Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Digital Inclusion

Why I'm Excited for a Connected Africa

Article Image
What do you want to know about the key telecoms and ICT trends in Africa? If you found your way to this digital community you must have some interest in the topic and as the newly appointed editor of Connecting Africa it's my job to provide you with the news and insights that can help you keep up to date with one of the key industry verticals affecting the future of the continent.

So who am I exactly? I'm Paula Gilbert. I'm a self-confessed coffee addict, wine snob and avid traveler with an inquisitive mind and a growing collection of books I'm really planning to read at some point, I promise.

I'm a proud graduate of Rhodes University's Journalism School but how I ended up as a telecoms journalist is a long story, one I won’t bore you with now, but ultimately it was a happy accident that has evolved into a fulfilling career.

In my previous life I worked as a TV producer and reporter for business television channels Bloomberg TV Africa and CNBC Africa, and started my career at a small radio news agency in Cape Town. I now live in Johannesburg and have for four years been covering this dynamic sector as the telecoms editor at online publication, ITWeb.

I love writing about mobile and enterprise tech innovations and the trendsetters behind them. I don't think the machines are taking over, yet, but I do believe that rapid innovations in artificial intelligence and machine learning are beginning to alter the business world, in both good and bad ways, and we better get ready because it's too late to turn back now.

Pet projects of mine include researching and writing about gender equality and the vast mobile gender gap that unfortunately still exists in the developing world. I get frustrated by the clichéd focus on "Women in Tech" once a year (usually around International Women's day): However, as I happen to be one of these elusive unicorns, it is important to me to shine a light on women in the sector who are thriving, as well as identifying the issues that modern African women are facing -- not just once a year, but every day.

Africa is a big place and I'm taking on a big role as editor of Connecting Africa, it will definitely be a challenge, but one I'm excited to tackle.

My friends and family don't really understand what I do, or most of the topics I write about, so I strive to make this industry more digestible for new readers while still covering the technical or tricky topics that hard-core comms and tech fans are seeking out.

People are often baffled by how I can possibly find a new story to write every day, but in the ICT sector this isn't really hard. There is always something happening, whether it's bitter battles between rival operators, the emergence of innovative new startups, market-changing investments, new legislation, or just industry news from the movers and shakers on the continent. The sector always keeps me on my toes, but luckily, as a woman, I've built up a decent pain threshold in my feet.

As a South African (of the Rainbow Nation generation) I grew up understanding that diversity is a strength and not a weakness, and the diversity of my country and my continent is what makes it such a vibrant and interesting landscape to work in as a journalist.

However, this continent cannot be seen as one homogeneous entity. Every country and region is vastly different from the next and through my work at Connecting Africa I hope to be able to tell the stories of all of the unique people and companies that call Africa home, as well as investigate the trends that make the African telecoms sector tick.

With all of that said, I guess I have a lot to do and had better get to work -- I hope you enjoy what is to come.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Orange Ventures, Digital Africa promise more funding for startups

Orange Ventures and Digital Africa are teaming up to invest more in tech startups in Africa and the Middle East through Digital Africa's Fuzé program and the Orange Digital Center network.


Hot startup of the month: Rwanda's Ampersand

Connecting Africa's hot startup this month is Rwanda's Ampersand, which designs, builds, and manufactures electric motorcycles and battery packs for motorcycle taxis.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Follow us on X

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives


Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.


The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: April 2024

By Omdia Analysts

April 2024's telecoms highlights in the Middle East and Africa included a license for Starlink in Ghana, new mobile termination rates in Ethiopia, and 6G trials in Bahrain – that and more in the latest Omdia View.


Leveraging agritech to build resilience against climate change

By Francis Hook

ICT analyst Francis Hook discusses agritech in Africa and how the agricultural sector is using technology to build resilience against the negative effects of climate change and to ensure food security.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up
Tag id test-002