Africa can lead America, says Alan Knott-Craig Jnr.

Africa has the potential to become a mobile leader, according Alan Knott-Craig Jnr. who spoke at Mobile Monday (MoMo) in Cape Town.


Knott-Craig is very optimistic about the future of Africa in the universal mobile industry. He pointed out multiple opportunities in the continent which open up the potential for growth beyond submitting to trends of world leaders like the United States.

He addressed the audience about his journey in the mobile industry, saying he came to the point where he realised “Africa can lead America”. Stepping out from the world of accountants into the technology field with the iBurst initiative among his other developments gave him “a bit of hope”.

He used a beach analogy to explain the industry. According to Knott-Craig it is all about building the right surfboard to ride the waves the best way among tough competition. The waves of technological development are the current rising trends that opens the tide to all who are ready to join the competition. He said those who have better surfboards have better potential in riding (instead of drowning in) the waves. On the beach there are spectators and even media that all increase the pressure of surfing performance.

Knott-Craig admitted his October resignation as CEO of Mxit due to disagreements between him and the shareholders is still a sore point, but picked out the establishment of The World of Avatar as a highlight in his career. Craig-Knott is founder and Chief Executive officer of the initiative that develops mobile apps for African subscribers. He said: “you will never know if you don’t try”.

Other speakers at the event, such as Qualcomm’s James Munn, Vice President of Business Development in sub-Sahara Africa, placed emphasis on Africa as the largest growing subscriber market. Africa, as second in the global mobile market, is forecasted to occupy 50 percent of the universal subscribers by 2017, said Munn.

MoMo is “a global community of mobile industry visionaries, developers and influentials fostering cooperation and cross-border business development through virtual and live networking events to share ideas, best practices and trends from global markets,” the company blog states.

The objective of the Finland-originated project is to encourage the mobile sector through the facilitation of networking between enterprises of different sizes on universal and local grounds in presentation, participation, collaborations and education contributions. South African offices are based in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

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