By Kingsley I. Ilechukwu, Correspondent Lagos
Africa Tech Alliance Forum (AfriTECH), is offering stakeholders in the telecommunications and ICT sector the platform to showcase solutions to drive digital transformation on the continent.
The annual event formerly known as Mobile & Disruptive Technology Forum (MoDiTECH), is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 by 10:00am (WAT).
The hybrid event is holding with strict compliance to COVID-19 protocols and promises to be bigger and better to serve as an interesting forum for inter-sectorial cross-fertilization of ideas on economic impacts of COVID-19 on digital transformation and way forward for businesses.
#AfriTECH2021 central theme is: ‘Embracing Change and Digital Transformation in the New Normal’. The subthemes will dwell on boosting digital infrastructure for Cloud Hosting; digital tools for education & reskilling African youth; cyberSecurity: Pushing for privacy & data protection; and harnessing blockchain technology for digital economy growth.
Speaking on preparations for AfriTECH2021, the editor, TechEconomy.ng, Peter Oluka, recalled that the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) brought devastating impacts of which global economy is still grappling with.
Apart from the negative health implications, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to job losses, pay cuts, travel restrictions and consequently fall in foreign trade and general business activities. The businesses most hit are the Micro Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as recent survey by the International Trade Centre (ITC) revealed that the pandemic has strongly affected nearly two-thirds of micro and small businesses – compared to about 40 per cent of large companies – with 20 per cent of MSMEs feared to shut down permanently at some points soon.
Interestingly, the survey revealed that 40 per cent of the companies that came out strong from the pandemic were mainly technology driven businesses.
“Though the pandemic has adversely affected our economic and social life, it has also created opportunities for us to look in-ward.
“At one time or another, nations and individuals confront crisis points – moments of existential challenge that also open up new possibilities. We believe in the technological possibilities to assist Africa recover fast from this pandemic.
Therefore, we align with the school of thought that African countries face three possible outcomes post-pandemic: play catch-up, stand still or fall even further behind the industrialized world”, he said.
Oluka explained that AfriTECH2021 offers a platform to identify and showcase technological solutions that assist organisations tackle the problems thrown up by the pandemic.
Oluka said the theme was carefully selected to give particular attention to the disruptive potentials of emerging technologies such as the Blockchain Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Analytics, Robotics, FinTechs and mobile phone economy around retail and service provisioning and the potentials to reposition both public and private entities in the post Pandemic era.
He added that maiden AfriTECH Awards have been instituted to honour or recognise organisations that demonstrated outstanding capabilities during the peak of the pandemic and others that have set themselves apart with turnkey; convenient, safe/secured, flexible, cost-effective and regulatory compliance solutions.
“We are also using this opportunity to call on Startups and other SMEs seeking for a platform to launch their innovative ideas to leverage on #AfriTECH2021 to achieve that purpose”, he announced”, he said. Oluka said that companies and individuals seeking to be part of the Forum & Award ceremony should contact the team via email@example.com while the registrations have commenced via the link