East Africa’s rapidly expanding ICT sector will receive a further boost next month when computing and communications professionals from throughout the region convene in Nairobi for the first AITEC East Africa ICT Summit. Held under the auspices of the Ministry of Information & Communications, the Summit will gather ICT suppliers, service providers, innovators, managers and policy-makers to share knowledge and network in a two-day conference and expo over 7-8 September.
Sean Moroney, Chairman of AITEC Africa, organisers of the event, said that the event is designed to further catalyse East Africa’s ICT industry following the landing of undersea fibre cables on the coast. “Now that we have substantial international bandwidth available in the region, the ICT industry needs to get its act together to deliver world-class services, enabling the regional economy to compete internationally. The Summit has an important role to play in establishing best practices for a robust ICT sector in the region. We also want to showcase the region’s emerging ICT innovators at the event to give them exposure to customers, partners and even investors. There is a tremendous reservoir of ICT talent in the region which needs business direction and investment.”
Over 1000 ICT companies will be showcasing their products and services in the expo and over 500 delegates are expected to attend the conference. The conference programme has an impressive line-up of local and international experts, who will deliver presentations and participate in panel discussions and workshops.
There will be a strong focus on software development and mobile applications in the programme. Speakers on this topic include Dr Tim Kelly, Lead ICT Policy Specialist in the World Bank’s InfoDev programme, who will speak on mobile applications for development. Russell Southwood from the UK, a leading analyst on the African ICT market, will speak on the mobile market going open access. Agosta Liko, CEO of Vervient Consulting, one of Kenya’s emerging software developers will speak on “The weak link: The pitfalls of raising venture capital for ICT enterprises in East Africa” Kevit Desai, Director of Engineering, Centurion Systems, Kenya, will speak on “An innovation platform for content development for the empowerment of an ICT-enabled East African Community economy”.
Another major theme of the conference is “Corporate systems for productivity and competitiveness”. Martin Rennhackkamp, COO of PBT in South Africa will speak on “Strategic information – The key to organisational success”. Roger Purdie of Quintica, from Australia, will speak on “Living on the service side – The story of the 4 Ps”. Yaron Assabi, CEO of Digital Solutions Group in South Africa, will speak on “Customer experience as a competitive advantage”.
Risk management and data security is another focus of the conference, with Dr Matunda Nyanchama, Director & Principal Consultant at Agano Consulting in Canada speaking on “Information security – Critical infrastructure protection” and Gal Arbel, VP Marketing & Sales, Amiran Communications, Kenya speaking on “Data security and intrusion prevention”