INTERVIEW: Mezzanine CEO Jacques de Vos (pictured) highlighted the importance of combining internal upskilling with specialist partnerships to drive operator moves into vertical sectors including healthcare, education and agriculture.
Speaking to Mobile World Live, de Vos said Mezzanine, a Vodacom subsidiary which focuses on developing and hosting services for vertical markets in Africa, had actively looked to source partners with a deep industry knowledge to ensure new services were meeting a genuine need.
He added there was an appetite from operators on the continent to move away from sole provision of data and voice into wider sectors which enable social change, from financial inclusion technologies to healthcare innovations.
“Why is Vodacom interested in agriculture, healthcare or education? We believe we can enable change,” he said, adding it aimed to aid “social change in the continent and support governments in growing economies. And, we see it as a commercial opportunity for us as a company.”
De Vos emphasised: “We don’t have authority in Vodacom in delivering [the likes of] health services so it’s important for us to partner with in-country service providers and knowledge partners [to] make sure whatever we offer and whatever services we enable are relevant and add value.”
“It’s a combination of investing in new skills in our business, new systems, new processes, new business models and important partnerships.”
To view the full interview, which includes discussions of the privacy implications of data collection and the relative progress of Africa’s different regions to adopting digital technologies, click here.