The 2nd Annual AfricaCom Awards are going to be held on the 11th of November 2009 in Cape Town South Africa. The awards recognize and award excellence in the African telecommunications market.
I couldn’t find a single Zimbabwean telecommunications company on this year’s Africa Com Awards shortlist. What’s going on here I asked myself. Econet Wireless didn’t submit an entry or what? While much can’t be said about the other telcos in terms of telecoms innovation, green technology initiatives, rural areas penetration and cost efficiency solutions this year, Econet introduced 3G services and is expanding its network capacity by about 100%, and this against all odds.
Among prominent African telecom companies on the shortlist is the MTN Group (rumored to be eyeing a 60% stake in Telecel Zimbabwe), Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom, microtelecoms company VNL, undersea cable company SEACOM, Indian telecoms VAS company Comviva, Vodacom Mozambique, Ericsson and Motorola. Award categories include, Best New Service, Best Network Improvement, New Entrance of the Year, Best Cost Efficiency Solution for Africa, Green Telecoms, Best Marketing Campaign, Best Pan African Initiative, Telecoms Innovation of the Year and a Changing Lives Award
Except for an inconspicuous mention on the event’s brochure that NetOne Zimbabwe will be attending the event, there’s little else to suggest the Zimbabwean telecommunications industry is participating in this event in one capacity or the other. The opportunity to network with some of Africa’s telecoms giants and cultivate business relationships has been missed.