Quick show guide to what’s happening at AfricaCom next week


The 20th staging of Africa’s largest and certainly most influential technology, media and telecommunications event, AfricaCom, is nearly here. Kicking off at the greatly extended Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from Tuesday 7 November, AfricaCom will welcome over 13,000 delegates, some 400 exhibitors and as many speakers as well as a large contingent of local and international media.

There is much on offer for all at this year’s event. Standing on the cusp of the 4th Industrial Revolution, the drive for economic parity is being propelled by IT and digital communication and it is at AfricaCom that participants will get a glimpse of just where we are all headed.

Because the digital realm is so all encompassing AfricaCom has curated as many aspects as possible, navigating the conferences and the exhibition halls can be bewildering, even for stalwarts. To help, here are some of the key highlights:

Think Tanks – Several roundtable discussions around Enterprise ICT are a must if businesses hope to survive before they think about growing and prospering. Taking place on Wednesday 8 November, at 11h25, a number of industry heavies will weigh in on how to overcome Africa’s connectivity infrastructure restraints and the challenges that businesses face in not being able enable applications necessary for them to conduct their core business. What actual improvements are needed and can we move beyond dialogue to action and when?

Also on Wednesday but taking place at 14h15, the other side of the digital coin – people – is explored. Is your workforce ready for digital transformation – what skills gaps are they and what we are doing as business leaders to ensure we have a hand on what’s required
to propel us forward? And, more importantly who do we trust with leading this transformation in our organisations.

We’ve already mentioned it, but worth another reminder, the AfricaCom 20th Birthday Bash starts at 16h30 on Tuesday 7 November in the new Technology Arena, ahead of the second staging of the AFEST party at the Shimmy Beach Club – media are all invited to attend AFEST and are requested to RSVP to esona@networxpr.co.za. (Please note that standard media rules apply when it comes to artist copyright and recording of performances).

The SDN and NFV conference stream will take place on Tuesday 7th November covering issues such as Open Source driving innovation in the telco world. Another hot topic,
especially in South Africa, is a series of talks on Digital Broadcast – where is Pay TV headed? The roles and challenges of public broadcasting? And, the evolution of the home networking experience.

Keynote speeches and presentations will be uploaded to the AfricaCom app – for media reporting purposes.

Some Other Exhibitor highlights:

Nokia showcase – Stand C95
Nokia is showcasing the latest innovations and engaging in discussions on ultra-broadband, the promise of 5G, digital transformation, cloud transformation, secure quantum-safe encryption and IP networks re-imagined. We will demonstrate how you can unleash the full potential of your network today, and how to flexibly build and scale your business for the digital future. Nokia will also be hosting live demos a meeting room 1.74.

Parallel Wireless – Stand B33
Regular demonstrations of a newly announced the addition of 2G capabilities to their 3G/4G end-to-end SDR solution. This innovative approach allows operators to easily and cost-effectively deploy, expand and future-proof 2G Networks. They will be demonstrating its capabilities daily.

Seamless Distribution Systems – Stand A116 Hall 4b
“Get Set Distribute: Experience the transformational leap of digital distribution to cloud”
Wednesday 8 November – 15h30, and “Micro creating macro impact” on 9 November – 15h30

With a host of other opportunities on offer at this year’s event, AfricaCom is proving to be a fertile ground for developing new thinking and strategies for facing the future. It’s guaranteed to be a fast-paced, exciting event and not to be missed.