Vodacom Group has kicked off its annual pan-African Innovation Week 2021, running from 4 – 8 October 2021, which will culminate in its fourth Pan-African Innovation Hackathon event. Huawei Technologies is one of the main partners of the Vodacom Group Hackathon.

Innovation Week focuses on pan-African innovation, 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, with multi-market team entrants and prizes totalling R1 million up for grabs, for the most innovative business and consumer solutions. The Hackathon takes place between 6th and 8th of October 2021, finishing with a “Dragon’s Den” type adjudication and prize giving ceremony.

Huawei’s Managing Director of the Vodacom Group Account, Stanley Shen says, “Huawei is pleased to be associated with Vodacom’s Hackathon, as it aligns with our company 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.”

Vodacom Group Executive Head of Innovation, Jannie van Zyl, cautioned that companies that don’t actively nurture innovative talent to unleash new, disruptive solutions will become irrelevant.

“In today’s fast-paced, digitally led business environment, innovation is the currency that underpins success. In fact, according to recent research, the most innovative companies’ revenue grows at twice the pace of the global average. Vodacom places huge emphasis on championing innovation as it evolves from a telco to a tech-co. This is how we’ll meet our purpose of broadening access for the next digital billion, who, incidentally, will largely be based in emerging markets like those in Africa. Today’s pan-African talent will be driving tomorrow’s digital economy.”

Vodacom employees, contract workers and Vodacom subsidiary employees across Africa were eligible to enter the Hackathon. Finalist teams will get the opportunity to build working solutions, over a period of 48 hours, and have them ready for demonstrations to the panel of judges. Winners will be judged by various executives from the Vodacom markets.  In total, Vodacom will award close to R1 million in prize money to the winning teams and ideas.

This is the fourth year that Vodacom has involved all of its markets from across Africa, including entrants from South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya. The winning solution will be deployed in the relevant Vodacom markets to benefit customers and will complement existing products and solutions.

Huawei will participate in the Innovation Week, delivering a keynote address on how the ICT company is promoting innovation across the ICT sector and enabling industry digital transformation.

Some of the key new technologies Huawei is enabling in Africa is 5G, Cloud solutions and Artificial Intelligence to name only a few. Huawei also hosts an ICT Talent Ecosystem training and skills development program to prepare the continent to harness the full benefits of the digital era.

Also read: Huawei’s Eric Xu: Innovating Nonstop for Faster Digitalization


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