February 2018 will be a busy month in terms of exploring a future vision of Africa. On February 16, Marvel Studios will release Black Panther, a superhero film that tells the story of Wakanda, a fictitious African nation where technology has advanced to a fantastically high degree for the purpose of promoting peace, righteousness and quality of life. A couple of days before the debut of Black Panther, tech entrepreneurs, analysts, investors, and journalists will converge in the capital of Rwanda for the Africa Tech Summit Kigali, an important conference where the prospect of Wakanda-like tech development is discussed in earnest.
To many entrepreneurs, Africa has a great potential for becoming an ecosystem for technology development, and this is the gist of the Africa Tech Summit Kigali, which will be followed up by a London conference later this year.
The Rwanda Ministry of Information Technology is providing considerable support to make this summit possible. The top-level goal of the conference is to bring together key stakeholders to chart the progress of technology in the Continent and identify opportunities for immediate development; the main topics will include:
* Broadband connectivity
* Digital media
* Financial technology
* Mobile app development
Keynote Speakers and Topics
Dozens of tech professionals and investors from around the world will be present at the Africa Tech Summit Kigali to deliver lectures and workshops on various topics. Here are just a few names:
* Anthony Munyi – IBM: Works on smart cities and blockchain applications.
* Barbara Birung – Hive Colab: Specializes in the empowerment of young African girls through technology.
* Wesley Lynch – Snapplify: Developer of Africa’s most active eBook aggregator.
* Charlene Chen – BitPesa: Blockchain developer who aims to make cryptocurrencies available to Africans by means of smartphone applications.
A strong focus of Africa Tech Summit Kigali will be on harnessing the power and flexibility of mobile networks to enhance the tech ecosystem. Africa needs to be a mobile-first region because of last-mile issues; the reality of the Continent’s topography is that fiber optic networks cannot be deployed across the entire territory, which means that tech entrepreneurs need to embrace the dynamism of 3G, 4G and LTE.
Attendees should expect plenty of networking, opportunities for cultural exchanges, and tech lectures presenting an array of cutting edge ideas and innovations. In the end, the Africa Tech Summit Kigali is just one step in making the fantastic dream of Wakanda come true; opportunity is calling from more than 50 sovereign countries, and it will be up to the summit attendees to answer those calls.