We were delighted to participate in the 18th annual AfricaCom event, taking place at the Cape Town Convention Centre, South Africa from 17-19th November. Over 10,000 attendees, 350+ speakers and 375+ exhibitors from 50+ African countries turned up, gathering senior decision-makers from the entire African digital ecosystem under one roof.
This year’s event featured a full conference and keynote agenda focusing on ‘Innovation, Transformation & Leadership for Digital Africa’ and the challenges and opportunities in this region. AfricaCom is the biggest and most esteemed tech event in Africa that gathers together tech enthusiasts from the entire digital ecosystem; thousands of digital movers and shakers in Africa attended and were supported by the most renowned speakers in the digital industry in Africa and beyond. Enhancing this year’s event participation, delegates were ushered and welcomed by the Minister of Telecommunication and Postal Services; in his opening remarks of the event this is what he said about ICT ecosystem in Africa:
“Much of the ICT revolution is driven by the private sector, but as a government we have realised that we have an important role to play in aligning policies with the possibilities emerging from the private sector. What we’ve struggled with is the digital divide. The cost of communications is unreasonably high in societies where it is needed the most” – The Hon. Prof. Hlengiwe Mkhize, Deputy Minister of South Africa’s Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services
This is indeed an indication that Africa needs support to develop innovation and there is a need for an increased cooperation between industry stakeholders, to offer a platform for regulators, communities and governments to enhance ICT penetration.
It’s hard to believe that just over the past few days, Mozilla took an encouraging step to join other stakeholders and participate in this year’s AfricaCom event. With just a handful of committed individuals, the main goal of participating in this event was to maintain Mozilla’s position within the mobile industry and current key partnerships in Africa, whilst showcasing a Firefox OS experience under the banner of the independent, open OS centred on the User.
Firefox OS success story in Africa is incredible and well worth sharing, just one milestone achieved by Mozilla in its efforts to expand and advocate for an open web through its mobile platform. This is one project that has brought new pathways for engagement by enabling new locales to contribute in many ways, their skills and most personal experiences, as smartphone users, in Africa. 2.0 is the latest version of Firefox OS in Africa and it’s incredible because Mozilla has helped create a worldwide movement of people who believe the Internet is a global public resource that belongs to all of us, not just to a powerful few.
AfricaCom 2015 offered many fundamental participative platforms for individuals and the entire community as a way to foster connection and learning via discussions with partners through conference sessions, breakaways and panel discussions. However, this was another great opportunity for Mozilla, who as keynote panelists, got to discuss “FirefoxOS for emerging mobile market”, lead by John Bernard , Global Marketing Director from Mozilla for Firefox OS.
To keep participants informed about FirefoxOS during roundtable discussions, he mentioned “Community is part of our DNA at Mozilla and that is why we foster for success in what we are doing”: Mozilla is committed to growing the ecosystem and involving various movements across Africa and the global world to better understand FirefoxOS through the help of Mozilla’s Participation Team.
Developing products like FirefoxOS and standing up for the Web are both incredibly important, Mozilla continues to advocate and stand for its mission, by trusting that people need essential skills for understanding and harnessing the potential of the open Internet.
“Solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems are being built on the Web. The more minds we can put on those solutions, the better off we will all be. In 2015, Mozilla invested in projects around the world to help more people harness the power of the Web” – Mark Surman
The AfricaCom Awards for 2015, attracted more entries than ever before, with some serious heavyweight projects giving the judges some added food for thought. The prestigious award recognizes the outstanding contribution of business leaders in the field of telecoms & ICT within an African listed company. It also celebrates business leaders who contribute towards the expansion, growth and quality of the telecoms, ICT and digital industry, as well as promoting socio-economic growth through access to telecoms and ICT services, most notably to the disadvantaged segments of society.
Winners of the different awards up for grabs at the AfricaCom Awards for 2015, held on the 18th of November in Cape Town, South Africa have emerged. Orange Klif won “Best Device for Africa” after a tough competition for the spot with the likes of Huawei Technologies and MTN SA. Orange Klif runs Firefox OS, making it the first generation of Firefox OS smartphones ever launched by Mozilla in Africa.