Africa Tech Festival Celebrates Innovation and Excellence in Cape Town

• All the Winners from the 2023 Africa Tech Festival Awards

Technological prowess and innovation were on full display at the Africa Tech Festival Awards 2023, which unfolded in spectacular fashion at the prestigious Bay Hotel in Camps Bay, Cape Town on Wednesday night. The gala event, honoured companies, individuals and initiatives that have demonstrated excellence, and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible with technology in Africa.

In summing up the Awards for 2023, James Williams, Senior Event Director, Events | Connecting Africa | Informa Tech remarked that: “This year, more than ever, the standard of innovation and commitment to improving the lives of Africans and building an inclusive ecosystem for sovereign and cross-continental sustainability, has been impressive.”

Top honours for 2023:

  • Connectivity For All Award –  Avanti Communications
  • Innovation for Impact Award- MTN Uganda
  • CXO of the Year Award – Ahmed Yusef, CEO, Hormuud Telecom
  • Changing Lives Award- Vodacom Foundation DRC
  • Female Innovator of the Year Award – Néné Maïga, CEO, Orange Botswana
  • Sustainability Champion of the Year Award – South Africa MTN & Huawei
  • Fintech Innovation of the Year Award – Mukuru
  • Start-Up of the Year Award – Botlhale AI Solutions
  • HealthTech Innovation of the Year Award – HealthX Africa
  • NEW CATEGORY FOR 2023: Creative Visionary Award – Khutso Theledi.

Summing up what has been an exceptional festival to date and truly a night to remember, Williams said: “These awards showcase the dynamic and entrepreneurial spirit that defines Africa’s tech ecosystem and the excellence and acumen of the individuals and organisations driving digital disruption.  Congratulations to all our winners, the nominees and to everyone involved.”

Africa Tech Festival continues on Thursday 16th November with yet more incredible content including the exciting AfricaIgnite Pitch Competition, which  will see one lucky winner make their way to the USA to battle it out for USD 1 million investment in the final of the Pegasus Start-Up World Cup.

Connectivity For All – Avanti Communications

For 15 years, Avanti has worked to launch satellites to deliver high throughput broadband internet to areas which are difficult to reach.  Avanti’s mission is to enable people, countries, and continents to Be More and education is one element of the journey to success.  Project iMlango is one such example which today has been implemented in 205 primary and 40 secondary schools across 4 regions in Kenya, reaching over 180,000 learners in hard-to-reach areas and has shown exceptional improvement in learning outcomes for these children, doubling their numeracy learning rates when compared with the baseline study.

Innovation for Impact – MTN Uganda

MTN Webphone with Webex is an alternative Unified Communication calling and collaboration application that is powering communication and multimedia collaboration for traders, small size businesses, foreign students, foreign communities, the Ugandan diaspora, and the migrant workers from Uganda. The receivers receive and make calls back from a feature phone and they do not need a smartphone as compared to other OTT solutions like WhatsApp. This is impactful as smartphone penetration and utilisation in Uganda is hindered by cost of phones, data, and irregular electricity supply. The solution is enabling formerly silent GSM roamers to stay connected to their communities.

CXO of the Year – Ahmed Yusef, CEO, Hormuud Telecom

Since 2002, he has been the CEO of Hormuud Telecom, growing it into Somalia’s largest private sector employer. Ahmed has re-established basic GSM (2G) services, helped connect Somalia’s first fibre optic cable and introduced 4G technology; 4G coverage now stands at 80% in urban and 60%+ in rural areas. Following the civil war, formal banking structures collapsed. Today, over 90% of the Somali shilling is counterfeit. In 2011, Ahmed launched EVC Plus, a mobile money platform used by 90% of the population, to revitalise Somalia’s economy and enable vital remittances. It is the backbone for businesses and has transformed Somalia into one of the world’s first cashless societies. His leadership led to the launch of Waafi, Somalia’s pioneering fintech app.

Changing Lives – Vodacom Foundation DRC

The Vodacom Foundation is supporting schools across DRC, providing connectivity, improving classroom environment, devices, and educational content via the platform (Voda-Educ).

Female Innovator of the Year – Néné Maïga, CEO, Orange Botswana

Néné Maïga became the CEO of Orange Botswana in September 2021. Prior to that, she was appointed chief of Staff to the CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa in May 2018. In this position, she led structuring projects for the whole MEA region, aiming at improving value creation and inclusivity. She set up an innovative graduate programme and leads OMEA’s initiative to become a role model for gender parity.  She has been instrumental in improving the use of mobile Internet in the country and increasing speeds to some of the very fastest on the continent. She has launched 5G and has promoted health solutions based on that technology. In little less than 8 months, their Orange Money service distributed over 1 million digital instant loans. Nene has also launched the very successful Orange coding school where hundreds of citizens have been trained.

Sustainability Champion of the Year – South Africa MTN & Huawei

To solve South Africa’s intensified load shedding crisis, South Africa MTN is closely cooperating with Huawei to launch resilient and intelligent green site power solutions. For example, the innovation includes anti-theft reconstruction and smart power, which greatly adapt to power outages and weak power grids to ensure more than 99% PAV. Moreover, Huawei’s cutting-edge OSS, NetEco is added to provide continuous optimization in conjunction with AI-based green solar access to reduce carbon emissions and save electricity. Through in-depth collaboration, resilient network requirements are met for best user experience and simultaneously empowers MTN to build green & simplified sites.

Fintech Innovation of the Year – Mukuru

Mukuru is a leading next gen fintech company headquartered in Africa, offers affordable and reliable international money transfers and services addressing the broader financial needs of over 13 million customers. Operating in 50+ countries, Mukuru puts customers at the centre of everything they do by serving clients across physical and digital channels, by various payment methods.

Start-Up of the Year – Botlhale AI Solutions

Breaking language barriers for African businesses and their customers by unleashing the power of human language technologies in African languages. Our Natural Language Processing tools make this possible by enabling seamless digital interactions. From Multilingual Chatbots to Call Centre analytics, we are redefining communication allowing businesses to communicate with their customers in languages they trust and understand.

HealthTech Innovation of the Year – HealthX Africa

Delivers a doctor for every Kenyan, providing affordable and accessible medical and mental health consultations to patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through digital health solutions and telemedicine. They are taking strides to serve the millions of Kenyans who are challenged to access traditional health services, and specifically targeting communities isolated through geography or situation (eg patients with disabilities) and are deeply impact and vision focused.

NEW CATEGORY FOR 2023: Creative Visionary – Khutso Theledi

Her remarkable radio journey started back in 2012, when she began her career at YFM as a co-host and traffic presenter on the breakfast show, “Flava In The Morning,” captivating listeners from 6:00 to 9:00 AM.  She has established herself as a prominent figure in the industry, showcasing her talent and passion for radio. In 2022, she joined Metro FM, and hosts her own show on Metro FM titled “BreakAway With Khutso Theledi”, which allows her to connect with audiences in her unique and captivating style, providing an entertaining and informative mid-morning radio experience.

Africa Tech Festival 2023 – The Home of AfricaCom & AfricaTech