How will Africa Succeed in Digital Transformation?

    Digi Infra Africa is a virtual event held in April this year. The event discusses the strides and challenges made in digital transformation in the world and how Africa is fairing. This session discusses the pressing need for telcos to redefine their role within digital infrastructure in order to prepare networks for more sophisticated demands of end-users.

    Estelle Akofio-Sowah, regional manager of CSQUARED, starts off by saying how companies that have embraced their digital strategy are companies that are customer centric and have their customer's needs in mind in offering their services. Embracing technology and digital means not only transforming your equipment and software, but about a mind-shift of the company's personnel aswell. Changhai Liu, MD of China Telecom Africa and Middle East, re-affirms this by explaining how we're now in a time where the customer can essentially design their own products, with services automated for them for better and more custom service.

    Transfomation is an organisational change

    While some of the drivers for digital transformation may be for growth, fulfilling customer needs and staying relevant. Survival may be the biggest driver for organisations, accelerated by COVID-19; where a customer wants immediate gratification and has options at their fingertips. Transformation has become the only way to stay competitive and illustrate better value.

    It's clear that transformation is not only about technology, but an entire mindset must change from the top down. "It's not a quick sprint", Estelle emphasises because the transformation needs to occur in all the departments. And while it's not a quick fix, these organisations still need to adopt an agile approach where they test and fix quickly, in order to make data driven decisions that will save or make the organisation money.

    Balancing the old vs the new

    The big concern from an African context is balancing the reliability attained from the current systems against "the great unknowns" the new technology will introduce. Changhai Liu explains that while early adopters may have encountered some challenges in the services, current users receive better reliability than legacy systems, at a lower cost. Estelle advises not to be intimidated by new technology, like cloud for example, as we already use them in email and social media platforms.   

    So the key message is simply for Africa is to EMBRACE digital transformation. Africa needs to also ensure the public and private sector align their objectives and ambitions, so no one is left behind no-matter their age, gender or financial situation.

    Checkout the full discussion here: