Mobile Africa set to connect

Copy of Copy of ct wefff doneWEFStage is set: Mobile technology and improving Africa’s capital market will be the focus of attention at today’s World Economic Forum on Africa at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Photo: WEF

Cape Town – Mobile technology and improving Africa’s capital market will take centre stage when the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEF-Africa) discussions start today.

With Africa having no less than 3.4 billion mobile subscribers, the discussions on growing mobile technology come at the right time.

Themed “Reimagining Africa”, this year’s WEF-Africa is in full swing at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The three-day event ends tomorrow.

Vodacom Group SA chairman Peter Moyo will be one of six panellists in the “New Solutions” discussions focusing on Africa’s mobile technology, said Vodacom spokesperson Richard Boorman.

“These sessions highlight the unique and creative approaches of the forum’s different communities to solving some of the region’s most intractable issues. Each panellist presents a concrete solution, followed by a facilitated group discussion on its impact,” Boorman said.

The panel’s discussion will also zoom in on innovative solutions on mobile technology expansion. Sharing broadband extension models and understanding mobile consumers as co-creators in the industry will also be among the highlights at today’s talks.

The African market attracts 1 percent of global shares, according to WEF-Africa, and among the experts to discuss broadening its market will be

Barclays Africa Group Limited chief executive Maria Ramos.

Conditions in Africa needed deepening of the financial markets, which was imperative for the continent’s long-term growth and stability, Ramos said yesterday.

“A larger financial sector, broader investor base and greater liquidity in domestic markets all offset the unfavourable effects of global volatility. Significant strides have been made in deepening markets in the past decade, including the establishment of various stock exchanges and an increased number of African countries with credit ratings.”

Ramos said supportive regulatory frameworks were critical for capital markets across the continent. “Progress has been made, notably through the first African economic and monetary union, and we must continue to focus on this. The time is right for us to contribute to Africa’s growth story.”

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said WEF-Africa was an important event that brought together roleplayers working on Africa’s future.

“Rapid technological advances mean that, at least as far as information is concerned, African markets and African people are incredibly connected to each other and the world, creating ever-expanding networks of opportunity,” she said.

De Lille said new markets have opened up in many African countries and there was still a global focus on new opportunities in Africa.

While the experts will be focused on the work at hand, law enforcement and security have gone into overdrive, and they had the CTICC in lockdown yesterday.

There were road closures in Lower Long Street, between Walter Sisulu Avenue and FW de Klerk Boulevard, as well as lane restrictions along Walter Sisulu Avenue.

Acting provincial police commissioner Major-General Thembisile Patekile said all their plans were implemented to cause as little disruption as possible.

“Normal policing and security duties will continue, as well as our crime-prevention actions under Operation Fiela,” said Patekile.

Cape Times

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