BY Staff Writer 3 MINUTE READ

The world’s largest Africa-focused Technology Media and Telecommunications (TMT) event – AfricaCom – has been leading the conversation around ‘connected communications’ on the continent for 21 years. What began as a small event discussing how to get voice services – fixed and wireless – to the unconnected, has evolved into the premier go-to place for future thinkers and those looking to drive the exponential growth of the digital ecosystem across Africa.

Reflecting on the changes and growth of the event, as well as those happening in the world, Tom Cuthell, Portfolio Director of KNect365 (organiser of AfricaCom), remarked: “it’s an exciting time to have a conversation – any conversation. We live and operate in a fully connected ecosystem where TMT drives communications, economies, and smart cities. When compiling the programme for AfricaCom 2018, it was a reminder as to how pervasive telecommunications have become and what the opportunities are for Africa, especially if there should be continental connectivity.”

Terms such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Fourth Industrial Revolution, Artificial Intelligence (AI), the rise of robots and machine learning, are now common parlance.

The Headliners is a series of high-level presentations and panel discussions and also FREE of charge to registered visitors – for more information on who else you can see go to:

From LTE to 5G in Africa

Kicking off proceedings on day one of AfricaCom and under the banner of ‘Digital connectivity to drive socio-economic development’, will be a discussion around Africa’s readiness for 5G.


As the Fourth Industrial Revolution continues apace, bringing with it, greater connectivity and subsequent products and services, IoT becomes a tangible gamechanger for cities, enterprises (and end users). Consequently, AfricaCom 2018 will concentrate a number of discussions and a three-day IoT World Africa conference track around how this can be achieved.

The Money

Underpinning all development and future trade, are financial services, so what’s next for African Fintech? Headliners will address the opportunities that exist in the midst of this financial services paradigm shift.


Rounding out the Headliner discussions at AfricaCom 2018, is a series of discussions that address the shift in how broadcasting models are developing in line with digital transformation across Africa. This content complements the newly launched Africa Video Forum (AVF), the evolution of TV Connect Africa.

Artificial Intelligence

Talking of intriguing, what’s the buzz around AI? Is it really going to take over the world and take away human jobs or is it going to open the doors to new possibilities? Tackling these questions and more, The AI Summit Cape Town, will be held at AfricaCom. One of the more contentious bound to attract an interested audience, will be the presentation entitled: Building an autonomous workforce: AI in Mining.

The Technology Arena

Housed within the Technology Arena is AfricaCom 20/20, the centre for discussion and innovation. This year’s line-up has an enlightening agenda which will set the scene for robust debate around some of the most pressing issues facing Africa’s entry into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. One of those is Financial inclusion, an imperative for the continent.

Consequently, there will be a number of presentations and panel discussions aimed at understanding: The Findustrial Revolution – How can blockchain optimise telecom operator’s products and services in the African Market?; How effective is network virtualisation in optimising African Telco’s with their ROI? and a keynote from Rakesh Kukreja, Group MD, IsatAfrica, that aims to clarify  how virtualizing network functions via Telco cloud infrastructure across all network and service platforms will enable digital democracy.

Also located in the Technology Arena, will be the IoT Challenge, the AHUB – the nexus for entrepreneurs and investors – along with a number of exciting demonstration pods.

AfricaCom expects over 14 000 delegates this year, with more than 450 speakers and 400 exhibitors. As bewildering as it could be, the organisers have cleverly delineated the areas from the main exhibition hall that contains the ‘engine’ of technology – all the nuts and bolts, fancy bits and intangibles that make the end result happen. AfricaCom is the place to be to get ‘connected’ this year.

AfricaCom takes place at the CTICC, Cape Town 13 – 15 November 2018.

The world-class speaker line-up in 2018 includes:

  • Rob Shuter, Group President and CEO, MTN
  • Olabiyi Durojaiye, Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission
  • Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications, Republic of Ghana
  • Hon. Nomvula Mokanyane, Minister of Communications, South Africa
  • Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Special Advisor, Smart Africa, Former Minister, Ministry of Information Technology and Communication, Government of Rwanda
  • Mohamed Dabbour, CEO, Africa, ‎Millicom
  • Babak Fouladi, Group Chief Technology & Information Systems Officer, MTN
  • Siyabonga Mahlangu, Group Executive: Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations, Telkom
  • Nicholas Naidu, Managing Executive: Technology Strategy, Architecture & Innovation, Vodacom
  • Francis Mumbi, Innovation Lead, Stanbic Bank
  • Joseph Hundah, Group President and CEO, Econet Media
  • Jason Lobel, Group Head of Video, MTN
  • Botlenyana Mokhele, Councillor, ICASA
  • Catherine Wanjiku Njari, Senior Manager, TV & Media Content, Safaricom
  • John Momoh (OON), CEO, Channels Media Group and Chairman, BON