Keynote speaker

Toby Shapshak

Editor-in-chief and publisher, Stuff Magazine

Toby Shapshak, Editor-in-chief and publisher, Stuff Magazine

Toby Shapshak is editor-in-chief and publisher of Stuff South Africa, a contributor to Forbes and a columnist for the Financial Mail. His TED talk on innovation in Africa has over 1.4 million views. He believes Africa is a mobile-driven continent, about which he has written for CNN, The Guardian, in London, and for Forbes.

Shapshak has been featured in the New York Times and has won the ICT Journalist of the Year. He was named in GQ's top 30 men in media and the Mail & Guardian newspaper's 300 influential young South Africans list. GQ said he "has become the most high-profile technology journalist in the country". As a news and political journalist, he ran Mail & Guardian newspaper’s Web site when it was the first news site in Africa, shadowed Nelson Mandela when he was president, and covered the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Toby Shapshak will be speaking on the following topic:

Tech update: How innovation is better in Africa

Africa's unique problems have resulted in a unique brand of innovation out of necessity, often using mobile phones. Africa's innovative spirit has produced mobile payment systems like M-Pesa (through which $148 million a day or 40% of Kenya's GDP is transacted) and other ground-breaking inventions. And, while solving these problems for itself, it will benefit the rest of the world. Africa is not just mobile-first; it is a mobile-only continent.

  • Innovation is better in Africa because it's solving real problems
  • Africa's solutions can benefit the rest of the world because they work in the harshest environments