The technology world is changing so fast driven by global trends. There is no doubt that these global technology trends are continuously producing disruptive businesses that take over the future. Pundits are saying that perhaps this is just the time for Africa.
In a recent report on CNN African Voices, the guest on the program -Prof Calestous Juma, a distinguished African and Professor at Harvard University, believes Africa can only be great and rise beyond her state of poverty and dependence to global relevance if Africa can shift to technology driven development in every sector of her economy with special interest in Agriculture.
This means that even as economic indices and statistics all point to the fact that Africa has great economic potentials, this can only become a reality when Africans realize this opportunity and make calculated efforts to leverage the technology trends and drive this potentiality. The only way forward for Africa to leapfrog her development is to totally embrace technology and innovation.
The potentials of emerging trends in Africa as seen around mobile and digital economic revolution is something amazing, with Africa making headlines in Mobile Money and Mobile App development, This has created a great enthusiasm among the youths resulting in youth Techpreneurship, many gaps are seen in the course of the actualization of the inherent benefits in this mobile boom. This is just my worry!
The limitations are always seen as we are yet to move from the long time digital colony to being fully relevant in the global technology market. Take for example mobile App development in Africa, the success story of android platform from Google cannot be complete without the contribution from African app developers. In Africa, android is the leading developers platform for mobile and users have also accepted the Google mobile OS. This has also impacted on the sales of Samsung Mobile phones in Africa as they adopt android as the mobile operating system. This is what tech trends can do to businesses in a short period of time!
Opportunities for exist in global tech trends like the Big Data, Cloud Computing, Social Commerce, Mobile and Digital inclusions. How do we position ourselves this time as businesses?
In January, I was in Dubai to attend a global Conference on Cloud Computing-the CloudWorld Conference organized by Oracle, that really opened my mind to how Software, Infrastructure, Platform has become a service with no boundaries or limits to possibilities around that. It is a new area African entrepreneurs can invest in as to strategically position themselves to see the emergence of new businesses that will have global appeal and relevance.
As emerging markets gather at the GITEX 2013 holding between October 20-24 in Dubai, this conference which is already considered as the Middle East, Africa and South Asia’s (MEASA) largest and most specialized ICT event now occupies over 78,000 sqm., will address these global trends and how the region can leverage the opportunities and leapfrog her development. This is a great opportunity businesses and Government in Africa can be part of. The Conferences are dedicated to trends around Big Data, Cloud Computing, Digital economy, Social Commerce.
Let me share some interesting facts about GITEX
· Over US$ 13.5 million worth of PR and advertisement campaign executed in 2012 to maximize on global reach
· Over 25,000 visitors came from Africa in 2012
· Over 20,000 C-Level visitors at the event last year.
· US$ 1.2million was the average value per order placed during the event
· 139,530 trade visitors from 144 countries
· 3,576 companies exhibited from 54 countries
· 1,500 delegates attending the 6 industry focused summits, workshops, conferences, and panel debates.
· 92% of the exhibitors met their ROI expectations Over 80% of the top ICT brands worldwide participated.
Some of the features at GITEX 2013 are:
a) Big Data Conference: This one day conference will be addressing the hottest industry trends associated with the increasing overabundance of global data
b) Cloud Conference and Awards: The most established Cloud Conference in the region now has an Awards program celebrating the successes of various end users and key Cloud suppliers
c) Student Labs: A dedicated display area and workshop focused on mentoring and connecting with Undergraduate & Graduate students from various institutions while providing them with a showcase area on their innovative projects covering mobile application and software development.
The GITEX Technology week is no doubt loaded and will definitely serve as a gateway for African businesses to reach global market. I am looking forward to these great conferences at GITEX 2013.