Wrap up of Mobile 360 – West Africa 2019

This week Mobile 360 – West Africa returned to Abidjan for its third year, under the theme Rise of the Digital Citizen.

We discussed the wealth of connected tools and channels at our fingertips in this forth industrial revolution; IoT, AI, M2M, 5G, Big Data, all to ultimately answer the question ‘How do we build a connected Africa that leaves no one behind?’

The audience explored the rising start-up community and how to attract more investment; we looked at digital literacy skills and the politically charged topic of job creation. Moreover, on a continent where in 11 countries women hold close to one-third of parliamentary seats, we debated how this degree of success in empowerment can be replicated and even surpassed across the STEM sectors.

In Abidjan this week, we did not just talk about change, we witnessed it.

We covered five incredibly topical sessions with the best speakers for the job:

An Age of Opportunity or a Game of Thrones?

The stage is set; it is the time to ask if mobile infrastructure and digital policies are fit for purpose? Where is the balance between enforcing regulation to prevent monopolies and keeping the interest of operators and Towercos? As advancements in connectivity are made, are the incentives to connecting the unconnected apparent?

Speakers in this session included:
• Jean-Francois Le Bihan, Public Policy Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, GSMA
• John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA
• HE Claude Isaac De, Minister of Digital Economy and Post, Ministry of Digital Economy and Post, Cote d’Ivoire
• Etienne Ardon, General Manager Mobile Financial Services, MTN Cote d’Ivoire
• Habib Bamba, Director of Transformation, Digital and Media, Orange Cote d’Ivoire

Why we need to imagine different Connected Futures

93% of Africans today have access to a mobile phone service, but less than two thirds have access to piped water. We have digital solutions to change these statistics, this is where policy meets grass root action to solve some of the most difficult challenges facing our region.

Speakers in this session included:
• Olatokunbo Fagbamigbe, CEO, Cotta & Cush Limited
• Fabrice Koffi, Founder, KEIWA
• Catherine Assanvo, Strategy & Development Deputy Director, Orange Cote d’Ivoire
• Dr Precious Lunga, CEO & Co-Founder, Baobab Circle
• Teju Ajani, Head of Android Partnerships, Nigeria, Google
• Genesis Ehimegbe, Co-Founder and CFO, COLIBA

What we can do to stop Technology losing Societies Trust

Trust takes a lifetime to build and just one meme to destroy. We, the mobile ecosystem, need to discuss accountability, privacy and solutions. There are many ways to describe the dynamics between technology and society, but it is unanimously agreed that the relationship is under scrutiny; from combating fake news with fact checking, social media and elections, digital authentication integrations and blockchain for public services.

Speakers in this session included:
• Gertrude Kone Kouassi, Executive Director, UNETEL
• Vèna Arielle Ahouansou, CEO, KEA Medicals
• Larry Madowo, BBC Africa
• Alain Nteff, CEO, GiftedMom
• Chukwuyere Ebere Izuogu, Tech Policy Fellow, Mozilla Foundation
• Samba Sow, CEO & Founder, SudPay

How Young People are changing the Face of Africa

Africa is a juxtaposition, the oldest continent and yet home to the youngest population on the planet. 60% of the entire continent’s population is below 25 years old; their roots sunk deep in a wealth of culture and tradition, and their wings spread strong for exploration and innovation. These are the leaders of tomorrow. But today it is our job to prepare them, teach them and tool them.

Speakers in this session included:
• Akinwale Goodluck, Head of Africa, GSMA
• Jean-Michel Bagui, Founder, Chez Nous
• Delmas Ehui, CEO, ICT4DEV
• Onyeka Akumah, CEO & Founder, Farmcrowdy
• Val Labi, Country WASH Director, iDE
• Lise Birikundavyi, Deputy Country Director and Impact Finance Investment Manager, TRECC
• Agnès Aka-Devarenne, Senior Manager Mobile Financial Services Products, Orange Cote d’Ivoire
• Fanny Dauchez, Academy Manager, SeedStars
• Carole Attoungbre, Country Director, Eneza

Made in Africa

Today there are more millennials and Gen Z in Africa than the entire population of North America. This powerful group is rewriting their own narrative, telling African stories in African languages and creating African solutions for African People.

In this brand new addition to the Mobile 360 West Africa agenda, we turn the spotlight on to the local solutions and initiatives that are changing the face of digital Africa. We looked at the very best of the innovation spirit in Africa.

Because the future is Made in Africa.

Speakers in this session included:
• Gerry Rasugu, Mobile for Development Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, GSMA
• Vince Kadar, CEO, Telepin Software
• Fargani Tambeayuk, Africa Public Policy Manager, Connectivity, Facebook
• Lare Atcha-Oubou, Regional Director, Intelsat
• Faycal Sawadogo, FERDI
• Nils Kaiser, Consultant
• Etienne Kouadio Doh, GM, Francophone Region, MainOne

The Rise of the Digital Citizen theme will continue on next to Mobile 360 – Africa in 16 – 18 July in Kigali. Register to attend today at https://www.mobile360series.com/africa/

A massive thank you to all the attendees, speakers, sponsors and partners that made this event a wonderful success.