AfricaCom, the continent's largest and most influential technology, media and telecoms conference and exhibition, is adding a Technology Arena to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the event, which this year takes place in Cape Town from 7 to 9 November 2017.

The Technology Arena, which will be located in the new extension of the CTICC (Cape Town International Convention Centre), will host: AfricaCom 20/20, an interactive space where developers will demonstrate their latest innovations and discuss emerging technology trends; an Innovation Stage; the AHUB (where startups and investors come together); and the TV Connect Africa event track.

The Technology Arena is just part of the overall three-day event, which offers multiple networking opportunities, exhibitions halls and numerous conference tracks focused on the most important digital communications and technology trends impacting Africa's digital architects.

Plans for the Technology Arena were announced at an AfricaCom 2017 launch event in held in Johannesburg, South Africa on July 12. Invited guests were presented with highlights of the upcoming event and treated to a panel discussion that focused on the upcoming opportunities and challenges facing the AfricaCom community. Participating in the panel discussion were: Manny Teixeira, Group Head of Digital Media and Services at MTN; Luke Mckend, Country Director at Google South Africa; Elizabeth Migwalla, Senior Director, Government Affairs-Africa, at Qualcomm International; Rapelang Rabana, founder and CEO of Rekindle Learning; and Gustav Praekelt, founder of Praekelt Consulting and the Praekelt Foundation, who led the debate.

"2017 is a landmark for AfricaCom," noted Tom Cuthell, Portfolio Director at KNect365, which organizes and runs the event. "Over the past two decades, we have grown from being a purely telecommunications-focused event, to a broad digital communications show now hosting the foremost group of influencers involved in every aspect of the African digital ecosystem," he added.

This year's event will host more than 400 exhibitors and feature more than 400 industry specialist speakers, who will provide insights and updates during 16 conference tracks that will focus on topics such as mobile broadband/4G, SDN and NFV, mobile finance and eCommerce, enterprise ICT, IoT, digital inclusion, digital media and more.

For more about AfricaCom 2017, see the event website.