[Africa Tech Week] Beyond borders partnerships herald new ICT dawn, Great tidings for tech startups, investment in technology soars
The Africa tech week has been abuzz with news of cross border public and private sector partnerships, companies aligning themselves with the burgeoning demands of the continent’s ICT sector and the growing IT spend as captured in latest research and supported by players in the sector.
New technological developments including artificial intelligence and Internet of Things are already shaping the world order and Africa is not being left behind in reaping these benefits.
In one of the most landmark meetings that could redefine the sector in the continent, South Korea, a global ICT giant committed to help Africa tap into technology to grow industrialize while helping its young people unlock the continent’s potential through tech.
It is a week that also saw tech companies across the continent enter into strategic partnership, seal deals and add extra investments to address gaps and meet booming demand.
Telecom Egypt, the largest integrated telecommunication company in Egypt, received a $200 million financing facility from the The African Export-Import Bank, Afreximbank, to enable the telecommunication company finance working capital and utilize acquire a cross-border marine cable, which will enhance the volume of internet flow into Egypt and other African countries.
Software Group a global software company with African headquarters in Kenya, also this week secured a deal to digitize the operations of Metbank, one of the pioneers of digital banking in Zimbabwe.
In Tanzania, Avanti Communications Group plc, a provider of satellite data communications services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa continued deepening ICT and digital skills for especially teachers and students with iKnowledge which provides educational content to both primary and secondary schools.
iKnowledge has now connected over 310 primary and secondary schools across 25 regions in Tanzania, bridging the digital divide for up to 216,000 students.
Still on robust connectivity, VT iDirect, Inc., iDirect, a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. also announced that Broadband Systems Corporation had selected the iDirect platform to expand its enterprise Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) services throughout Africa.
This would leverage iDirect’s iQ series remotes to provide high-speed connectivity to multinational companies, small-and-medium enterprises and small businesses, as well as government organizations.
And in what rubberstamps Africa’s growing interest in ICT, The International Data Corporation (IDC), a global consulting and advisory firm predicts the overall African IT spending will reach $33.4 billion in 2018, with Kenya being one of the top contributors.
Such investment has been captured in countries like Nigeria which this week launched iGuide, an online investment portal, as it seeks to position itself as an investment hub to local and international investors.
But the gains of the impressive internet penetration are being scaled down terrestrial fibre according to Experts at the Africa Session of the International Telecoms Week conference in Chicago.
They noted that the reach of capacity was still limited due to limitations in the availability of terrestrial open-access fibre which remains extremely low in most markets especially Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda and Tanzania among others.
In matters investment, telecommunication company MTN allocated group allocated 28% of ₦885.15 billion which is enough justification for the Nigerian unit contributing 32% of the group’s total profit before tax for the year.
According to the Investor Day Presentation by MTN Nigeria, 28% of MTN Group’s capital expenditure for last year was allocated to the Nigeria arm.
Based on the exchange rate as at December 2017, the group allocated 28% of ₦885.15 billion which is enough justification for the Nigerian unit which contributed 32% of the group’s total profit before tax for the 2017.
On the other hand Facebook also this week unveiled NG_Hub in Lagos, Nigeria - its first flagship community hub space in Africa, in partnership with CcHub.
The week-long celebration brought together developers, start-ups, and the wider tech community across Lagos and Nigeria, the launch will showcase the new multi-faceted space which aims to bring together communities to collaborate, learn, and exchange ideas.