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Insight into Mobile


Moses Kemibaro - Director of Sales, Africa, InMobi

“Africa and Kenya in particular has taken leadership in Mobile Money. This trend will continue and will lead to innovations that could result in new ecosystems and business models built around the mobile phone. It is in fact already the case that Mobile Money in Kenya will be Africa's access point to participate in global e-commerce.”

Kennedy Kachwanya - Co-Founder and CEO Maduqa.com

“Mobile-centric living. The trend is already forming where the mobile takes center stage for everything. With the expected expansion of Africa's role with mobiles, the continent would be the center of innovation when it comes to mobile phones and all things related to them. Innovation would give users the chance to do everything via their mobile phone from payroll processing, office work, reading and sending of emails, getting the news, listening to music, playing games, etc... to critical issues like health."

Jacques van Niekerk - CEO at MIH SWAT, CTO at MIH Internet

“Within five years, the advent of ultra-efficient batteries will free the phone from the grid - energy for mobile devices will derive from environmental sources, and will effectively be "free". The independence from infrastructure will accelerate and mocratise the adoption of high powered mobile devices."

"The Babelphone will address issues of illiteracy and unfamiliar user interfaces by its ability to interpret natural language - and to translate to other languages. It will be the first step in the evolution of the mobile device as an everyday tool that delivers expert system functionality to illiterate users."

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu at the launch of the eHealth Call to Action

“eHealth is 'a ray of light on the horizon for the health and equity challenges that plague humanity."


Guardian special report on Africa

"In a culture where people travel long distances to find work, the mobile has become the most useful and ubiquitous piece of technology since the bicycle. Just as bicycles are used in rural Africa to transport bananas or paying passengers, the mobile is changing lives in ways unimagined in the developed world. It links distant families and allows the poor to communicate.”

Greg Elphinston - Director Community Involvement, Nokia

“Right now, we are at an inflection point in terms of acceptance. Whether it turns out to be the peak of inflated expectation or the trough of disillusionment will depend on whether governments make the link between telecommunication policy and health, and the extent to which donors encourage transparency in sourcing and the participation of local entrepreneurs. Ultimately, the take up of mobile communications in the health sector isn’t really about technology at all.”

Mweene Monze - Executive Architect at IBM Software Group in South Africa

“The office of the future will be ‘no office’. Virtual, mobile workplaces are not an ‘if’, they’re a ‘when’. So, in Africa, where many enterprises are in a greenfields stage, they can leap straight into the mobile workforce future."

Pieter Uys - Vodacom CEO

“There is the world, and then there’s Africa: If you look at our prepaid base today, it shows that we still have challenges. Only 50% of our prepaid customers have ever sent an SMS. But maybe smartphones can simplify this?

Let’s say you can’t read, or can’t interact with a text menu or send an SMS to a service that gives you the weather forecast. If you are a farmer and have a smartphone, there could be an icon that shows you a ‘little sun’. The farmer could click on it and it would tell you ‘raindrops’, ‘sunshine’ or ‘cloud’. So the smartphone definitely opens up a new world for underdeveloped countries where literacy is not where it should be. That’s why the next generation will be different if we can solve the education issues — and I believe the tools of communication like the internet will play a role.”

"Cellphones will become your key payment mechanism in the future. I don’t think you will carry a credit card. It’s just not secure enough anymore. The guys will continue to hack the system. But if it’s integrated into a device that can remotely communicate — you can add another layer of security on the phone. You can communicate via the phone, you know “it’s mine” even if somebody steals it. Because of that, it has a big chance of success.”

Ken Banks - Founder, kiwanja.net

“In today’s mHealth environment there’s a general tendency to try and seek out solutions to the bigger health problems. Easier ‘low-hanging fruit’ are often overlooked. Enhancing basic communications within rural healthcare networks is a classic low-hanging fruit…Communication is fundamental to all NGO activities, particularly those working in the kinds of infrastructure-challenged environments often found in the developing world. Hospital staff often lack basic communication with their community healthcare workers…creating considerable inefficiencies in the use and allocation of scarce resources. We need to ensure that we address some of the simpler mHealth challenges…in parallel with our search for solutions to what we consider to be more complex problems.”

Derek Kudsee - Chief Operating Officer, SAP Africa

“With over 14 million mobile Internet users in South Africa alone, mobility will play a significant role in supporting our 2020 African growth strategy."

“In addition, smartphone sales exceeded PC sales for the first time in 2011, so this platform, coupled with the exponential increase in tablet PC sales, will see mobile becoming the new desktop.”

Tomi T Ahonen - Technology and Media Author, Strategy Consultant and Motivational Speaker

“As it happens the global Internet industry believes that the future of Internet is mobile. The global telecom industry believes that the future of the telecom industry is mobile, and the global money industry is starting to believe that the future of money is mobile."


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