IoT applications?
Africa was the birthplace of Mobile Money and while it continues to rise in popularity, the industry is quickly evolving and launching more mobile-based financial services every day. In this Connecting Africa online event, local analysts and industry stakeholders will discuss how telcos are disrupting the financial services space and what the rise of Mobile Money 2.0 will look like for Africa.
From cash to mobile: heading towards a cashless society
Expanding MFS offerings beyond mobile money transfers
MNOs vs banks vs fintechs: an evolving competitive landscape
Unconnected and unbanked: fintech to improve financial inclusion
The rise of micro-loans and insurance through mobile platforms
Africa has the fastest growing population in the world and also the youngest, with 60% of Africans under the age of 25. It is clear that the next billion connected are going to be the mobile-only generation. This digital symposium will bring industry experts together to discuss Africa’s digital divide and how to get devices into the hands of young Africans and empower them to join the digital revolution.
Who’s Driving? The role of government & regulator, private tech companies, and public-private partnerships
Device affordability: are we reaching a tipping point?
Status check: Satellite vs Fiber and the enduring infrastructure gap
Exploring the wider societal and economic benefits of a connected, digitally literate continent