The Mobile World Congress (MWC) is an annual gathering for the mobile and related industries, organized by the Global System for Mobile Association (GSMA), held in Barcelona, Spain, the Mobile World Capital. It is in this capital where Mobile Industry leaders gather, network, showcase, and exchange ideas. This year’s MWC took place from February 27th to March 2nd , 2017.
The GSMA is an association of Global System for Mobile operators, including telecommunication network operators and GSM mobile device manufacturers among others. GSMA works on projects and initiatives that address the collective interests of the mobile industry, and of mobile operators in particular. It undertakes strategic initiatives across several key areas including Spectrum, Connected Living, Personal Data and Digital Commerce. It also represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem.
This year, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) sponsored Stephen Tashobya, Team Lead Wekebere Innovation and winner of the ICT visionaries Award of the ACIA 2016 ICT competition. The Wekebere Innovation is currently under incubation at Makerere University School of Public Health-ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) Innovation Lab www.ranlab.org.
This journey started on February 23rd 2017 during a press conference at the UCC Headquarters in Bugolobi, Kampala Uganda where Stephen received his air ticket to travel to Barcelona Spain for the MWC. The ticket was handed over to Stephen by Mr. Godfrey Mutabazi, Executive Director UCC. This event was widely shared by different Media Houses publicizing the innovation itself too.
Some of the publications can be accessed at;
The congress started on Monday March 27, 2017 with visionary keynotes and thought-provoking panel discussions focusing on Mobile Health Care in Africa. The focus was on key interventions and lessons learnt from using Mobile Health Care. The Government of Rwanda shared with participants how they have integrated and allowed collaboration between Ministry of Health and Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) and this has enabled them to front the usage of mobile solutions in health care provision or service delivery. One of the Key Note speakers included Elie Lobel, CEO from Orange Healthcare.
Later in the afternoon, Stephen also had an opportunity to participate in the session on Internet of Things (IoT) and how this is applied in solving maternal challenges.
Tuesday February 28th, 2017 was the second at the congress ‘I focused on learning new and emerging technologies in health’ shared Stephen. ‘I visited different stalls at the exhibition including participants showcasing health innovations from Korea, Israel, China among others’ added Stephen.
On Wednesday March 1st, Stephen participated in a session on 4 Years from Now (4YFN)a startup business platform of Mobile World Capital Barcelona that enables startups, investors and corporations to connect and launch new ventures together. ‘At the 4YFN session, I engaged in connecting initiatives such as custom networking activities, technical abilities workshops, congresses, and open innovation programmes exhibition with more than 2,000 companies displaying cutting-edge products and technologies’ Stephen further shared.
Benefits from participating in this Congress as shared by Stephen;
- I discovered new innovations that are emerging in health care mostly in maternal and neonatal care where Wekebere Innovation also lies and this gave me a clear understanding of how things evolve through-out the Innovation process. I also met over 600 new startups exhibiting, offering a wide and rich learning opportunity.
- I also attended the three stages session where I was inspired by the speakers such as Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia who spoke at 4YFN 2016. In this I learnt the steps and processes through which these leading figures have taken their startups from fruition to become billion dollar organizations. Wekebere Innovation is surely destined for this.
I also received real time guidance and valuable tips from expert mentors within the workshop venue on how to scale the Wekebere Innovation to market in the shortest time possible.
- It was another rich opportunity for me to join over 700 investors and corporations searching for the next big idea at the Founders & Investors area and watch the startups pitch live to the judges and audience. I learnt and picked good insights into the innovation’s Business Model and market segments from the judges.
- We also embraced this opportunity to network among the 18,000+ attendees walking through the doors to open their eyes to what the future of mobile technology holds.
- I also engaged with a large range of startup businesses and participated in several talks covering many topics including Disrupted Mobile Technologies, IoT and Digital Media.