by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG – VODACOM has set aside about R1 million (US$66 000) in prize money to enhance pan-African innovation.
The operator has resumed the Innovation Week with various speakers covering topics such as Fostering a Culture of Innovation, Disruptive Innovation, and Innovation Best Practice.
All Vodacom markets on the continent are taking part in the Hackathon.
The prize money will be allocated to the most innovative business and consumer solutions at the hackathon that runs until Friday.
It finishes with a “Dragon’s Den” type adjudication and prize giving ceremony.
This is the fourth year that Vodacom has involved all of its markets from across Africa, including entrants from South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya.
Jannie van Zyl, Vodacom Group Executive Head of Innovation cautioned that companies that did not actively nurture innovative talent to roll out new, disruptive solutions would become irrelevant.
“In today’s fast-paced, digitally led business environment, innovation is the currency that underpins success” van Zyal said.
According to recent research, the most innovative companies’ revenue grows at twice the pace of the global average.
Van Zyl said Vodacom thus placed huge emphasis on championing innovation as it evolves from a telco to a tech-company.
“Today’s pan-African talent will be driving tomorrow’s digital economy,” the executive said.
Huawei Technologies is one of the main partners of the Vodacom Group Hackathon.
Stanley Shen, Huawei’s Managing Director of the Vodacom Group Account, said the hackathon aligned with Huawei’s ethos of developing ICT talent and fostering local innovation.
“Huawei plays an important role in enabling innovation across global industries and we look forward to continue supporting Innovation excellence in Africa,” Shen said.
Huawei is rolling out 5G, Cloud solutions and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Africa.
It also hosts an ICT Talent Ecosystem training and skills development programme.
– CAJ News