Day 1 of Africa Tech Summit Kigali kicks off with lively debate and analysis

The Africa Tech Summit Kigali has started as it means to continue this week with Nanjira Sambuli from the World Wide Web Foundation drawing spontaneous applause on the first morning for her practical perspective on Mobile First.

Said Sambuli: “Mobile first sounds sexy but how much meaningful work can you actually do on your mobile phone? People don’t code or write documents on their mobile phone. Mobile can’t be the only way; it’s a consumption device.”

These sentiments were echoed by Ben Roberts from Liquid Telecom. “Mobile First is great but phones can’t do everything. You can’t download huge files or do amazing gaming or analyse big data…There will never be enough spectrum for people in Lagos to all be using fast broadband at the same time. Africa needs more hardwire technologies to satisfy demand.”

This week’s Africa Tech Summit Kigali 2018 has brought together tech innovators, creatives, investors and infrastructure companies from 29 countries to not only discuss the key African tech market issues, but to connect and do business together.

The event kicked off with Mr Innocent Muhizi, CEO of the Rwanda Information Society Authority @risarwanda, emphasizing the Rwandan Government’s commitment to a transformation agenda enabled by ICT. This includes laying infrastructure, automating and then digitising government services, and exploring partnership opportunities with a multitude of companies and organizations.

Dr Edward George, Head of Group Research from Ecobank @DrTeddGeorge, held the audience’s attention with an absorbing presentation covering a wide variety of topics.

He said that “Innovation and technology is breaking down barriers between all businesses. Every single business is being affected. If someone says that tech doesn’t affect their business you are talking to a dinosaur!”

He continued “It’s not about the technology it’s about the disruption. Disruption is not a fad, it’s an enabler.”

Dr George was extremely encouraging to the entrepreneurs in the room stating that “Innovators constantly flip their models – it’s a characteristic, not a flaw. If you come up with something that meets a genuine need with a user case it will be successful.”

BK TecHouse showcased the the future of digital at Africa Tech Summit Kigali with an inspiring panel of kids sharing there experiences. The summit continues this afternoon and tomorrow (Thursday 15 February) with inspiring, intelligent insights from people working across the African ecosystem.

An Afro-optimism conference.

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