GSMA has announced it will host MWC Africa in Kigali, Rwanda in 2021, bringing the leading global event series to the continent for the first time.
GSMA Director General, Mats Granryd, announced the news during his opening keynote address at Thrive Africa, the GSMA’s virtual event platform, which held from the 29 September to 1 October 2020.
MWC21 Africa will bring together the leading names from business and technology to become the continent’s most connected and influential event. This premier event is part of the GSMA’s flagship series of MWC events, which includes editions in Barcelona, Shanghai and Los Angeles.
“I am proud of what we have built with Thrive and the previous Mobile 360 events, which have helped shape the continent’s connected digital future,” said Granryd. “From 2021 we will celebrate MWC Africa, joining our world-leading platform for thought-leadership and technology, recognising the important role Africa will play in our connected future.”
“Around the world, access to mobile internet is helping close the digital divide. Its transformative power is nowhere more obvious than in Africa. That is why I’m excited about welcoming the world to Kigali next year to shine a light on African mobile and tech innovation.”
This year, Thrive Africa will examine the role of connectivity in powering a better future, and how this can accelerate to achieve the best outcomes in terms of health provision, economic benefits and inclusion. Conceived by the GSMA, Orange, MTN, ZTE and Mastercard, Thrive Africa will bring Africa’s leaders together for a virtual event to create the continent’s most connected and influential technology experience. The event is also sponsored by Huawei, Intelsat, MFS Africa and, Safaricom.
During the event, speakers will also discuss Africa’s readiness for the 4th Industrial Revolution: in the next five years, the continent will host 1.3 billion devices and IoT connections, but increased connectivity will be essential to maximise the available benefits.
MTN Named Most Valuable Brand In Africa As Value Hits $3.3bn
MTN Group has been named the most valuable African brand in the Brand Finance Africa 150 2020 ranking, which ascribes a brand value of $3.3 billion to MTN.
Brand value is the net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market. In its survey, Brand Finance said: “Over the last year, Africa’s largest mobile operator has celebrated solid profits and impressive subscriber growth.”
The survey assessed the impact of COVID-19 on the enterprise value of all brands in its survey, compared to their values on 1 January 2020. It categorised the telecoms sector as ‘limited impact’, which it said meant “minimal brand value loss or potential brand value growth”. This was due to the increasingly important role that mobile operators have played in keeping people connected in the time of the pandemic.
In July, Brand Finance named MTN Group the most valuable South African brand, a result of the group’s focus on improving the customer experience for subscribers, as well as uniting 19 000 employees around a shared belief, which is that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life.
African Business Heroes: Jack Ma Foundation to Host Media Roundtable for 2020 Top 10 Finalists
The Jack Ma Foundation will host an online media roundtable discussion and Q&A to allow accredited journalists exclusive access to the Top 10 Finalists of 2020 Africa’s Business Heroes(ABH) prize, ahead of the grand finale in November.
The 2020 ABH prize competition is a flagship philanthropic program created by the Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative(ANPI)to support and inspire the next generation of African entrepreneurs regardless of age, gender and sector, who are building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future of the continent.
Speakers at the event which will hold on Wednesday, 21st October 2020 include the Top 10 finalists, Jack Ma Foundation’s representative and the competition’s semi-finale judges.
In invited journalists should are to register here to receive Zoom log in details for theirattendance:https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_TOg8uJocSv2MVkS_TCYO4wDetails:Meet the ten finalists of the Africa’s Business Heroes prize competition, the flagship programme of the Jack Ma Foundation.
This exclusive virtual event is an opportunity to hear directly from the ABH 2020 finalists on their journey in the competition so far, their businesses, and how they are working to solve the most pressing problems in their respective countries.
Learn more about the ABH competition and the drive behind Jack Ma Foundation’s passion to inspire, train and support entrepreneurs in Africa. The 10 entrepreneursrepresenting 8 African countries (including Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda and Zimbabwe)have been selected from over 22,000 applications across all 54 African nations. Their businesses span key industries across Africa including agriculture, fashion, education, healthcare, renewable energy, financial services, and retail. On November 13 and14at the competition’s finale, theywill pitch the finale judges including Jack Ma, Founder of the Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Group; Ibukun Awosika, Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria and Founder/CEO of The Chair Centre Group; Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Group; and Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of the Alibaba Group, for a chance to win their share of the US$1.5 million prize pool.
Airtel Selects Ericsson to Modernize its 4G Network in Kenya
Airtel Africa is expanding its strategic partnership with Ericsson to enable 4G coverage in Kenya. With Ericsson’s Radio Access Network (RAN) and packet core products for 4G, Airtel subscribers will experience enhanced quality of voice and data.
The network modernization deal, signed in August 2020, is in line with the Kenyan Digital Economy Blueprint Vision 2030 which aims to provide robust connectivity in rural areas and facilitate e-commerce platforms. The modernization deal will drive the simplification and upgrade of the existing network and future-proof it for the anticipated rapid mobile expansion in the country.
With Ericsson Radio System and Packet Core solutions, Airtel Kenya’s network will have 4G coverage, while driving enhanced use cases in both the consumer and the enterprise segments. Ericsson technology shall make the network in Kenya ready for 5G deployment.
Prasanta Das Sarma, CEO at Airtel Kenya says: “Robust and secure communications are an essential component of a digital society in Kenya. We are firmly anchored to the strategy of delivering reliable connections across the country and are looking forward to expanding the high-quality mobile broadband services to our subscribers.”
Fadi Pharaon, President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa, says: “Together with Airtel, we will implement this project that aims to establish an advanced LTE network in Kenya, providing Airtel’s customers an enriched experience – both in the consumer and business segments. Through this partnership, we reaffirm our ambition to set #AfricaInMotion by partnering with Airtel to grow and support an increasingly digitalized society in Kenya.”
Furthermore, Ericsson will deploy its Kathrein Mobile Communication Antenna portfolio which will help provide additional enhancement to the network’s robustness whilst Ericsson’s technologically advanced network management system, Ericsson Network Manager will be utilized to support Airtel in managing the network seamlessly by integrating various network elements on single platform.
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