What We're About:
The 4th Industrial Revolution is underway and it presents significant opportunity as well as challenges for the global community, especially for developing economies. Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data and Cloud Computing are becoming mainstay topics in government planning, media coverage and within the Africa-China relationship. Indeed, in recognition of the increasing centrality of ‘digitization’ to economic development, science, technology and innovation took on increased prominence during the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in 2018. And there is reason to believe that increased technological cooperation between China & Africa could not only drive economic growth but also enable improved people-to-people relationship and importantly act as a leveller in a relationship that is often imbalanced.
In China, the number of internet users soared from 25 million in 2000 to over 750 million in 2017. After a similar surge in Africa, the number of internet users rose from 4.5 million in 2000 to 470 million today. Catering to the new market of internet users in China, tech companies like Alibaba and Tencent became the global giants they are today; through digital partnerships with Chinese firms experienced in navigating a boom in internet literacy, African tech companies can likewise realise the potential of the new online market. This potential is already showing, as evidenced by Alibaba's partnership with M-Pesa, and the recent $20 million Chinese investment in Boomplay, now labelled “Africa’s Apple Music.” However, despite the potential that technology presents the China-Africa relationship issues, such as data ownership, remain.
Myth Busting China-Africa Ties
Eric Olander, Founder, China Africa Project
China's engagement in Africa is so varied, complicated and even downright confusing, that it allows people to see pretty much anything they want in this relationship. Is China the best thing that's happened to Africa? Maybe. Is China the worst thing that's happened to Africa? Possibly. With fake news, social media and online rumors bouncing around, it's hard to keep everything straight. In this session, Eric Olander, Managing Editor of the China Africa Project and host of the weekly China in Africa Podcast, will bust up five of the most widespread myths about the Chinese in Africa.
Building a Sustainable Digital Future
Philanthropy in Motion
Traditionally, in industrial societies, sustainability and growth are understood to have an adverse relationship. But resilient cities all over the world are now using technology to accelerate sustainable, eco-friendly growth. As awareness of human-driven impact on the planet grows, companies and cities are collaborating to build for a sustainable future. In this workshop we explore companies in Rwanda who use technology to reduce their carbon footprint, offer tech-savvy energy solutions to those in need, and teach the next generation how to create a sustainable future. Companies such as Zipline harness drone technologies to increase transportation efficiencies while maintaining low carbon footprints. Joining technology and sustainable practices is increasingly possible and indeed critical. The workshop will explore the following questions:
This workshop will be led by Philanthropy in Motion, which will lead participants in a robust discussion and share specific case studies and tools to evaluate and incorporate sustainability into business models. All case studies are collected from local partners in Philanthropy in Motion’s 2019 program, Sustainability Rwanda Deep Dive Trip.
"Network Like A Boss" - The Do's & Dont's in China
Three years ago, Asi left her position as a Communication Speciaist back in South Africa and traded it all in for the ultimate adventure in China. In a country where much is communicated mostly through one APP, she had to learn new ways of networking and to turn those connections into lucrative deals and people she could turn to. Now she's ready to share some of the tricks and tips that have helped her network like a boss.
African Millennials: Social Media and Influencer Marketing
Globally, millennials were seen as the generation that grew up with internet and digital communications and they make a unique market segment and driving the changes through technology.
Africa is by far the youngest continent in the world. And the Africa millennials who were born from early 80s until 2000 are often perceived as the ones that are changing how the world sees Africa largely through social media and blogging. As more and more millennials are entering into the workplace, they are becoming the generation sought after by brands and marketers.
As the generation that’s dominating on the use of social media, millennials in Africa are tech-savvy and are increasingly choosing to shop online with a mobile-first approach, which offers unique opportunities for e-commerce and influencer marketing.
This workshop would provide an opportunity to dive deeper into the segment of African millennials, and explore the opportunities brands have to engage with African millennials through social media usage and influncer marketing.
Leveraging the Power of Mini-Programs for Development
China is home to a wide array of Mini-Programs, which have revolutionised the way people do business and live. In this workshop, Didier Frank an API Developer will explore the ways Mini-Programs could be used to develop various economic sectors in Africa, including tourism, how to build your own and how to identify potential Mini-Program investments.
Developing Cultural Intelligence
Lily Kang and Timothy Karikari
Despite strong economic and growing cultural ties between China and Africa, there are still huge cultural barriers and in some instance’s tensions at the people-to-people level. Chinese entrepreneurs operating in African countries continuously face management hurdles due to cultural barriers, and African students and professionals in China often cite experiencing cultural insensitivities that constrain their ability to collaborate with Chinese colleagues. As Chinese technology firms aim to increase investments into Africa and export their business models, there is an increasing need to understand how to develop and enhance cultural intelligence. This workshop aims to encourage participants to explore the following questions by sharing personal experiences and investigating key case studies:
In this workshop, Lily Kang and Timothy Karikari will lead a series of role plays and interactive activities to explore cultural differences as well as the tools and strategies to employ to navigate cultural barriers.