So what is Tech4Africa?
Tech4Africa was founded in 2006 and has been hosted in cities like Nairobi and Lagos. The event creates a platform for people to showcase new ideas and innovation with like-minded inspired and engaged people. Local industry experts are invited to keep conversations relevant to South Africa. The interesting things about the speakers is that Tech4Africa invites submissions but asks its followers and stakeholders to vote for the talks that make the final list. We love the democracy…
I attended two really notable talks, both consumer orientated (we operate in B2B only) but interesting nonetheless:
In the first, WeChat showcased the platforms capabilities and features. WeChat offers features including push-to-talk, video chat, as well as image, video and music sharing. One of the features that stood out for me, was the functionality that enables you to live stream Cliff Central’s Gareth Cliff show every morning from 6am -9am.
WeChat, entered the South African market in 2013, the social media and messaging app is backed locally by media giant Naspers. Brett Loubser, MD of WeChat refers to the app as a “social communications application” – so much more than your average instant messaging app. It has been designed for private sharing of content with friends and is not a social network.
I also attended the talk “Why Classifieds are winning the web” presented by Johan Nel , country manager for Gumtree in the hope of getting some insight into the world of classifieds. Personally i’m really intrigued by this industry.
What stood out for me is the fact that Classifieds are shaping ecommerce in SA and will be top 10 Internet priority in every country. USA based Craigslist receives 56 billion page views monthly. Nel also mentioned the fact that should Facebook add a sell button, that it would cause great disruption in the classified industry.
The event provided a bit of everything for everyone.. From the Microsoft cloud room for people interested in leveraging the cloud, a hacker space and exhibition for people showcasing their new products.
I found myself quietly excited about the event and realised that technology, without a shudder of doubt, contributes to making a difference and builds solutions that all South Africa can benefit from. These creators are people with passion, who really do have the power to change the world.
The geek in me has re-surfaced…