19 Sep 2014

New for AfricaCom 2014: the Entrepreneurs Incubator Hub hosts the AMPION Venture Bus Finale

Young people with innovative ideas need access to investors, they need employees with technical expertise and they highly benefit from capacity building and mentorship opportunities. In Africa, in particular, it is also crucial to overcome infrastructural barriers. This is why our NGO AMPION is collaborating with startups, public institutions, partner NGOs, investors, incubators and innovation hubs (tech and co-working centers). We understand information and communications technology (ICT) not as an end in itself but as a crucial enabler reducing barriers to entry, lowering cost, speeding up growth, extending reach and thereby enhancing the potential impact of business ideas. That is why we target entrepreneurial talents across all industries, while placing special emphasis on enabling ICT experts to work with and for them.

In the Middle East and North Africa telecoms market a 2014 report by Analysys Mason shows that the mobile telecoms market is displaying signs of continued growth. While research by Deloitte and GSMA (Groupe Special Mobile Association) highlights that sub-Saharan Africa is the fastest growing mobile phone market in the world (sporting a growth rate of 44% per year since 2000), Northern Africa and the Middle East are also benefitting from the progress of mobile penetration on the continent. Driven by strong mobile handset data growth, telecoms service revenue in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will grow at a CAGR of 2.9% during 2013–2018 (mobile at 3.3% and fixed at 2.8%), to reach USD96 billion in 2018.

AMPION Venture Buses operate all across the African continent and connect coders, web designers and business experts to investors and mentors. On five-day ‘hackathons’ they create startups from scratch. The buses are equipped with electricity and Internet. Every day the Venture Bus visits innovation HUBs to get the participants in touch with the local communities for feedback and an exchange of experiences. 

A key objective for AMPION is to make startups created on the Venture Buses sustainable. For this purpose we will offer a six month fellowship program for the 10 best startups created on the AMPION Venture Buses. It will include free offices in over 30 countries, a grant and the connection to our global network of mentors. In addition, it will feature trips to the centers of the global tech and startup scene such as the Silicon Valley and Berlin. 

2014 four AMPION Venture Buses will travel a total of 16 African countries. Along their journey our participants (200 overall) get in touch with more than 5000 young Africans interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. We also cooperate with international journalists and African media channels such as the BBC, Bloomberg, A24Media and many African tech blogs. Due to this extensive media coverage and our own active social media campaigns the spirit of our Venture Buses can potentially inspire more than 25 million young people in Africa and worldwide. 

Advancements through the power of digital and innovation can help to improve the day-to-day life of many people across Africa and the Middle East and may help building a foundation for the tech markets of tomorrow.  

In 2013 eight startups where created on our bus driving from Zimbabwe to South Africa. One of them, the App "sterio.me" is an e-learning app via SMS. It takes into account the challenges of the African market: Inadequate infrastructure and a lack of internet connectivity highly affect the access to education in Africa. Sterio.me helps to overcome these obstacles as the app requires neither mobility nor internet access: The user sends an SMS to the free service and then receives a call that is sent to him by his teacher tasks and queries learning content. 

The app "Bribed", also developed in 2013 in the bus, provides access to a network that tracks exposure to bribery. They now cooperate with Transparency Germany to help them improve their Global Corruption Index.

We are looking forward to many great new ideas on our four AMPION Venture Buses in 2014!

Check out the Entrepreneurs Incubator Hub which will take place on Day Three of AfricaCom 2014 – Secure your conference pass or FREE exhibition ticket here: http://bit.ly/AfricaCom2014 

17 Sep 2014

Infrastructure leveraging, OTTs rising, and CIO's evolving role in ICT are the themes of day two at NigeriaCom

The 5th annual NigeriaCom event rolls into day two at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria, bringing together the leading figures in telecoms, ICT, Media and Finance, from across Nigeria and the wider region.

Speakers from the public and private sector gave a poignant discussion on broadband infrastructure to kick off. All shared the sentiment that private sector needs encouragement from government to invest in network infrastructure and in turn grow the enterprise investment across Nigeria.
On the topic of surge in OTT services, MTN's Bayo Adekanmbi sees this as the tip of the iceberg, so operators pricing must be well balanced.

Yookos coyly concluded the panel stating telcos need OOT players because they have the content!
Resuming after the morning coffee break the CIO forum began with a great panel of shared perspectives from leaders in corporate ICT. How can CIOs manage the nexus force of mobile, social, big data and cloud?

Critical thought was shared by Vodacom, Ekiti State, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Jumia, EMC and many others.

Still to come this afternoon - MVNO strategies for Nigeria and digital insights from market  king's iRoko TV, and more.

Networking is a major part of NgieriaCom: a busy Speed Networking session took place in the morning coffee break. The day’s proceeding ended with a drinks reception hosted that carried on into the event.

16 Sep 2014

Spectrum and broadband are naturally the buzz words at NigeriaCom

The 5th annual NigeriaCom event opened today at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Lagos,Nigeria, bringing together the leading figures in telecoms, ICT, Media and Finance, from across Nigeria and the wider region.

Speakers from government and regulatory bodies, mobile operators, fixed and wireless service providers, banks and vendors shared their views on the strong growth forecast for the sector while outlining the agenda for sustained improvements and best practice in this burgeoning market.

A highlight from the morning keynotes was Nitin Anand Head of Data at Airtel, who talked about the digitisation of society and how Nigeria has the chance to be even better than any nation in the world.

Also noteworthy is Eng. Festus Daudu of the ministry supporting the notion that operators are seen as partners of the government.

Resuming after the morning coffee break the sessions became more focused on network efficiency and the connectivity breakthroughs from innovative ISPs. The strategies discussed covered challenges of the Nigerian market from spectrum allocation down to rural market telecoms improvements, meeting the demand for affordable data, with contributions from, iPNX MTN and Google to name a few.

Still to come the Central Bank of Nigeria and large representation of the banking community in mobile money this afternoon.

Networking is a major part of NigeriaCom: a busy Speed Networking session took place in the morning coffee break. The day’s proceeding ended with a drinks reception hosted that carried on into the event.

“NigeriaCom is always a great event to be part of and it reflects the buoyancy of the market at present. We are proud that it remains relevant to the speakers and attendees and that we’ve had the opportunity to build out many new features this year”, says Adam Thompson, Conf.

15 Sep 2014

AfricaCom 2014 exhibitors get a 20 percent discount off pan-African news release distribution


 CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, September 12, 2014/ -- APO (African Press Organization) (http://www.apo-opa.com), the official wire service of AfricaCom 2014 is offering exhibitors of AfricaCom 2014 a 20 percent discount off pan-African news release distribution.

Used by some of the world's largest technology companies, including Orange, Airtel, Ericsson, Symantec, Oracle, Garmin, Gemalto, NEC Corporation, MasterCard and more, APO Africa Wire® has a potential reach of 600 million people and guarantees the most extensive outreach in Africa, acting as a channel that allows APO's clients to target audiences in all parts of the continent and also the world.

This service reaches over 50,000 journalists, bloggers and social networks, and redistributes content to more than 50 African websites, as well as to Bloomberg Terminal, Thomson Reuters, LexisNexis, Dow Jones Factiva, 250 million mobile subscribers in 30 countries and more.

More information about Africa Wire®, the service for press release distribution and monitoring in Africa, is available at http://www.apo-opa.com/services.php


Aïssatou Diallo
+41 22 534 96 97

About APO

APO (African Press Organization) (http://www.apo-opa.com) is the sole press release newswire in Africa and the global leader in media relations relating to Africa.

With offices in Senegal, Switzerland, Dubai, Hong Kong, India and Seychelles, APO has a media database comprising over 50,000 contacts and is the main online community for news relating to Africa.

It offers a complete range of services, including press release distribution and monitoring, online press conferences, interactive webcasts, media interactions, strategic advice, public diplomacy, government relations and events promotion. To find out more, please visit http://www.apo-opa.com.

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APO (African Press Organization)