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Practical Insights for the Digital World - Africa is a magnet for Investors

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After a second day at Africa Tech Week, bursting with tech trends and practical insights from speakers and acclaimed sponsors Vaxowave, Liquid Intelligent Solutions, Visa, PPC and Gijima, the overarching emotion is one of gratitude and the outlook optimistic. The main focus was strategies for living in a digital world - a reality that has abruptly arrived on the globe’s doorstep.

 

54 Million Jobs to be Created

As Zahra Baitie from the Jack Ma Foundation reiterated, Africa is a recently connected continent, new market and magnet for those seeking to make their mark on the world stage. Over the course of the two-day summit, Africa Tech Week certainly made a mark on the world stage! It is predicted that Africa will create 54 million jobs by 2022, largely generated by small and medium enterprises. According to Zahra, African women are twice as likely to start a business as women elsewhere in the world. Zahra maintained that African entrepreneurs have a massive opportunity to uplift the African community.

 

Africa boasts the Most Youthful Population in the World

According to Thomas Davin, global innovation director for UNICEF, approximately 60% of the African population is younger than 25, making Africa the most youthful population in the world. We need to upskill and equip Africa’s youth and ensure that they have access to technology and the internet. The education system is moving towards machine learning - enabling individual learning journeys. Thomas shed light on the notion that as humans change the way they interact with machines, they are more likely to change jobs (more so than previous generations).

 

The importance of Inclusivity

Honourable Emma Imamutila Theofelus, Namibian Deputy Minister of ICT passionately encouraged inclusivity regarding women in the workplace and in leadership. Afterall, women are the forerunners of the 4th digital revolution. Lawrence Reddy, Cloud CTO of Vaxowave SA, in a session sponsored by Vaxowave spoke on when cloud patterns become antipatterns. Vaxowave’s expertise includes cloud technology, and security. Their main objective is to provide clients, from across sectors, value from cloud technologies.

In a panel discussion, on building the future banking experience and how digital infrastructure facilitates economic growth, hosted by Visa, Aldo Laubscher, general manager of Visa,South Africa was quoted saying that, “regulation is going to be the maker or the breaker of African Free Trade." Terry Behan, executive head of design for Nedbank, in a session hosted by Nedbank on building a distinctive platform experience with AVO - Africa’s first super app, highlighted that their job is to connect consumers, entrepreneurs and businesses together, for societal gain.

 

An Optimistic Forecast

Tim Mitchell, head of digital transformation at Flux Labs highlighted that in 5 years time, the platform economy is forecast to be worth 60 trillion dollars. Enver Groenewald, group chief executive officer at Ogilvy SA described how both effectiveness and efficiency should be driven from the top. He reiterated that you either disrupt or be disrupted. In a panel discussion hosted by Liquid Intelligent Technologies on how Liquid Intelligent Technologies is building Africa’s digital future, the importance of vehement investment in local distribution, partnerships, people, teams and infrastructure was addressed. “We need to think globally and act locally,” according to Sandile Ntsele, chief financial officer at Liquid Intelligent Technologies, SA.

“African Time,” previously loaded with negative connotations, has been reclaimed. “African Time,” in fact, makes reference to the fast-paced and innovative way Africa is hurtling ahead towards digitisation.

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