Andile Ngcaba, Founder and Chairman of Convergence Partners, explains how Africa’s large, young population is creating a culture conducive for innovation. During his keynote speech at the World Bank’s InfoDev Fifth Global Forum on Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship in East London, South Africa, Ngcaba discussed innovation in technology and the need for a radical change in the culture and attitude towards failure in Africa.
Convergence Partners released its latest research report on African Innovation in the technology sector. The report argues that Africa continues to significantly contribute to global innovation in the technology sector. However, this innovation is impeded by a number of challenges, not least of which are small and fragmented markets, as well as African governments piecemeal and tepid approaches to innovation.
Pan-African ICT enabler SEACOM has made a generous commitment to provide KINU, a Tanzanian non-profit ICT innovation hub with 30mb of free Internet capacity for a one year period. This will assist with improving the speed and quality of KINU’s Internet connectivity, which will in turn improve the efficiency of the start-up ICT enterprises they develop.
Dimension Data announced it has won two 2012 Microsoft Global Partner awards, including Microsoft Messaging Partner of the Year, and Microsoft Learning Competency Marketing Excellence Partner of the Year. The company was honoured among a global field of top Microsoft partners for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology.
Brett Dawson, CEO of Dimension Data, was recently interviewed by the Sunday Times as part of its EACH ONE HIRE ONE series about dealing with unemployment in South Africa. Extracts of the interview are reprinted below.
Of all the socioeconomic challenges facing South Africa, unemployment must be the greatest. It represents not only wasted potential and productivity, but is depriving us of the future it deserves. Of course, employment means much more than earning an income: it promotes self-worth, independence and innovation. More jobs would have an invaluable effect on the social fabric of this country, reducing poverty, crime and violence.
Gemalto, the world leader in digital security, has won the IT Security Sesames award for Just4YourEyes™. The winning innovation was distinguished at the 2011 CARTES & IDentification industry fair.
Just4YourEyes is a first-of-its-kind software solution which enhances secure access to emails from a variety of devices, including tablets, smartphones or laptops, using the cloud for securely sharing a common credential. The solution allows for any mobile device or a secure element (such as a UICC or secure memory card) in that device, to act as a single repository to store the PKI credentials required to encrypt or sign emails.
Convergence Partners’ investee company, Dimension Data, supported by its partner Telkom has signed a comprehensive Information Technology (IT) outsourcing contract with the Old Mutual Group, to enable its business strategy and improve competitiveness.
On Friday 25 February 2011, Communications Minister Roy Padayachie met with the leaders of 30 of SA’s top ICT players to discuss cooperation between government and private sector in order to create jobs and enhance growth. Chairman of Convergence Partners and Dimension Data, Andile Ngcaba, attended the roundtable discussions, which were aimed at developing a 2020 vision for the South African ICT sector. Andile noted that applications and software are central to the ICT ecosystem and that opportunities exist for innovation and development in these fields. The potential for job creation opportunities would also arise from the production of new set top boxes, required for migration to digital television signal distribution in South Africa.