Africa’s technology leaders have called on the continent to accelerate digital transformation to serve its people better and boost its economy.
The leaders spoke during the annual dx100 Symposium and Awards (formerly CIO 100 Awards) that saw over 300 key technology leaders drawn from different industries across Africa gather to network, learn, and recognize their peers for exemplary work.
Organised annually by dx⁵, the dx100 awards, the event serves as a gathering of top tech minds from across all industries in Africa where the top 100 most innovative minds get recognition in different categories with the highest honour being The CIO of The Year. The CIO of the Year Award is a CIO who has deployed technology that has transformed the business.
Moses Okundi Chief Technology Officer (CIO), of Absa Bank Kenya who was also named The CIO Of The Year 2022 at the event said African countries could solve most of their challenges through digital transformation.
“Digital transformation creates efficiency, improves how people work, and can improve the economy. In today’s world, so many things have changed. We need to come up with digital platforms that can improve people’s lives,” Okundi said.
Harry Hare, dx5 Group Chairman said “Digital transformation is not an event. It is a process. It is a journey to transform either a business, a country, or an organization. It, therefore, requires a lot of thinking and alignment within the business itself. You must understand why you are doing what you want to do.
“For a country like Kenya to start thinking about digital transformation, we need to start thinking about the basics. Why do we want to transform digitally? Once we understand that then we need to put the building. Skills development is urgent. Our universities need to work with industries to build requisite skills that are useful for the world today. Not skills that we used for 10 years or something.
Phyllis Migwi, Country General Manager Kenya, Microsoft, who gave a keynote address titled From Digital Transformation To Digital First, challenged governments, businesses and organisations, to adopt a digital-first approach in their models to meet the demands of its young population who are digital natives.
“Digital transformation in Africa is at a different position from the rest of the world. MSMEs in Africa don’t have legacy systems and our population of young people are digital natives. The dynamics of their interactions are very different from the rest of the older generations,” she said.
Migwi also challenged businesses in Africa to come up with technology solutions that address the needs of users.
“The generation we are selling to were born with phones in their hands. When it comes to technology solutions, they prioritise convenience and usability. Before coming up with technology solutions, businesses should understand their users’ culture and needs first. They should build solutions to meet where users are,” she said.
According to statistics by the United Nations, Africa has the youngest population in the world, with 70 per cent of sub-Saharan Africa under the age of 30. As of 2022, around 40 per cent of the population was aged 15 years and younger, compared to a global average of 25 per cent.
Here is the list of all the dx100 Awards 2022 winners of the various awards in multiple sectors.
Manufacturing Sector Award BAT Kenya PLC
Hospitality Sector Award JAVA House Africa
Public Sector Award Agricultural Finance Corporation
Education Sector Award Shule Pepe Ltd
Infrastructure Award Absa Bank Kenya Plc
Banking Sector Award Equity Bank, Kenya
Sacco Sector Award Stima Sacco DT Society Ltd
Health Sector Award Amref Health Africa
Retail Sector Award Naivas Ltd
Insurance Sector Award Jubilee Insurance
Green Edge Awards Ministry of Water and Environment (Uganda)
Technology Partner Awards Safaricom Plc
Overall Company of The Year Diageo Plc – Africa
CISO of The Year Thelma Kganakga, Group CISO, Equity Bank (K) Ltd
CXO of The Year Hector Tamez, Head of Manufacturing East Africa, BAT
CIO of The Year Chief Technology Officer (CIO), Absa Bank