Iad 2014 summit review


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IAD Summit report and review from the conference chair

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Iad 2014 summit review

  1. 1. Innovation Africa Digital (IAD) Summit 2014 The Gambia, 25th-27th March 2014 Extensia’s annual flagship event, The Innovation Africa Digital (IAD) Summit, was supported this year by the Ministry of Information Communication & Infrastructure (MOICI), The Gambia. Recognised by many as the most valuable Telecoms and ICT Business summit in Africa, IAD 2014 attracted over 255 international policy makers, regulators, service providers, major end users and solution providers. Attendees came from 54 countries with 39 of these being across Africa. Leading experts and practitioners delivered an innovative blend of interactive workshops, keynote presentations and panel discussions to add even more value to the high level networking and facilitated business meetings which took place throughout the three days of this intimate gathering of key decision makers. The theme of the summit, ‘Towards Service Excellence’, covered all aspects of service quality and customer experience with discussions ranging from: Finance and Investment; Quality Assurance; Regulatory Excellence; Network Optimisation and Performance; Knowledge Management; Cyber Security; Outsourcing; Licensing and much more. The intimate nature of the summit combined with the breakout ‘Master-Class Workshops’ meant delegates had the opportunity to explore the issues most relevant to them, in depth and leave with valuable connections and insights to help them implement improved strategies. As usual, IAD 2014 supported the sustainable growth of Africa’s Telecom and ICT ecosystem with delegates making a firm declaration to put Service Excellence at the heart of all development plans, following a rousing call from the Summit Knowledge Partners, Analysys Mason, to ensure a clear focus on improving quality for the good of the end user, for the good of the service provider and for the good of the great Continent of Africa in positioning itself as a viable business partner in the International Business Community. The charts below show a breakdown of delegates by region, country, sector activity and job title. The summit was very informative and the networking was outstanding. The NCC delegates want to thank Extensia for a job well-done. Nigerian Communications Commission, Nigeria MOICI Gambia
  2. 2. IAD 2014 Representation by Region and Country IAD 2014 Attendance by Industry Sector 2% 10% 8% 75% 5% USA UK Europe Africa Asia 6% 25% 12% 7%9% 30% 11% Academic Comms Service Provider Finance /Consulting Policymaker Regulator Solutons Provider Other Zimbabwe USA UK Uganda UAE Tunisia Togo The Gambia Tanzania Swaziland Sudan South Africa Somalia Sierra Leone Senegal Rwanda Republic of South Sudan Nigeria Niger Netherlands Morocco Mauritania Mali Malawi Liberia Lebanon Latvia Kenya Italy Israel Ireland India Hungary Guinea-Bissau Guinea Ghana Germany Gabon France Ethiopia Equatorial Guinea Dubai DRC Cyprus CAR Cameroon Burundi Burkina Faso Botswana Benin Belgium Angola Algeria 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 No. of Attendees
  3. 3. IAD 2014 Attendance by Job Title IAD 2014 Attendance by Industry Sector 44% 22% 21% 3% 10% Minister /VP /Director C-Level Head of /Manager Advisor Other 6% 25% 12% 7%9% 30% 11% Academic Comms Service Provider Finance /Consulting Policymaker Regulator Solutons Provider Other
  4. 4. IAD 2014 Representation by Region and Country Service Excellence and Evolution: 12th annual Innovation Africa Digital Summit Promotes Dialogue and Deals! by Dr Madan Rao, Conference Chair The 12th annual Innovation Africa Digital Summit highlighted as usual a number of relevant priorities and progressive achievements of ICT stakeholders in the region. The IAD Summit brings together a unique blend of local, pan-African and global perspectives, and our host country The Gambia provided its own unique flavour of the ICT agenda. MOICI Gambia USA 2% UK 10% Europe 8% Africa 75% Asia 5% USA UK Europe Africa Asia
  5. 5. The Gambia has the teledensity in Africa, and despite its small size, punches above its weight when it comes to ambitions and targets. As the panellists from The Gambia have indicated, the country plans to become an ICT hub in the next 3-5 years. The ICT industry welcomes this position and is committed to helping the government and local stakeholders achieve this vision. As the cultural events of the past few days have also shown, The Gambia is already a cultural hub with a unique blend of local and international music! Africa stands proud today, and is confident to have one foot planted in its own culture and the other foot planted solidly on the global arena and in the digital future. Speakers from The Gambia also reminded the audience to have a holistic focus on ICTs – not just on digital applications in science and technology, but also in the humanities and arts; to explore not just business benefits but also larger positive social impacts of ICTs. This conversation triggered off two deal offers from the audience of technology providers, with Uriel and Parnasse offering network hardware and software solutions to the University of The Gambia – a fine example of the cooperative spirit and proactive dynamism of the IADS community. The international speakers at the event also stressed the importance of balancing productivity with innovation. It is easy to get carried with the latest new gadgets and content, but as important to focus on optimising use of existing ICTs. A number of case studies were presented from companies such as SAP, addressing the use of ICTs to improve quality and productivity in the private sector and government. Other perspectives on quality were provided by regulators, operators and ICT agencies. As accessibility of ICTs such as mobile media becomes less of an issue in Africa, efforts to bridge the digital divide now include citizen education on the benefits of digital dividends, such as access to government services, mobile payment channels and educational content. The Summit also showcased a number of African ICT players who are now becoming truly pan- African in scope and are expanding to other continents as well. ICTs in Africa are not just instruments and enablers, but a whole industry in their own right. Services and product startups are emerging, thus reflecting the digital innovation spirit in 21st century Africa. MOICI Gambia
  6. 6. The Summit this year highlighted quality moves and standards in three kinds of infrastructure: core infrastructure (eg. satellite, cable, fibre), service infrastructure (eg. Internet governance, Internet exchanges), and media infrastructure (eg. big data, open data, child safety mechanisms). Issues of enforcement in quality metrics and standards were addressed by ministry officials, legal firms, consultancies and research analysts. These discussions were augmented by 12 solution showcases as well as 12 one-hour workshops on key topics such as knowledge management, enterprise ICTs, digital dividends, open access networks and cybersecurity. A wide range of recommendations were made at the Summit to government and industry: ensure that digital relevance is promoted so that citizens adopt more e-services, keep provisions for covering rural access, ensure that women and girls get adequate access and career paths in ICTs, promote content generation at institutional and individual levels, reduce tax levels on ICT products and services, cut down corruption, and promote digital entrepreneurship among youth. Looking ahead, it is evident that one of the fastest growing middle class populations in the world is in Africa, and they are spending a lot on ICTs. Future Summits will focus on issues like behaviours, needs and aspirations of the digital citizen in Africa, as well as broader ecosystem issues and service evolution. The IAD Summits represent not just an annual industry event but a regular community of stakeholders committed to Africa’s digital future – and this dialogue will carry on in a range of articles, interactive forums on the Extensia website, and thought-provoking articles and books. Some of the work of speakers at this conference has already been published in journals like Africa Geopolitics, thus putting ICT issues firmly on Africa’s development agenda. In sum, the main achievement of the conference was knowledge sharing between local and international delegates, and a commitment towards greater excellence in digital infrastructure and services. MOICI Gambia