Africa tech

Seedstars Summit Africa to build the future of entrepreneurship with the most promising early stage

Announced in August as one of the leading regional startup events of the season, the Seedstars Summit Africa will gather the region’s top startups, investors, industry leaders, and innovative partners from over 25 countries, to foster change and sustainable growth in the region.

Seedstars, the leading emerging market startup community and investor, is launching the 5th Seedstars Summit Africa in Johannesburg on December 3rd to 5th. Concluding the 2019 Seedstars World Competition for the African region, the Summit will showcase more than 23 of the most promising startups from Africa who will pitch in front of investors and industry experts. The event is supported by Microsoft, DOEN, The German Cooperation and GIZ, The African Development Bank and the Swiss Embassy amongst others.

The event will take place at The Fox Junction and gather over 300 key stakeholders from over 25 countries in a 3-day journey that will conclude with the main stage conference, where the major technology and innovation trends of the region will be showcased and thoughtfully discussed. This year, a particular spotlight will be put on female entrepreneurship.

Traditionally, the Seedstars Summit is divided into three days. On December 3, at Tshimologong Precinct, previous to the main event, the journey will begin with an intensive private growth bootcamp for more than 46 startups. Together with mentors and experts, the participating teams will learn growth strategies, refine their business model and prepare to the pitching session in front of the investors.

It will be followed by the well known Investor Forum of Seedstars on the second day, aimed at connecting startups with regional mentors and over 60 investors. Over the morning of the 4th, more than 25 high-quality experts and founders will partake in themes sessions with panels, including Marcello Schermer (Head of Expansion at Yoco), Clyde Vacher, (founder of Interaction), Ngasuma Kanyeka, (Deputy Chief of Party, Feed the Future Tanzania Advancing Youth) and many more.

In the afternoon, influential Investors as Greentec Capital, the African Business Angel Network or Newton Partners, among others, will meet the founders in 1:1 meetings to potentially invest in the most promising ideas.

To conclude it all, the third and main day (December 5) will welcome all the participants willing to learn the latest tech trends, network and meet inspiring founders and entrepreneurs. Inspiring speakers and expert founders and CEOs of well-known African and international companies will gather, such as Jason Eisen, founder and CEO at Utu, and many more.

In the afternoon, multiple prizes and programs will be highlighted by prestigious partners of the Seedstars World Tour Africa:

DOEN Land Restoration Prize, rewarding the best tech(-enabled) solutions in the land restoration and land degradation space and enabled by the DOEN Foundation (Stichting DOEN)
The Gender Equality Entrepreneurship Track, focusing on achieving gender balance, enabled by  GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit)
The “AFDB JOB CREATION TRACK”, aiming to find startups “the potential for job creation”, enabled by the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab (IEL), created by the African Development Bank under the Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development Department (AHHD).

The ten most promising ventures will then be selected to participate in the Seedstars Summit 2020 in Lausanne, Switzerland and compete for the title of the Seedstars Global Winner. The participating teams will get a chance to pitch their idea on the main stage along with 60+ startups from all over the world and win up to USD 500 000 in equity investments.

To get updates on more event speakers and agenda, please subscribe to the event monthly digest (choose Africa a region of your interest).

According to Anne-Alice Fievet, Seedstars Summit Africa Manager, “The Seedstars Summit Africa is not just an event. It’s the completion of six months of intense work and travel in more than 25+ countries of the continent, to meet the people who are building the future of Africa today. So almost every person you’ll meet at the event was personally invited to the Summit by one of our team members on the ground, because she or he is making a difference in her/his community, either as an entrepreneur or a strong believer and supporter of the local ecosystem.”


Zain selects Ericsson for 5G in Bahrain

Zain has selected Ericsson to build its 5G network in Bahrain, with the first commercial 5G services expected to go live before the end of 2019. Spanning Ericsson 5G Radio Access Network and 5G Core products and solutions, Zain Bahrain aims to enhance the digital lives of people, enterprises and industries in the country via its 5G network.

Under the contract, Zain Bahrain’s network will be modernized from LTE to 5G. Ericsson is providing 3GPP standards-based 5G New Radio (NR) hardware and software from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio, including Massive MIMO solutions. Ericsson is also providing Ericsson Cloud Packet Core and Voice over LTE solutions. The solutions will upgrade Zain’s existing mobile networks and introduce the latest 5G technologies across the country.

Ericsson’s 5G portfolio will enable Zain Bahrain to expand coverage while simultaneously strengthening its current network. Ericsson’s high-speed and low-latency 5G technology will help Zain to meet growing data traffic demands and deliver high-quality mobile broadband and fixed wireless experiences.

Zain Bahrain Chairman, His Excellency Shaikh Ahmed bin Ali Al Khalifa, says: “This agreement marks a major milestone for both companies. Zain Bahrain is excited about the new strategic partnership with Ericsson to support, expand and speed up the deployment of the Kingdom 5G network. Zain Bahrain’s ability to provide the latest 5G revolution services comes under the continuos commitment to invest in Zain’s digitalization strategy to empower Zain Bahrain customers with solutions and services that are at the forefront of our digital future.”

His Excellency adds: “5G is expected to be the connectivity infrastructure that will foster industrial and societal transformation. It is about a network infrastructure that is easy and can be used for all sorts of different and personalized usages. It could unlock the full capabilities of the latest technology trends and become an innovation platform and an opportunity for Zain Bahrain to provide specialized network services to a series of new industry partners: from the automotive, to health to energy sectors.”

Fadi Pharaon, President of Ericsson Middle East & Africa, says: “5G promises to accelerate the digitization of industries, presenting new opportunities and enabling service providers to launch the most advanced technologies while improving the end-user experience with faster speeds and lower latency. The deployment of these technologies will enable Zain Bahrain to meet the rapidly evolving demands of consumers and accelerate deployment of new use cases and innovative services for their enterprise and industry customers.”

The 5G-ready radio access and core network infrastructure rollout strengthens the collaboration between Ericsson and Zain Bahrain. In addition to improving operational efficiency, it also enhances network capabilities for IoT applications and other potential future services.

Ericsson now has more than 70 commercial 5G agreements or contracts with unique communication service providers, of which 22 are live networks.


People’s Bank of Zanzibar successfully deploys Bank-BI® AML from Pio-Tech

Pio-Tech the leading provider of Banking Business Intelligence and Performance Management Solutions in the Middle East and East Africa announced the successful completion of Bank-BI® AML project, which went live recently at People’s Bank of Zanzibar.

Launching Pio-Tech Bank-BI® AML (Anti-Money-Laundering Compliance Solution) at PBZ bank has provided them with a holistic view of the bank’s compliance process; through monitoring customers and transactions using pre-defined scenarios, and scanning historical data, transactions, and watch-lists. Hence, identifying money laundering activities, and maintain compliant with regulatory requirements. Besides, helping compliance officers adapt to the changing regulations efficiently.

The Acting Managing Director at The People’s Bank of Zanzibar, Mrs. Khadija S Mzee, said “The solution has automated a lot of compliance team manual activities, enabled efficient due diligence process, and better decision-making. Additionally, the bank benefited from this solution in building its relationship with customers following the standards and controls recognized globally”


Under the patronage of Central Bank of Nigeria Pio-Tech sponsors Finnovex West Africa Summit

Pio-Tech, the leading provider of Banking Business Intelligence and Performance Management Solutions in the Middle East and Africa Regions, served as the Silver Sponsor of the leading summit on Financial Services Innovation and Excellence “Finnovex West Africa” held at the Lagos Continental Hotel, under the patronage of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Pio-Tech experts took part in the conference and witnessed the attendance of specialists, and experts in banking, digital transformation and customer experience, who shared and discussed the best practices prevalent in the industry. They also shed light on banking and financial services. 

Mr. Ammar Daghlas, the head of business innovations and customer experience at Pio-Tech, was invited to participate in a panel discussion titled “Future Focus – Innovation and the Financial Services System” and emphasized the significance of technology on the banking system, and focused on how to help banks to adapt the digital disruption and risks from digital revolution, by revealing machine learning, and robotics technologies that banks have to operate for sustainability.

Finnovex summit focused on the digital future of financial inclusion, digital lending, customer experience, transformation, trends and challenges in the digital-only model, blockchain of things, future of Islamic banking, and intelligence of application security. Besides, Pio-Tech stressed on demonstrating the intelligent solutions and technologies that assist in targeting future customer needs, especially in the banking area.

Paul Conway

Fuelling Growth in Maltese Aviation

2019 has seen huge growth and investment in the Maltese aviation cluster as the island moves to become a key aviation transit hub as well as a popular holiday destination.

The government has invested wisely in its aviation sector.  Their primary aim is to make Malta an attractive jurisdiction for both private and commercial aircraft registration within Europe.  Back in 2013, they kickstarted the Safi Aviation Park, which is a $20 million project to allow the aviation and aerospace industry to continue flourishing, encouraging growth.  Aviation firm SR Technics are expanding their capacity of services, investing €40 million on its new centre in Malta as part of supporting the government’s strategy.  The agreement between SR Technics and the government includes the implementation of a brand-new 30,000 square metre multi-bay hangar facility at the airport to house six narrow-body aircraft, expected to be completed by 2020. 

Almost 40 airlines are now registered in the country.  The move by Ryanair Holdings to invest in Malta Air, a start-up airline, expands its already sizable presence – the Irish airline already transports around three million customers a year and currently has six B737s based in Malta (which they plan to switch onto the Maltese register).  Ryanair aims to improve access to non-EU markets from Malta and plans to increase the size of the fleet to 10 aircraft within the next three years.  That will lead to the creation of over 350 news jobs.  In addition, Ryanair is also looking to register another 50 aircraft from France, Italy and Germany onto the Malta AOC, raising the prospect of using the island as a maintenance hub.  To illustrate the speed of growth in the sector, this news landed before the announcement that British aircraft manufacturer Britten-Norman was investing £1m to establish a local base on Malta, growing the cluster further.

These developments have created a huge demand for qualified workers.  There are already more than 1,400 people employed in the aviation industry in Malta – an increase of more than 5 per cent over the previous 12 months.  Despite the number of training schools for cabin crew, maintenance engineers, and for pilots on the island, the cluster’s growth is outstripping their ability to supply enough qualified individuals.

Having benefited from extensive government investment, it’s now over to the industry to provide the skilled individuals that are needed to support rapid expansion.

While we have been supplying workers to the aircraft maintenance sector in Malta since 2009, we’ve never had the benefit of a local presence.  Now we have invested in a permanent office in Malta International Airport.  As an aviation recruiter, we specialise in the provision of staff for the line maintenance for aircraft types and our strategy is to be present in key aviation hubs around Europe – in London Gatwick and Amsterdam Schiphol, for instance.  There’s clearly need for our services on Malta.  The skills gap presents an enormous challenge for the cluster.  The biggest shortages are currently for licensed engineers and aircraft mechanics. The growing skills shortage could hold the industry back and unfortunately, it’s only set to get worse.  It’s imperative that it’s tackled.  A lack of talent can suffocate an industry’s growth.

We think the skill shortage can be addresses via a pragmatic two-tier solution.

In the long run, the intention is to invest in the next generation of aviation professionals by working with local colleges.  They’re already producing people with the right qualifications.  But some of their graduates are finding it hard to break into the aviation industry.  They can’t get a job without experience.  They can’t get experience without a job.  It’s a Catch-22.  But Qualitair can help break that cycle.  We’ll help graduates get real-world experience off island by placing them through our client network across Europe.  When they have experience, graduates can move back to the island.  That will mean a ready supply of experienced, qualified labour augmenting the existing reservoir of green graduates.  We’re already making progress, and have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Malta College of Arts Science and Technology (MCAST) to formalise our partnership.

But you can’t produce experienced professionals overnight.

Hence, the short-term element of solution.  Initially, Qualitair is planning to facilitate the immigration of skilled professionals from our international network to Malta.  Fortunately, experience over the past ten years suggests aviation professionals find working in Malta very appealing. It’s not exactly a hard sell.  The buzzing environment, clear opportunity for growth and development – not to mention the climate – make it a very attractive opportunity. 

Combined, the two elements offer a practical, level-headed answer to the questions raised by the island’s skills crisis.

The government have now done their bit, however it’s now over to the market to meet people’s needs, and work towards building on creating a modern industrial success story, in a highly skilled industry.  We’re confident that ideas we have been brought to the Maltese aviation industry can be used as a model across the Mashriq in the future, and help boost other local economies in the region.

Our new office in Malta marks the start of an exciting journey. The goal is to match what is possible with what is required – supply with demand.  Qualitair is going to do that.

Paul Conway is Managing Director of Qualitair Aviation Malta.


Alaris Demonstrates Commitment to Middle East Channel by Hosting Partner Conference in Dubai

Alaris, a Kodak Alaris business, successfully hosted its Middle East Partner Conference October 2nd- 3rd 2019 in Dubai. 70 partners from 20 countries across the region attended the event, which was held aboard the historic Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) floating hotel and retired ocean liner.

Executives from Alaris delivered a number of informative sessions, including an overview of the company, latest insights into the future of information capture and management, the latest hardware, software and service solutions and how these could help grow revenues and profitability for partners’ businesses. One of the highlights of the event was an interactive session focusing on the value of the Alaris partner program and latest updates including the launch of a new partner portal – a one stop location for sales, marketing, competitive and training materials and other valuable resources that will help partners grow their businesses. A sales master class on generating more demand and new customers leveraging the power of social media saw strong interest from partners.

There was a dedicated session on the Alaris network scanning portfolio with a focus on the recently launched Alaris INfuse Smart Connected Scanning Solution and the Kodak Scan Station 730EX Plus Scanner that automate business processes by seamlessly connecting document capture to existing business systems and the cloud. The conference also included a ‘Solutions Expo’ where partners were given a demo of the unique capabilities and features of the company’s software portfolio including Alaris Info Input Solution.

Naji Kazak, General Manager – Middle East, Africa, Turkey & Russia at Alaris, a Kodak Alaris business said, “The Alaris Middle East Partner Conference is our flagship partner event in the region and presents our company with an opportunity to connect with our key partners to share the latest product updates and insights into our future strategy. It also gives us a chance to understand our partner’s pain points and address them.

“The event agenda and networking opportunities provide the insight and content our partners need to build a comprehensive plan to successfully grow their business with Alaris products.”

As part of the event, Alaris organized a desert safari which was a thrilling first-time experience for many of the partners. The company also hosted a gala dinner to commemorate the end of the event.

“It’s clear that the team at Alaris is committed to their partners’ success and expect that same level of commitment in return. The interactive training sessions during the partner conference ensured that we remained focused so the company’s message was properly received – no “death by PowerPoint” here!! It was a most informative event, while still keeping the crowd involved.

“It’s a pleasure to work with a vendor that gives back as much as they receive. A BIG thank you to  Alaris on the huge success of the Summit. Their efforts made every partner feel welcome and part of the Alaris family,” said Bren Miscia, Managing Director, ScanServ (Pty) Ltd.


4C Sets Up Marketing Consultancy Practice to Give Middle East Marketeers a Decisive Digital Edge

The company has appointed Salesforce veteran, Ali Saeed to lead the new division as Marketing Cloud Practice Lead for the Middle East and North Africa.

Digitalization is undoubtably a key trend in the Middle East as is evidenced by the fact that today, internet penetration in the region stands at 67.2%, compared to the global average of just 56.6%. Recognizing that this high degree of connectivity is changing consumer behaviours and placing new digital marketing demands on regional businesses, 4C, the customer-obsessed digital transformation consultancy, today announced the establishment of a dedicated Marketing Consultancy practice. The new division will be headed by Ali Saeed who joins 4C as Marketing Cloud Practice Lead for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Ali will be responsible for building the high performing professional services unit, specialized in delivering a range of marketing automation services. He will report directly to Jake Callaway, Managing Director, MENA at 4C who said, “There is a monumental shift in market dynamics in recent years, influenced largely by ease of access to digital services and smart devices. Whether it’s in the B2C or B2B space, hyper-personalized customer experiences are taking precedence. Backed by the benefit of having a well-established Marketing Cloud practice in the United Kingdom, 4C is ready to replicate this successful model and deliver an incredibly valuable and relevant offering to our Middle East customers.”

While 4C’s digital marketing consultancy services can help organizations across all verticals deliver next-level customer experiences, Ali and his team intend to initially focus on the travel, hospitality, entertainment, retail, automotive, energy, and financial sectors. As the largest independent Salesforce Platinum Partner in EMEA, 4C’s new practice will extensively leverage the Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform to enable businesses to deliver relevant, personalized journeys for their customers across channels and devices – enabling marketers to deliver the right messages to the right people via the right channel.

Ali said, “Digital marketing in the Middle East is still in its nascent stages but this is changing rapidly – driven not by businesses but rather by consumer preferences. There is a tremendous first-mover advantage for those businesses that adapt their marketing models to successfully engage the new breed of tech-savvy, digital-first customers.

“The Salesforce Marketing Cloud is the ideal platform to empower this evolution, and as the clear regional expert in this domain, 4C is ready to be the long-term partner in helping businesses efficiently and effectively navigate this transformation.”

Ali has over 12 years of experience in the Digital Marketing industry. Prior to joining 4C, he spent eight years working with Salesforce in London as a Marketing Cloud Solutions Architect & Solution Engineer. Ali has delivered successful Marketing Cloud projects for companies such as Ticketmaster, Sony PlayStation and other leading brands in the aviation, retail and software sectors. Most recently, he led the successful implementation of the Marketing Cloud platform for the iconic Atlantis, The Palm Resort in Dubai.

Pictured: Ali Saeed, the newly appointed Marketing Cloud Practice Lead, MENA at 4C.

cyber security

Etisalat Digital & SonicWall Partnership Delivers Network Security to SMBs

SonicWall has announced that Etisalat Digital has productized SonicWall technology in its ‘Business QuickStart (BQS)’ broadband bundle for SMBs, offering telco-grade network security with a zero-touch installation feature.

The industry pioneers’ combined efforts have resulted in protecting thousands of SMBs as they work to address the increasing demand for proven security solutions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other regions supported by the Etisalat Group.

SonicWall has been defending small and medium businesses, enterprises and government agencies worldwide for almost three decades against cyber attacks. Whilst Etisalat Digital drives digital transformation by enabling enterprises and governments become smarter through the use of the latest technologies like Cloud, Cyber Security, Internet of Things (IoT), Omnichannel, Artificial Intelligence, and Big Data & Analytics. 

“Security is no longer a luxury but a necessity that business owners must have in place,” said SonicWall President and CEO Bill Conner.

“We set out to partner with a company that is as equally dedicated to providing growing businesses with the capability to protect themselves against even the most elusive of threats and have found that in Etisalat Digital. Working together, we are changing the way business owners in the Middle East meet their security needs.”

Etisalat Digital is offering the SonicWall next-generation firewall with Comprehensive Gateway Security Suite which provides advanced protection and access to the SonicWall Capture Security Center, a scalable cloud security management system, provides visibility and control across platforms through a single-pane-of-glass while simultaneously delivering threat intelligence and analytics.

“In today’s landscape it is imperative that businesses have holistic security programs where modern day threats are detected and appropriate defense mechanisms are enforced,” said Kamran Ahsan, Senior Director of Security Solutions at Etisalat Digital.

“Our partnership with SonicWall offers such defenses at the network level for SMBs in a cost-effective bundle. Security should not be viewed as a financial burden especially to SMBs which have been a prime target of sophisticated attacks for quite a while.”


Mindware launches Microsoft Azure Marketplace: A seamless partner experience enabling their journey

Mindware, one of the leading Value Added Distributors (VAD’s) in the Middle East and Africa, announced the launch of its new cloud Marketplace today. Offering superior transactional experience to the channel community as well as a wide variety of cloud solutions and services, the Mindware Marketplace will increase cloud adoption for partners and their customers.

The new Marketplace which is hosted on Microsoft Azure, will, in addition to making cloud services purchase easy and intuitive, offer Mindware’s regional partners the ability to set up and manage their own “white labeled storefront”, thereby offering cloud solutions directly to end-customers.

Vijay Kumar, CTO and cloud Director at Mindware said, “There has been an acceleration in cloud adoption in the region as a result of major cloud service providers such as Microsoft establishing physical data centers in the Middle East.

“Organizations are more comfortable with consuming these services now that data sovereignty and security matters are no longer a concern. As a leading regional distributor and in line with our ‘partner experience first’ philosophy, we realized the need to offer a feature-rich platform to enable our partners to develop their capabilities and offerings and to take their business to the next level.”

“We’re transforming the way our partners define their growth, and we’re helping them drive digital transformation in their customers’ businesses. Mindware is a great example of how partners are differentiating themselves today and recognizing the changing digital technology to solve problems utilizing cloud computing.There is a huge opportunity around cloud migration and together with our partners, our goal is to help our customers find the right solution at the right time,” said Karim Hanafy, Microsoft Area Services Partners Lead, One Commercial Partner – Middle East & Africa.

The new marketplace, which can be custom-branded by partners, has several new and enhanced capabilities including a robust and customizable billing engine, which allows partners to easily automate ordering and billing the entire Microsoft portfolio including Office 365, Microsoft Azure and Microsoft ESD. Partners can monitor and control their customers’ Microsoft Azure consumption with automated provisioning of cloud services and utilization-based billing.

The Marketplace will allow partners to deliver hosted Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings via the platform. The interface is intuitive and helps partners to place orders faster and it offers recommendations when products are being purchased to provide an optimized solution.

Mindware has more than 2 decades of product, technical and licensing expertise as an Authorised Microsoft Distributor and collaborates with qualified cloud consultants throughout the region.


Pio-Tech and Huawei partner to launch Bank-BI® on Huawei Platform

Pio-Tech, a System Integrator, and Business Solutions Provider announced a new partnership with Huawei. The new partnership will bring growth and innovation in banking and financial industry by enabling Pio-Tech to run its exhaustive business solution Bank-BI®, on Huawei “GaussDB Distributed Database platform, and Huawei cloud platform”. This will offer banks smarter banking and better performance.

Both parties have shared visions for collaboration to build innovation, and guide banks towards business growth. They will offer cost-effective, intelligent solutions with massive parallel processing (MMP) architecture, suitable for banks to make more informed timely decisions. As well as, higher performance, availability, and more computing power.

Engineer John Waweru, Chairman of Pio-Tech East Africa, Commented: “This partnership marks Pio-Tech continuous commitment to providing bankers with the best specialist support, along with Performance Accelerator Platform, Business Intelligence Solution that provides advanced capabilities for data modeling, reporting, query, analysis and advanced analytics power by Artificial Intelligence/machine learning utilizing data from disparate sources of which empower users with information for enhanced proactive decision-making”.

 “Huawei is committed to providing customers with stable, reliable, scalable, and high-performance financial ICT platforms. The cooperation between Huawei GaussDB and Pio-Tech banking BI applications helps bank customers cope with massive business data (PB-level) easily in the future, helping to get more value from their data, achieve better and faster development of banking services.” said Mr. Andy Luo, the Representative of Kenya Enterprise Solution (Southern Africa Region).

Abu Dhabi

Etihad engineering to host redcabin ‘digital toolsets for airlines and MRO’ summit

• Hosted by Etihad Engineering, the summit takes place from 12th – 13th November at the Michelberger Hotel in Berlin, Germany

• Features keynote speeches and interactive workshops from Etihad Airways, Air France Industries and KLM Engineering & Maintenance, Qatar Airways and Norwegian

Aviation summit specialist, RedCabin, has announced its Digital Toolsets for Airlines and MRO Summit will take place 12th – 13th November at the Michelberger Hotel in Berlin.

Following the success of past summits in cooperation with Etihad Engineering, RedCabin will continue the discussion around key challenges in creating a digital framework and toolset that supports airlines – bringing together the industry’s elite to create a forum for open collaboration and to evaluate the growing impact of digital technologies in aviation engineering.

The summit will feature RedCabin’s renowned interactive working groups, speed networking and panel discussions with senior executives from the world’s leading airlines, MROs, aircraft manufacturers and suppliers.

The airline industry is 24/7 and has to be resilient to ever-changing passenger demands while being cost-effective; predictive maintenance aboard aircraft is transforming the speed at which operators can respond to and fix faulty equipment; the strengthening of on-board digital networks is making airlines more resilient to cyber-attacks; Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reshaping the on-board passenger experience; and new applications in collision detection and avoidance are making aircraft safer for passengers.

The Digital Toolsets for Airlines and MRO Summit will feature

• Digital transformation- examining the big picture of new technologies and their impact on aircraft operation
• The rise of data- how data sharing and digitally enabled collaboration are reshaping the aviation industry
• Airline innovation- discussing the importance of digital transformation and the use of artificial intelligence
• Operator hotspots- identifying the challenges faced by airlines during the MRO process and how digital tools can provide solutions
• Predictive maintenance panel- discussing the value of predictive analytics for airlines, MROs, OEMs and suppliers
• Crisis response- interactive workshop focussed on crisis management using digital toolsets

Attending this year’s conference are senior level personnel from airlines including Etihad Airways, Air France Industries and KLM Engineering & Maintenance, Norwegian and Qatar Airways – as well as world-leading aviation innovators Airbus, Lufthansa Technik, German Aerospace Center (DLR), LISA Group GmbH, TAP Maintenance and Engineering, Vueling and Cranfield University.

Monica Wick, founder and CEO at RedCabin commented-“Regardless of the size or type of aircraft being operated – whether a flight is international or domestic – we should all help create a digital toolset that enables airlines to operate more effectively. Advancements in digital technologies have improved maintenance routines and on-board passenger experiences.

“By coming together to discuss how to improve the MRO process for the entire industry, we hope to share ideas and find new ways to use technology to overcome engineering challenges. Our summit is founded around open, honest discussions, allowing the biggest figures in aviation to come together and find solutions that will push forward aircraft performance and efficiency.

“I would also like to give a special thank you to our summit sponsor Lisa Group GmbH. Their invaluable support ensures RedCabin can continue to drive innovation in the MRO sector.”


Strong tailwinds power Kuwaiti ETF following S&P reclassification

HANetf, Europe’s first independent ‘white label’ UCITS ETF issuer expects tailwinds to remain strong in Kuwait following Standard & Poor’s decision to add Kuwait to its Global and Emerging Benchmark indices.

This is expected to generate an estimated $2 billion of passive inflows, helping to intensify investor appetite in the Gulf country.

Additionally, the MSCI is likely to confirm Kuwait’s upgrade to ‘Emerging’ in December 2019, resulting in a further $10 billion of passive and active flows expected in early 2020.

Strong economic fundamentals along with the change in classificationare reflecting improvements in the Kuwaiti capital market infrastructure, operations and foreign investor accessibility, which have been implemented by the Kuwaiti Stock Exchange and local regulators. The country is currently in the middle of an extensive long-term economic diversification programme – “Vision 2035”, designed to encourage foreign investment and reduce dependency on oil revenues.

The KMEFIC FTSE Kuwait Equity UCITS ETF (KUW8) recently underwent its quarterly rebalance, with Burgan Bank and Kuwait Investment Projects Co added. Both securities passed the required liquidity screening to qualify for inclusion into the index. There were zero deletions to the index.

Hector McNeil, co-CEO of HANetf, said: “Kuwait is truly a frontier market success story. Economic reform, diversification of the economy and massive investment has seen strong underlying fundamentals.

“The most recent upgrade by S&P will see further inflows into the local market quickly followed by the expected MSCI confirmation. Global investors have quickly adopted KUW8 as their preferred way to access Kuwait equities and it has been the fastest growing ETF on the HANetf platform year to date. Given KUW8 is the only such ETF in the World we expect significant future growth.”

The KMEFIC FTSE Kuwait Equity UCITS ETF (KUW8) was launched on the London Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana and XETRA via the HANetf white-label platform in April 2019, with Kuwait & Middle East Financial Investment Company as sponsor.

Tracking the FTSE Kuwait All-Cap 15% Capped Index, the KMEFIC FTSE Kuwait Equity UCITS ETF (KUW8) enables investors to gain exposure to large, mid and small cap Kuwaiti equities, with high exposure to the capitalist elements of Kuwait’s economy.