The Africa Tech Festival, one of Africa’s largest tech expos, kicked off Monday here in the legislative capital of South Africa.
Bringing together government officials, business leaders, tech experts and investors, the festival aims to explore the future of Africa’s digital transformation.
Speaking at a ministerial forum held on the sidelines of the festival, Philemon Mapulane, South Africa’s deputy minister of communications and digital technologies, said the festival marks a significant milestone in Africans’ collective pursuit of a digitally empowered continent.
“We are here not merely as representatives of our respective nations and organizations, but we are here as architects of a shared vision and future that envisions an Africa propelled into a future where possibilities of connectivity are boundless,” Mapulane said.
“The collaboration with Huawei, a global technology leader, underscores the importance of international partnerships in shaping Africa’s digital future,” he added.
Chen Lei, president of Huawei Sub-Saharan Africa Region, urged countries to focus on constructing national broadband backbone networks extensible across multiple domains.
“Let’s bear in mind coverage gaps still remain in the continent, therefore it is important to cover more people through various connectivity technologies such as 4G and 5G,” Chen said while delivering his speech at the forum.
Highlighting recent successes in continental digital connectivity, Chen applauded collaborative efforts that resulted in the deployment of high-speed internet on Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro and Africa’s first 5G-enabled coal mine in South Africa.
Featuring two main events — AfricaCom and AfricaTech, the festival delves into such topics as connectivity, digital inclusion, enterprise transformation and emerging technologies.