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Vodacom champions innovation acceleration in Africa

According to the most recent Global Innovation Index, although African economies are ‘innovation achievers’ relative to their level of development, the region hasn’t been able to maintain long-term growth in most innovation indicators.

Through connectivity and technology initiatives, Vodacom is striving to enable, support and accelerate sustainable innovation across the continent, which can create a better future for all.

Vodacom is proud to have been recognised as South Africa’s most innovative large company in Innocentrix’s South African Innovation League 2022 awards.

This is the third time in seven years that Vodacom has received the number one ranking in the SA Innovation League, which celebrates the country’s top innovation leaders.

Vodacom also received two second place rankings in the awards over the last seven years.

Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub says “Vodacom is renowned for being one of the most dynamic tech companies in Africa – as is evidenced by our historic firsts such as the first network operator to launch 3G, 4G and 5G in Africa and our continued investment in world-class digital solutions that leverage cloud, hosting, managed-security, IoT and Big Data. Our consecutive first and second place rankings in the SA Innovation League bear testament to the strong focus on Vodacom’s innovative culture which is embraced by our various business divisions and leaders.”

The SA Innovation League is an Innocentrix initiative, in collaboration with Milpark Business School and the Da Vinci Institute’s Technology Top 100 (tt100) Awards.

The eighth annual SA Innovation League Awards took place virtually on 21 April 2022 and winners were announced in the following categories: Emerging Organisations, Small Organisations, Medium Organisations, Large Organisations and Public Sector Organisations.

The SA Innovation League award follows various innovation accolades that Vodacom has recently received.

Vodacom’s subsidiary IoT.nxt received the 2022 IoT Breakthrough Award: Winner for Enterprise IoT Management Innovation (V-Raptor™); the 2021 IoT Global Award: Winner of R&D or New Launch – V-Raptor™ and the 2021 Future of HR Award: Best Innovation using Technology.

As part of its commitment to building an inclusive digital society, Vodacom is strongly invested in innovation initiatives across its markets.

This includes partnering with Tanzania Innovation Week 2022, held 15-20 May, which aims to foster innovation at scale to transform the country.

The event provides a platform for players in the innovation ecosystem, such as innovators, policy makers, corporate entities, development partners and researchers, to share innovation developments, learnings and successes, and collaborate across sectors.

In further support of innovation in Tanzania, Vodacom has collaborated with Smart Lab to establish the Digital Accelerator Programme, which empowers start-ups through mentorship, connectivity and information and communications technology (ICT) development.

In 2020-21, Vodacom invested US$150 000 in the programme, creating the best performing start-ups that are innovative and relevant in the digital era.

Other recent examples of the company’s ongoing innovative projects include the 2021 VodaPay launch, a ground-breaking super app developed by Vodacom Financial Services and backed by Alipay technology.

VodaPay delivers a shopping, lifestyle and financial experience for both consumers and business.

It also opens a world of possibilities in e-commerce, particularly for SMEs, while promoting financial inclusion.

It is a highly secure and transparent app that allows consumers to load money into their wallets and send it to anyone in real time or use it to make any purchase through the app, ranging from ecommerce to buying airtime, electricity, water, insurance and many other use cases.

Vodacom also recently launched Africa’s first Amazon Web Services Outposts Innovation Lab in collaboration with AWS and Intel.

The laboratory will focus on accelerating technology innovations across different industries, delivering faster scalability, and creating the opportunity to use infrastructure and technologies to solve business challenges.

Joosub concludes: “Our dedicated Innovation function with formal innovation policies, processes, events and tools continues to drive Group-wide support for various innovation activities, delivering billions of Rands worth of value in innovation projects.”

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Vodacom champions innovation acceleration in Africa