AfricaCOM 2023: Exploring the Tech Landscape in the Region
Known as the 'home of connectivity and communications' in the Sub-Saharan Region, AfricaCOM stands as one of the pivotal components of the Africa Tech Festival, scheduled to take place from November 14th to 16th, 2023, in Cape Town, South Africa. Lumine’s Senior Associate of Corporate Development, Jude Murray, who is based in Cape Town, will be there. As we prepare for the event, we explore the journey that has solidified AfricaCOM's position as a top-tier communications event on the African continent.
AfricaCOM unites Africa’s tech ecosystems and industry verticals with over 15,000 attendees annually. It provides an international platform to the voice of stakeholders and the communications sector’s most influential players in Sub-Saharan Africa, all while ensuring themes, presentations, and workshops are tailored to the specific conditions within the African market. It’s also become an opportunity for local solution providers to network directly with international service providers and investors.
In the realm of communications technology, Sub-Saharan Africa stands out for its distinctiveness, shaped by the diversity of its population and the array of socio-economic challenges it faces. Remarkably, amidst these adversities, mobile technologies have emerged as a significant driver of GDP growth and employment opportunities in this predominantly unbanked (i.e., persons with no active banking account with a financial institution or access to such) population. In fact, mobile devices have established themselves as the prevailing means of engaging with the digital sphere, firmly establishing Africa as the world's leading mobile connectivity market, boasting the highest subscription rates among users.
Of course, disparities exist, primarily due to barriers of device affordability, digital literacy, and lack of local language content with a roughly 43% usage gap and 37% gender gap in the mobile internet adaption. Still, as of last November, the distribution of internet traffic for users in Africa (based on countries with available data) was a median value of 77.5% mobile devices or tablets.
With all these users, the Region has seen an upward trend in mobile subscriber monetization, with attention-based marketing solutions via in-streaming media and in-mobile game advertising. Another active trend in the Region is the direct carrier billing payment models enabling access to digital products for unbanked populations. With the adoption of 5G technology, the potential to boost in-game advertising will be on the rise as well.
There are several Lumine Group companies already making waves within the Region. Telepin, based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, is a leading provider of mobile transaction platforms serving tier-one operators in Africa amongst other continents. Its products offer mobile operators an efficient and cost-effective means to control distribution networks, maximize mobile financial service revenues and deliver innovative mobile financial applications. Telepin’s mobile money platform includes a full suite of electronic, transaction-based applications that allow mobile subscribers to recharge airtime without cards or vouchers, transact person-to-person money transfers and electronic bill payments, and more. Telepin has worked with unbanked populations before, and has seen success with the mobile wallet service that works to bring greater financial control and stability to unbanked mobile customers.
NetEngage, powers the next generation of networks for maximum customer engagement. This year they partnered with Africa’s leading mobile operator and the largest provider in Sierra Leone, to create social development and economic prosperity for people in countries in which it operates by enhancing their networks.
VAS-X, provide a full stack of BSS/OSS solutions to operators in the Region. Lumine companies recognize the vast potential in the region and are consistently seeking strategic partnerships.
With so much opportunity in the Region it is exciting to see that this year’s AfricaCOM lineup will dedicate a content stream to the Telcos of Tomorrow, Digital Infrastructure Investment, and Broadcast, Media and Entertainment, amongst others.
If you will be at this year’s event, whether it's a 10-minute catch-up or a 30-minute sit-down, please feel to reach out and connect to book a meeting. We look forward to this year’s show.
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