Africa Tech Week Tackling the post-Corona Digital Revolution

Written by Topco Staff Writer

24/11/2020

Have we finally hit critical mass for rethinking the way we live and work?

The Coronavirus upended the operation of the world as we know it and with two thirds of European countries going into their second lockdown, it seems the worst is not yet over. A key to navigating this new normal has been a global shift to increased reliance on digital. The timeline of the pandemic is uncertain with estimates of the length of time the world can expect to be navigating the worst of it fluctuating from months up to two years before evolving past this new normal. Although the post-Corona digital revolution may bring about the paradigm shift for how we interact with and use technology in our daily lives from academia to the workplace, 2020 may finally be the tipping point for global digital penetration.

Beyond academia the post-Corona digital revolution can serve to transform food systems, the African start-up landscape, telecommunications and even healthcare. According to the World Economic Forum in order for global recovery to occur, cross-sector collaboration needs to take place with a focus beyond the integration of new technology but also the upskilling and retraining of the workforce to ensure that human capital is equipped to keep pace with the change.

“We are excited to delve deeper into what the world is going to look like post-pandemic. While we’ve already seen digital transformation to an extent but, we need to have forward-thinking discussions about what this means in the African context which faces a unique set of challenges. The Africa Tech Week summit this year truly seeks to facilitate discussions that have actionable outcomes,” says Ralf Fletcher, CEO of Topco Media, the organisers of Africa Tech Week 2020.

Citizens have looked to the government as the driver for recovery but, “significant public-private partnerships are the only way we can recover while simultaneously transforming digitally enough to compete at a global level,” explains Fletcher, “and we hope to catalyse these kinds of partnerships through our summit by connecting industry experts from private and public sectors across the continent.”

An agenda that includes discussing how to unlock Africa’s economic potential through digital transformation, decoupling economic growth from resource generation and how AI has powered businesses through the pandemic seems to touch on all the pertinent tech issues of the moment. Renowned speakers at the conference include Tony Saldanha, former Vice President of Procter & Gamble and author of Number 1 bestseller, ‘Why Digital Transformations Fail’, Dumisani Bhengu, Chief Commercial Officer, Telkom and Brett White, CEO of Zapper.

In line with the digital transformation that has characterised the pandemic the summit has moved to become completely virtual.  Fletcher explains,“It is apt that a conference of this nature is virtual, not just because of the subject matter of the conference – digital transformation that’s been catalysed by the pandemic – but because we get to connect to thousands more delegates and have deeper, more robust discussions which we believe is tremendously exciting.”

Africa Tech Week takes place online from November 26 – 27. To get your tickets visit Africa Tech Week

About Topco Media

As South Africa’s leader in business research, recognition and networking, Topco Media has helped over 2 500 organisations during its 26 years – including multinationals like Microsoft, McDonalds, Mercedes-Benz and Coca Cola. We have worked with government departments including the GCIS, DTI, DIRCO and DEA; with agencies such as Brand SA, BBC and BUSA and with all of the major Public Entities including, in recent times, the Richards Bay and Coega IDZs. Among the many JSE-listed companies with ties to Topco are Standard Bank, PPC and Anglo American. The 10 000 organisations we research each year trust us to use quantitative and qualitative data to objectively grant external accreditation to the best-managed and best-performing companies in South Africa; to its BEE and gender parity leaders; to implementers of national development and to HR/tech innovators.

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