African Tech Quote of the Year

In an industry usually dominated by technicalities and ‘tech jargon’, finding meaningful and inspirational comments from innovators and politicians can prove a rare occurrence. The HumanIPO team has trawled through the archives to compile the stand-out soundbites of 2013.

Nick Sato: “We can’t cut, spend or tax our way to better days. We need to learn how to quickly swim in these waves of transformation and speedily adapt our businesses, products and services to this change,” said Bob Collymore as Safaricom awarded six early stage mobile technology startups with a cumulative cash prize of KSh3.7 million (US$43,000) through the Safaricom AppWiz Developers’ Challenge.

Gabriella Mulligan: “If you ask whether internet is sufficient and affordable in Africa then my answer is no… Only when everyone has internet, every school, every university… then we can say it’s sufficient and affordable.” –  Leon-Charles Ciss, head of marketing for the Africa, Middle East and Asia region at Orange Group.

“I sold drugs, that was the first step in my entrepreneurial journey… I mean it. I sold something, I made money. I was an entrepreneur.” – Craig Ross, innovations manager at Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs), a community using technology to lift people out of problematic and abusive social situations.

Tom Jackson: A comedy comment from Makari Kituyi, Radio Africa Group head of TV, on the relaunch of Kiss TV in Kenya. “It’s all about getting it on your face and shaking you up,” he said. Sounds fun.

Selipha Kihagi: “I think time has come that in Africa we need to have a candid conversation on how we need to move forward as a continent because Africans are now mobile. Gone are the days when we used to stay in villages.” – Fred Matiangi, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for ICT, asks African mobile networks to lower their roaming charges for international calls, saying the existing ones were prohibitive.

Richard Cutcher: “With cloud payments we are proposing a new model to move away from those big gorillas – MasterCard and Visa – who came about to help those payments happen.” Ngoni Simelane, head of technology and innovation at South Africa’s Standard Bank, was speaking at the Cloud World Forum Africa conference in April about the need and possibility for banks to embrace new technology to cut out giants such as MasterCard and Visa. Any businessman, let alone a banker, is a brave one to openly take on the two card companies and Simelane gave a glimpse of a disruptive banking future on the continent.

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