Tumi Chamayou is the Vice President and Head of Strategy, Marketing and Communications at Ericsson Sub Saharan Africa. Last week in Lagos, she spoke to Technology Journalists via video conferencing last week in ahead of the AfricaCom event currently taking place in South Africa on how Ericsson is driving change in Africa though innovations.
Mobile penetration opportunities
Mobile penetration has more than quadrupled within the last couple of years. I believe that penetration has opened the way, and led to an emergence of great innovations, thereby presenting significant business and commercial opportunities for both corporates and individuals. It has also provided governments and policy makers, the opportunity to make policies that create an enabling environment for technology and all its attendant advantages to thrive. We can see how that has positively affected different sectors of the economy, across board.
Ericsson’s showcase at AfricaCom
First of all, at the event, Fredrik Jejdling, Head of Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa, will deliver a special keynote presentation; which will set the tone for our participation, and announce some of our latest innovations.
As you probably know, Ericsson has been at the forefront of supporting innovation globally and locally, with a number of key initiatives, including the Ericsson Innovation Awards.
In pushing forward our agenda of supporting innovation, we will be hosting an innovation station named “Ericsson AHUB” in partnership with Informa at the AfricaCom event.
The innovation station will bring together Africa’s leading entrepreneurs, tech start-ups and angel investor communities to encourage investment and showcase talent in the technology sector. We truly believe that the Ericsson AHUB will create a platform that will try and fill the gap that exists between innovation and funding.
One of the specific innovative solutions that we will be showcasing is the Ericsson Wallet Platform, a standalone software solution that enables secure and convenient services such as payments and transferring money, in-store purchases, paying bills, salary payments, and more. With the rise of retail trade and E-Commerce in Africa, you would agree that solutions like that are very important. This initiative also extends Ericsson’s commitment to driving the Networked Society in Africa through innovation.
Impact of increasing mobile subscription in the African continent
We definitely see the numbers rising, and there is proven data to back that up. In addition to the nearly 1 billion mobile subscriptions, there are also 21 million new subscriptions recorded. This monumental increase in mobile ownership has led to the rise of innovative solutions in different sectors, across board in Africa.
Sectors like transportation, finance, banking, retail, healthcare, and even farming, have benefitted immensely from this growth. In this case, I would say that the #AfricaRising narrative is not just a tagline, it is true and evident with the support of the right technology. Again, as I mentioned earlier, with the Ericsson AHUB we are aiming to ensure that innovative ideas from the region are recognized and supported for the better growth of the economy.
How Ericsson AHUB contributes in encouraging innovation in Africa
Through the innovation station, Ericsson is playing a part in creating an environment conducive to innovation, and more importantly, one that will address specific African challenges. On the other hand, we also recognize the fact that innovative companies grow where there are ecosystems in place, as this is what most guarantees a return on investment. At Ericsson, we understand and how innovation has shaped and improved our society.
For example, inventions which harness the power of mobile have empowered farmers to access important agricultural information, students to attend online universities via smartphones, nurses to share maternal health information and fight diseases, and consumers to access financial services via mobile phones, and all of that.
Which is why, Ericsson is committed to continually driving and supporting innovation across the communications spectrum. Through an annual investment of USD $5 billion in research and development, Ericsson has been at the forefront of some of mobile technology’s most significant advancements.
Ericsson live demos at the AfricaCom event
Ericsson will definitely be putting forward a number of live demonstrations during the event, at the innovation station. Visitors to the Ericsson AHUB will have the distinct opportunity of engaging with Ericsson experts who will demonstrate a range of innovative solutions. The solutions are designed to enable change-makers in areas such as mobility, broadband and the cloud, creating the foundation for new eco-systems, and transformation across industries such as transportation, education and even entertainment.
Ericsson will also host interactive demos of innovative solutions including the Volvo Connected Car, Ericsson’s Connected Vehicle Cloud solution, Remote Patient Monitoring and Stream, a 5G-ready tool that enhances the concert experience through real-time sharing of live videos. So as you can tell, these are all interesting and innovative solutions that attendees should really look forward to, and we are doubly excited at Ericsson, to be sharing all of this with them.