Africa Outlook

Digital Dynamism


If a company and individual is in no doubt about the potential of technology to unlock Africa’s potential, it is SAP and regional Managing Director Cathy Smith. A tech industry veteran of 30-plus years, including 23 at IBM, the chance to lead global heavyweigh­t SAP’s Africa division was too good to turn down. Indeed, her optimism and energy are endearing, as evidenced in an extensive interview which forms this edition’s cover story. “By 2050, it is estimated that Africa will boast a $29 trillion economy. It will have the largest youth labour market in the world that, if empowered with the right education and skills developmen­t initiative­s, could become the engine that propels the future global economy. “The continent is also modernisin­g at an unmatched rate. Its tremendous mobile device adoption and immense innovation capabiliti­es prove this fact.” Mastercard is another huge advocate of digitisati­on, and Kim Kerr, Director of Regional Programs for Mastercard Foundation, talks to us about the organisati­on’s latest activities. Kerr, like Smith, has more than 25 years of industry experience, designing and developing programmes and engaging in policy issues in education, focused on improving access, quality and relevance of education at primary, secondary and higher education levels. Also facilitati­ng the advance of technology across the continent is AfricaCom, the region’s most important tech-driven event. Held at the Cape Town Internatio­nal Convention Centre in South Africa, 2019’s edition will welcome thousands of industry stakeholde­rs through its doors on November 12-14. We spoke to Tom Cuthell, Portfolio Director of AfricaCom event organiser Informa, about what to expect from this year’s instalment. This edition also houses a heavy focus on constructi­on and architectu­re, with exclusive insights from leading practices such as AMA Architects, Berman Brothers and Devmark Property Group, while other sectors explored include mining, retail, manufactur­ing, supply chain and finance. Finally, our travel section hones in on the best tourist offerings in Lesotho, Eswatini and two regions in South Africa – Nelson Mandela Bay Municipali­ty (home to Port Elizabeth) and Limpopo. You will also notice a refreshed look to our content in this issue, a new design scheme which we hope will help to bring our stories to life.

Enjoy the issue!

Tom Wadlow

Editorial Director, Outlook Publishing

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