24 Oct 2014

Free Intel workshops at AfricaCom 2014


AfricaCom 2014 Senior Event Sponsor Intel are delighted to invite you to attend four free workshops dedicated to leveraging telcos’ assets to generate new revenues and developing successful apps. Join Intel’s leading specialists and apps specialists, a group of the region’s top operators, digital innovators and developers and hear insights on leveraging networks assets for new revenues streams, the IoT opportunities, monetising apps and Android coding sessions.

Take your pick from a range of workshops running on Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th. These will be focusing on topics including:

  • Leverage your network assets to accelerate digital innovation
  • Maximizing Telco opportunities via IoT
  • Apps Marketing and Monetization
  • Developing Android apps on Intel Architecture

For more information and to secure your place in these hands-on innovation sessions, visit our website: http://africa.comworldseries.com/intel-workshops/

If you haven't already registered to attend AfricaCom 2014, get your tickets here: http://africa.comworldseries.com/register/

23 Oct 2014

Winner of APO Invitation to AfricaCom 2014 Revealed


Aimable Twahirwa from Rwanda wins APO invitation to participate in the AfricaCom 2014

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, October 23, 2014

APO (African Press Organization) (http://www.apo-opa.com), the sole press release newswire in Africa and the global leader in media relations relating to Africa, today announced that science journalist Aimable Twahirwa (@atwahirwa) from Rwanda won APO invitation to participate in the AfricaCom 2014, Africa’s leading telecoms event (http://www.comworldseries.com/africa), held in Cape Town, South Africa, on 11–13 November 2014.

APO will offer transport, accommodation and perdiem for Twahirwa to travel to Cape Town and cover the entire event.

“It gives us great pleasure in offering this invitation to Aimable, a recognized and influential journalist. As a company, we need to support the journalists out there who fight every day to educate us on the matters of the world,” says Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of APO (African Press Organization).

Aimable Twahirwa is an award-winning and trained senior science journalist based in Kigali, Rwanda. During his 15 year- career, he has been covering science and technology writing for prestigious newspapers both Pan African and international newsrooms as well as Radio and online.

After he graduated in science Journalism, his first assignment was on the Climate Change  where he delved in Energy and Agriculture research. His early days at Rwanda News Agency (RNA) led him to become the Rwanda correspondent for the Pan African News Agency where he has been covering science and technology stories.

On a freelance basis, he has published revealing stories about genocide, in the African media and for press in UK and Europe and North America. Aimable is fluent in both languages French and English which made him an influential correspondent for specialized science magazines such like 'Scidev.Net' and NATURE publications Group, a London based publisher.

More information about AfricaCom 2014: http://africa.comworldseries.com

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 is a global leader in media relations relating to Africa.

With offices in Senegal, Switzerland, Dubai, Hong Kong, India, and Seychelles, APO owns a media database of over 100,000 contacts and is the main online community for Africa-related news.

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.

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apo_source

Follow us on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/african-press-organization

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/africanpressorganization

SOURCE: APO (African Press Organization)

Start AfricaCom week in style with Mobile Monday's End of Year networking event

Mobile Monday South Africa’s End of Year Event

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Topic: Mobile the Magical Money-Making Machine


Attention: The 2014 End of Year Mobile Monday South Africa Event featuring the legendary international man of mobile, Tomi Ahonen

2014 has just flown back and in traditional MoMo style we are hosting an End of Year bash to kick off AfricaCOM 2014 in Cape Town. To celebrate this extraordinary year in Mobile, South Africa’s 20th anniversary of telecommunications in the country, we have an extraordinary speaker lined up. This year’s bash is brought to you by Intel and WeChat

Special Guest: Tomi Ahonen

Some say this International man of mobile provided Mark Zuckerberg with the inspiration for Facebook. Others say, he single headedly laid the undersea cables that provided mobile Internet connectivity globally (or maybe its just all the traveling he has done speaking the word of Mobile. We are proud to announce that 12 time published mobile evangelist, Tomi Ahonen will for the first time LIVE in Cape Town be our key note speaker at this year’s MoMo year end function.

MOMO Event Details:

Date: Monday, 10 November 2014

Time: 18h00

Venue: Pepenero Restaurant, Moullie Point, Cape Town

Drinks and snacks will be served

Cost: Free as always but this year space is limited to BOOK YOUR TICKET NOW!

Mobile Monday is a partner of AfricaCom, taking place at the CTICC in Cape Town in 11-13 November.


21 Oct 2014

AfricaCom 2014: Vision for Africa

Launches, acquisitions, growth, partnerships, broadband, new technologies & services and how to monetize digital platforms: Africa’s digital market is moving by leaps and bounds, and showing the world how innovation is done. This is the underlying premise of the AfricaCom 2014 Keynote sessions entitled:  Vision for Africa’ which will present a snapshot of the most current trends in the market, and discuss the benefits for customers and industry stakeholders alike.

Always insightful, the 2014 opening session to kick off the 17th annual AfricaCom conference on 11 November 2014 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), is once again set to deliver thought provoking debate.  Africa’s digital market is driven by broadband developments, which enable better services to consumers, new opportunities for all stakeholders and further growth for Africa’s economies. The key questions are how to deliver broadband access to consumers across the continent (what technologies, on what devices), how it can be in a way that is affordable to African users, and how stakeholders can generate revenues from the investment.

The opening keynote panel at AfricaCom will look at how strategic partnerships affect services to users and investments from stakeholders: the complicated relations between telecom operators and OTT (over the top) providers. The panel will be composed of some of Africa's leading operators (Millicom, Airtel , MTN, Orange), joined by two of the most world’s significant OTT players: Facebook and Twitter. The operator/OTT debate has raged for the past few years and took a new turn earlier this year with the growth of voice-based OTT brands and new partnership models developed by operators in Africa.

A panel on broadband developments will cover the investments and initiatives needed to improve broadband access across the continent, with contributions from pan-African players Orange, Intelsat, Convergence Partners, Liquid Telecom and China ComServices. Mobile broadband being the main way Africans access the Internet, LTE services will be covered with contributions from large operators Vodacom, Smile and Unitel Angola as well as smaller newcomers Surfline and YooMee. The role of handsets and devices will be debated by representatives of major operators (Millicom, Airtel) as well as a handset manufacturer (Tecno) and OS provider Mozilla.

Finally, new revenue streams will be discussed, with a major new topic introduced to the AfricaCom keynotes M2M & IoT, with a keynote presentation from BMW on their ConnectedCAr and a panel including Orange, Vodacom, Google and the Praekelt Foundation.

Content being a key revenue stream in Africa, a panel will look at how to monetise content services, with contributions from operators Vodacom and Airtel, content providers eTV and Ole! Media Group, one of the continent’s fastest growing digital powerhouses and OTT player Yahoo.

AfricaCom 2014 provides an information oasis with all major players under one roof.  It is also the place where innovation and business happens and is a not to be missed event for anyone looking to develop or grow existing revenue within the highly competitive and rapidly evolving digital ecosystem.  Don’t say we didn’t warn you...

About AfricaCom 2014

Taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from 11 – 13 November 2014, AfricaCom is now in its 17th year. AfricaCom is Africa’s largest communications conference & exhibition. The conference programme covers the most strategic issues affecting companies in Africa’s digital market - services, efficiency, profitability, customer experience, partnerships, policy and more – and features 11 co-located events: VSAT Africa, TM Forum Live @ Africa Com, LTE Africa, Digital Music, Mobile Money & Commerce, AfricaCast, AfricApps, etc. To register: www.comworldseries.com/africa

20 Oct 2014

Orange in Africa: “Local content boosts usage growth.”


IP&TV News finds out more about Orange’s African strategy from Orange’s Sebastien Crozier…

IP&TV News: Could you give us an overview of Orange’s African content strategy, first of all in countries where it’s currently a mass market operator?

Sebastien Crozier: Orange is rolling out its 3G and 4G networks that allow internet access and data services to mass consumers.

Content such as music and video are naturally favoured axes of development. Orange hence launched 2 key services in this area:

1: Orange Radio offers an aggregation of more than 20,000 radios available in mobility with a large footprint. The service is interconnected with Deezer and will be integrated part of fixed and mobile packages proposed by many Orange affiliates.

2: Orange Video by Dailymotion offers a video streaming service that is largely available. A dedicated and localized service has been developed in collaboration with the affiliates in Ivory Coast, Senegal, Madagascar, Maurice, Reunion as well as in the Caribbean’s. Local content strongly contributes to boost usage growth.

And what about those in which it isn’t a mass market operator?

Orange is putting an important emphasis in a few priority countries such as South Africa and Algeria where these two same services will be strongly localized.

Orange content services are diffused by other telecom operators especially over aDSL.

What do you think the main challenges will be for African content diffusion over the next year?

We identify four main challenges for African content services development over the next years:

1. Providing high quality internet services requires significant bandwidth increase and hence an increase of the internet interconnection capacities provided by sub-marine cables. Orange is putting a strong emphasis on this development through its international wholesale divisions.

2. In order to provide the overall continent with sufficient network capabilities, a high-speed fibre terrestrial network needs as well to be further deployed.

3. Datacenter number and capacity increase is a third important stake. Orange strongly contributes to such development in countries where it is as a mass-market operator.

4. African countries must lastly continue increasing their content production. Countries such as Nigeria, Egypt or South Africa already create an important volume of local content.

You’ll be at this year’s AfricaCast – why do you think this event has become so important so quickly?

3G and 4G network deployments create new needs and new stakes. Content services have become one of the major stakes for the telecom industry and more globally for the ICT sector in Africa.

An event such as the AfricaCast has hence become one of the unavoidable meetings in the high-tech area.

Sebastien Crozier will be appearing at next month’s AfricaCast, Africa’s premier show on the future of broadcasting, which takes place on the 11th-13th November 2014 at the Cape Town Convention Centre, South Africa. AfricaCast will be co-located with AfricaCom - for more information and to book, click here.

Mobile money – time for a reality check?

The growth of mobile money in Africa over the last seven years has been phenomenal. Figures doing the rounds (and quoted by The Economist and Financial Times amongst others) include the calculation that 43% of Kenyan GDP is channelled through M-PESA each year, and that Kenyan mobile money is reported as having 26 million customers (Central Bank of Kenya website).

There’s a brilliant article by Susan Johnson, professor at the Centre for Development Studies at the University of Bath, in which she explores the big claims coming out about mobile money. I won’t go into the details here, but Susan found that the 43% of GDP figure is hugely misleading.  If you consider that only 9% of the value facilitated by the Central Bank’s real time gross settlement system are through M-PESA, its clear that this is a bogus statistic. Susan’s article, Kenyan mobile money and the hype of messy statistics, explains the premise and calculations in depth.

Subscriber numbers appear to have been overhyped too. The 26 million customer figure I referred to earlier (reported on the CBK website) is not a figure for unique customers. The data collected simply reports the total number of signups, without taking account of multiple registrations, hence it is not a figure for unique customers.

So, while M-PESA certainly has been a huge success, alternative figures provide more accurate, but less dramatic, comparisons.

My point here is that mobile money has not yet arrived, it has much further to go to meet its full potential. This rings true with what I have witnessed about the dominance of cash for the majority of consumers – not only in emerging markets, but also in first-world countries such as the US and UK where daily retail transactions are predominantly cash-based.

Back in emerging markets, the vast majority of prepaid airtime vouchers and scratch cards are still paid for in cash. This still the case for M-PESA’s parent mobile network, Safaricom. The same is true for other prepaid products like electricity vouchers, bus and train tickets and other micropayments. These kinds of transactions may be small in value but they are huge in volume.

Operators need to acknowledge the power and prevalence of cash even as they continue to build on the gains in digital money.

Vahid will be discussing solutions for the cash to digital convergence at AfricaCom. His presentation is at 12.40 pm on Day 2 of the conference (12 November) under the Mobile Money and M-commerce stream. You can view the full AfricaCom agenda here.

Meet Nomanini and investigate its rugged point of sale terminals and flexible cloud-based back-end at stand A21 in the exhibition hall, where you can pick up a free SIM and airtime - because we know that roaming is expensive! For more info: http://nomanini.com/africacom/