Interview, Mobile Technology

[EXCLUSIVE] Tomi Davies shares some insights ahead of Mobile West Africa 2014

Harry ’Tomi’ Davies popular know was TD is recognized as an expert in IT-led business transformation from a background of FTSE 100 level companies in the UK, USA and Africa. TD mentors individuals and advises organizations globally, blogs, and maintains a significant network of connections, friends and followers on most major social media platforms. He is a captivating public speaker whose goal is to “maximize the creation of social and economic value using digital technologies”.

The CEO of TVCLabs a Technology Business Incubation Company based in Lagos and brains behind the SuperStrikas franchise took out time to share some insight about the mobile and technology landscape on the continent ahead of the Mobile West Africa 2014 conference where he’d be speaking.

 

1. Can you share one insight on how far Africa has come in terms of technology (mobile)?

In the last decade we have come a thousand miles! From single digit teledensity in 2004 to over 80% today in Nigeria says it all.

 

2. How do we go about getting a truly connected African continent powered by the internet?

The next big deal is getting broadband for all. For the mobile world, that means LTE and the devices that can take full advantage of what it will deliver. So remote self-paced learning using the full complement of media (i.e. audio, text and video) becomes a real possibility as do life enhancing services such as remote-health diagnostics and even treatment. Entertainment as you know has taken the lead but you can still expect more in that arena as interactive mobile video collides with location based systems.

 

3. A growing argument: Africa – Mobile-First Vs Mobile-Only continent. Where do you stand?

I stand with the mobile first crowd – there are some experiences such as remote surgery, total immersion education, and extreme entertainment that can only be fully appreciated on wide-screen which you need to be stationary for. Yes we have large mobile screens in buses and the like but you get my drift. Mobile is complementary not exclusive.

 

4. Any interesting ‘mobile’ startups in and out of TVCLabs that have caught your attention?

There are a few cropping up using wearable and location based technologies that I am waiting to come through ideation.

 

5. Top 3 mobile opportunities not or under-explored in West Africa?

I still think payment systems have mileage; the person that cracks vocational education on mobile wins (read monetised Khan Academy on Mobile) and the 600 pound gorilla is still interactive entertainment.

 

6. Any insights on the next frontier for mobile – in Africa and globally?

Wearable, Free Smartphones, Cheaper Data, Broadband. They will all combine to deliver new group-based experiences for like minded people. The space for mobile driven tourism. The crossover music fans who want to inexact with the music video. What about the gastronomic junkies who want visual cuisine experiences? We have a youthful population in Africa with unlimited imagination borne out of need the infrastructure may belong to the West and East but no doubt the ingenious application belongs to Africa.

 

7. What should we be expecting from you at Mobile West Africa?

Insights into the emerging world of mobility in Africa as we take everything from wearable technology to fab labs and develop compelling solutions and experiences for an eagerly awaiting population of aspirational youth.

 
Photo Credit: World Bank Photo Collection via Compfight cc

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