The Second Annual Tech4Africa Conference Opens in Jo’burg, South Africa
I just think that an inspiring speaker like Ghana’s Herman Chinery-Hesse should have put on for the last day. Herman Chinery-Hesse has been referred as the Bill Gates of Africa but the attendees at today’s conference demanded that Bill Gates be referred to as Herman Chinery-Hesse of US. But maybe he would have eclipsed even the after-party and so he had to come on on day one. I liked it though. Anyway first things first.
I had a great chance to be at the Tech4Africa, thanks to the caring corporate who believes in young web entrepreneurs like me. I arrived at the Forum which also hosts Dimension Data and is also the venue of the second Tech4Africa event. Tech4Africa is such a great event and the man behind it, Gareth Knight was spot on when he opened the event by sending a few tweets just to thank the people who made it happen. He also finished his welcome address by this;
For those who have a basic understanding of HTML, that made you feel at home. But right before that he said “Tweet for Africa, let your networks know that we’re here and that we’re here to make a difference.”
Aki Anastasiou was our MC for the day on Ivory Room and he then introduced Derek Wilcocks, MD of Internet Solutions. Derek admitted that he is kind of a nerd and more so a digital immigrant. He did well by having such cool presentation and even giving us some jaw dropping figures like the internet now replicates 1.8 Zetabytes of data. Derek also informed the audience that an average US household not consumes 34GB of data in a single day. That is just like 50 CDs of 700MB each.
Some other statistics dropped by Derek at the conference were;
- Growth of machine-2-machine transfer is bigger than growth in video.
- Paypal now accounts for more than half of Ebay’s market capitalisation. Soon Ebay will be a payment company if the trend continues.
- ABSA now has 70% of its transactions being from electronic channels
- Walmart, Ford, Amazon and Tesco among other companies in US are now using automated analytics to adapt their stock levels and marketing within hours of a major event that affect their business. An example is 9/11 when after the planes hit WTC, there was great demand of US flags that Walmart had to order all flags from every supplier in US making it impossible for other sellers to get the same.
Wilcocks also shows how recruitment, marketing and customer care has gone online with the most interesting bit being that the biggest investments in technology are not being made by tech companies but by the oldskul brick n’ mortar kind of companies.
More great takes from the conference are coming up but you can follow the event on twitter through the T4A tag as well as follow Techmtaa for all updates from the event. Leave a comment below if you have someone you would like to hear from.
Apart from attending Tech4Africa, I am also enjoying myself like Mwai Kibaki always tell visitors to Kenya. Don’t just come for the conference. Sample the beauty. Tomorrow I must just go for the party.