TICON Africa Conference 2023:
Uniting African ICT for a Brighter Digital Future

As the evolution of technology increases its global reach, Africa stands on the brink of taking advantage of what a digital revolution can offer the continent’s companies, organisations, and professionals when they choose collaboration over competition.

The inaugural TICON Africa Conference 2023, held at the Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel in Entebbe, Uganda, from September 6 to 9, 2023, proved to be a groundbreaking event dedicated to that very idea.

Co-hosted with the ICT Association of Uganda (ICTAU), the TICON Africa organisation’s first conference event was a significant step towards bringing together the best ICT talent across the continent to find a way to develop a strong digital identity for Africa. 

TICON Africa: A Unifying Force

The Technology Information Confederation Africa (TICON Africa) is a Pan-African organisation that aims to set the highest standards for information technology knowledge and practice across Africa. 

Founded in 2022, it has already gained the support of several African ICT professional associations. TICON Africa’s mission is clear: To add value for its members by, amongst others, developing standards for African ICT professionals, making ICT an attractive career choice and driving socio-economic digital development across the continent.

TICON Africa Conference

The TICON Africa Conference 2023 brought together ICT professionals, experts, and thought leaders from various African countries. 

With a theme of “Unifying ICT Talent to Power the African Continent to 2030 and Beyond,” the conference aimed to address critical issues and opportunities in the African tech landscape. 

Day 1: Bridging the Digital Divide

The first day of the conference focused on addressing Africa’s technological disparities and bridging the digital divide. Keynote speaker Professor Fred McBagonluri, President of Academic City University College, Ghana, set the tone by discussing the state of ICT across the continent. 

“We need to create our own content and ensure that technology benefits us. We are all evangelists, and it’s our responsibility to develop the systems that will improve our continent, just as we contribute to the betterment of all the communities we come from.” 

Panel discussions delved into topics like equal access to technology, digital literacy, entrepreneurship and skills development. 

"Africa should revise all the education systems and make IOT essential in all the courses offered. The marketing curriculum must change to incorporate the new trends of ICT and not use the old curriculum."

Prof Robert E. Hinson
Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Ghana Communication Technology University

Day 2: Public-Private Sector Collaboration, Innovation and Emerging Technologies

Day two explored the importance of collaboration between the public and private sectors in leveraging ICT for sustainable development. Dr. Aminah Zawedde, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Uganda, emphasised the need for a unified vision. 

The day also featured discussions on emerging technologies like blockchain, AI and IoT, highlighting their potential to transform Africa’s future. 

"The pandemic demonstrated that virtually everyone can adapt to ICT. While acquiring programming skills online is feasible, there remains a crucial need for people to engage in physical, face-to-face learning from one another."

Dr Jan Mentz
Academic Dean, Belgium Campus iTversity, South Africa

Day 3: Marketing and ICT

The final day of the conference delved into the intersection of marketing and ICT, emphasising the immense opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). Experts discussed how collaboration and innovation could tap into the $3.4 trillion opportunities presented by AfCFTA. 

The day concluded with a panel discussion on the pace of business transformation in the face of evolving technological innovation. 

“Those in the ICT are already using Al and every day we keep getting new tech products. If we use the tech efficiently we have countless opportunities that are in the future.”

Emmanuel Gbeve
Technology Expert, Ghana

TICON Africa Awards 2023

An important highlight of the conference was the first TICON Africa Awards 2023, recognising outstanding contributions to Africa’s IT landscape. The awards celebrated technology professionals who have played a pivotal role in advancing Africa’s information technology sector.

Three prestigious awards were presented

ICT Young Professional of the Year

Rowena Turinawe

Head of Innovations and Digital Solutions,
Centenary Technology Services

ICT Professional of the Year

Arthur Mukembo

Founder of Future Lab Studio
and Innovation Village

Tech Business Leader of the Year

Louis Adanuty

FinTech entrepreneur,
TekSol Eganow

These awards acknowledge the exceptional efforts of individuals who are shaping Africa’s tech future and fostering a culture of innovation and inclusivity. 

Conclusion

The TICON Africa Conference 2023 was a landmark event that brought together Africa’s ICT community to address critical challenges and opportunities in the technology sector. 

TICON Africa President David Gowu closed off the event with thanks to all those who attended and other stakeholders in the industry who were unable to attend but whose important work in the industry contributed to a promising future for ICT in Africa. 

Mr Gowu emphasised TICON Africa’s commitment to unity, collaboration and innovation, while leading the charge to propel Africa into a future where technology serves as a bridge to boundless opportunities. 

As the continent stands on the cusp of a digital revolution, the efforts of organisations like TICON Africa are essential in ensuring that this transformation benefits all its people, leaving no one behind. 

Author: Chris Anderson

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ICTAZ Zimbabwe

The Organization seeks to empower society to master emerging technologies as essential tools and catalysts for sustainable development and independently watch-dogging the impact of ICTs on the environment and society for the good of the people and our planet.