MEF Advisor Ross Flynn share an overview from the recent MEF events in Cape Town, held during the annual AfricaCom event which returned to an in-person conference for the first time in two years.
AfricaCom, the Africa Tech Festival, is the largest digital infrastructure event in Africa and after years it was finally back in person.
There was not one but two MEF events happening in Cape Town this year and afterwards there was no doubt that these were the essential events for all stakeholders who were down in the Cape this year.
On the evening of November 8th, MEF’s Meet Up and Round Table, kindly sponsored by LANCK telecom, took place on the 28th floor of the iconic FNB Portside Building in Cape Town featuring spectacular views, boozing and food, and most importantly CONTENT!
Each panel prioritised a key cornerstone, essential for the development of any continent. These are the four topics any region’s telco ecosystem must get right in order to grow sustainably: mobile payments, business messaging, Africa’s booming start-up scene and consumer protection.
Payments in Africa was a key question on everyone’s minds. Where do mobile payments have to go in Africa to be more inclusive? What we’ve learned in the past is that you can’t simply do a copy paste job. What works in Europe, won’t necessarily work in Asia but we can learn from other region’s methods. Time and time again has shown that close cooperation with the operators is key. It’s the regions where the operators are engaged in which mobile payments can really flourish.
MEF’s very own board member and proponent for Africa’s mobile scene, Waheed Adam from iTouch, lead us in a salient discussion on Africa’s start up scene.
He pointed out that due to lack of infrastructure in Africa, a certain type of entrepreneur has emerged.
Internet and mobile penetration in the continent is skyrocketing which is creating a golden opportunity for SMEs as they use this newfound digital penetration as their platform to succeed.
The enthusiasm for the region was palpable. We had many MEF members who would normally only attend the European events present and engaging. It’s clear after the success of the 7th and the 8th that MEF members have a clear appetite for events in Africa so we can be pretty confident that MEF will be making a return to AfricaCom once again next year.