The Disruption Dialogues was the goal of this year’s Zambia Tech-Xpo 2023 event, held at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka, Zambia from 9-10 November 2023. The event’s theme was “The Disruption Dialogues: A Zambian Tech Space Overview,” which aimed to showcase the advancements and disruptions in the Zambian technology industry.
The event brought together technology enthusiasts, investors, startups, policymakers, and industry experts to discuss the opportunities and challenges the Zambian tech space faced. The event provided a platform for stakeholders to exchange ideas and insights, network, and explore potential collaborations and partnerships.
The first day began with an overview of the technology scene in Zambia, followed by a discussion on collaborative innovation to unlock ICT potential in Zambia from Paratus Zambia and DigitalSafe. A high-level session explored how disruptive technology has impacted various industries in Zambia over the last five years, featuring representatives from Airtel Zambia, PremierCredit, ICTAZ and Infratel Zambia.
The agenda delved into Fintech, discussing its impact on Zambia’s finance sector, challenges faced, and technological solutions. Insights from FNB Zambia, MTN MoMo, and Absa Zambia provided a picture into partnerships, the ecosystem, and data analytics. The InsureTech session focused on transforming Zambia’s insurance landscape through accessible and affordable digital insurance products, featuring representatives from aYo Zambia, ACRE Africa, Gralix, and Hobbiton.
This was followed by additional presentations on data protection and another that explored Agritech innovations for sustainable agriculture and food security.
The last session on day one was on live HealthTech session with Zamtel who showcased their latest telemedicine innovation in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Morehouse School of Medicine.
The second day commenced with a presentation by Dan Chileshe on how the International Trade Centre Fasttracktech Switch ON project has been doing in Zambia, followed by an eCommerce session by IT-IQ Zambia’s Vish Sethi featuring E-Mark CEO Immanuel Mwanza and ICT Expert Mofya Chisala, along with a presentation on building a robust fintech platform from Chipper Cash’s Mbuyu Makayi. Smart Infrastructure Solutions for Rural Development were discussed by IHS Towers, followed by a presentation on the future of eLearning by Mwabu.
The agenda also included a Cybersecurity Trends presentation by Digital Safe, and a session by Bayobab on how they are disrupting the space they’re in.
The Zambia Tech-Xpo booth awards were given in the top six categories.
The winners of the Zambia Tech-Xpo 2023 Booth Awards were:
- Best Booth Design – Airtel Zambia
- Collaboration Excellence – aYo Zambia with MTN Zambia
- Customer Choice – Paratus Zambia
- Partnership of the Year – Bayobab Zambia – who were able to interconnect with Unitel Angola, being the first Zambian technology company to create connectivity between the two nations
- Excellence in Customer Engagement – FNB Zambia
- Best Rebrand of the Year – Bayobab, rebranding from MTN Global Connect
An exploration of TECNO Mobile’s market mastery in Zambia was then presented by Infinix, and the event concluded with a session on consumers’ changing content consumption patterns, transitioning from traditional to mobile streaming, featuring DStv’s Mukuka Mulenga, and producers Yasmin Dodia-Mumba and Lawrence Thompson.
Another exciting aspect of the event was the Startup Pitch competition that was held in collaboration with the International Trade Centre and Yango Zambia. The competition allowed young and innovative startups to showcase their products and services to investors and potential partners. The competition aimed to highlight the vibrant startup ecosystem in Zambia and support entrepreneurs in bringing their ideas to life.
The top 4 finalists were MedSearch Zambia, Pamo, Edulync and Pa Job, Pa Job won the challenge ($500 prize), with Edulync ($300) and Pamo ($200) following in 1st and 2nd runner-up positions respectively.
The Disruption Dialogues also featured exhibitions where companies showcased their latest products and services. The exhibitions allowed attendees to interact with cutting-edge technologies and gain insights into how they could be applied in various industries. There were 32 companies exhibiting: