As tech and entrepreneurship gathers speed across the region, a new age is fast emerging in Africa – the age of the digital citizen. Mobile 360 – Africa convened leaders from Africa’s tech and telecom landscape to share disruptive, provocative, and inspirational ideas contributing to Africa’s digital rise. The conference included a mix of keynotes, panel discussions, and more from Africa’s brightest minds and influential leaders. In addition, attendees enjoy Mobile for Development sessions, the annual Mobile Money Leadership Forum alongside an Innovation Showcase, networking initiatives, and more.
For the 2019 edition, we explored the impacts of digital technology on African society and how technology affects future lives.
Day 1: Digital is here. Now What? Centred on the digital citizen; day one focused on understanding the user journey, creating a long-term vision for Africa Tech and building a local ecosystem to support a digital Africa. Paula Ingabire, Minister of ICT & Innovation in Rwanda emphasised how we must open the way to industry 4.0 through collaboration across the region. 5G, whilst not imminent, brought lively discussion on jobs of the future, investment, industry purpose and connectivity. Facebook & Airtel provided frank and open discussions around data and trust, highlighting the careful need to balance between privacy, innovation and security for the consumer. Airtel’s take home message; whoever uses or monetises data must be transparent and honest with its users.
Day 2: Future Lives: Explored how we can empower Africa’s women and youth to provide solutions to issues that affect the region, not only now, but in the future when technology is projected to develop further. The sessions brought inspirational keynotes from Rwandan entrepreneurs, demonstrated real-life examples of innovation in the region, and the role that media and women play in the future of tech and society.
Day 3: Mobile Money Leadership Forum: Embracing ‘Payments as a Platform’ in Africa and Beyond. The forum convened thirteen high-profile speakers and hundreds of delegates from the payments landscape for a deep-dive into the world of digital financial services in emerging markets, with a focus on new business models, collaborative partnerships and the socioeconomic impact they can deliver. The day concluded with the Mastercard Payments Forum and networking reception.
The #BetterFuture Stage welcomed companies to hold discussions and demonstrations on the future of African tech and this age of the digital citizen. This year’s presenters included Access to Finance Rwanda, BICS, GSMA Mobile for Development, Huawei, Intelsat, IrisGuard, MFS Africa, and Telepin.
Workshops and Meetings
Several workshops and side meetings took a deep dive into specific topics beyond the conference discussions.
- GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation: Improving humanitarian aid delivery through mobile: opportunities to innovate and do no harm
- Cybersecurity and cross border data flows in the Mobile Industry
- GSMA Digital Identity: Closing the identity gap for women and the role of mobile
- GSMA Connected Societies: Innovating to accelerate digital inclusion in Africa
- GSMA AgriTech: Digital disruption of the agricultural sector in Africa
- O3B mPOWER next-generation MEO constellation presented by SES Networks
- Mastercard Payments Forum