Staff, 9:05 am
Law firm Baker McKenzie has released its latest quarterly Cross-border M&A Index, showing a massive drop in the number of inbound M&A deals across Africa and South Africa – but there’s a positive spin for the SA tech sector. According to the report, there were 17 inbound M&A deals in Africa in the second quarter of 2017 – a 48 percent drop from 33 deals in Q2 2016. The deal value for inbound deals amounted to $780 million, decreasing by 83% year-on-year and 88% on a quarter-by-quarter basis.
Staff, 8:32 am
“It’s still fresh in my mind, the scene of female genital mutilation,” said Purity Achieng, a 17-year-old from Kenya. Achieng was speaking n the finals of the Technovation Challenge World Pitch Summit, a competition that invites girls to come up with tech solutions to local community problems. Achieng and her team call themselves “The Restorers.” They are taking on Female Genital Mutilation or FGM. They have created an app, called i-Cut, which connects girls at risk of FGM with rescue agents.
Staff, 8:16 am
It would take more than a day to download a high definition movie of 7.5 gigabytes in countries with the slowest internet speeds. It turns out most of those countries are in Africa, data from a global broadband speed league shows. The speed gaps between various countries remains very wide as the five fastest countries have download speeds which are around 40 times faster than the five slowest. Singapore ranks as the highest while Yemen props up the list with meager average speed of 0.34 Mbps.
Staff, 9:20 am
Senegal’s tech scene has been slow to get off the ground due to a lack of qualified coders. But a locally run company is trying to change that, while also helping young people find jobs. Local tech start-ups are tackling day-to-day conveniences in the capital, Dakar. Firefly places TV screens in public buses, but has struggled to find qualified web and mobile app developers in Senegal. “They are trained in technologies we do not work with,” explains Mafal Lo, one of the co-founders of Firefly.
Staff, 8:52 am
The picture isn’t rosy. Of the STEM disciplines, tech is the only one where the participation of women has actually decreased in the last 20 years.This is due to many reasons, not the least of which is the underestimation of the entrepreneurship potential of women. She Leads Africa, a community that helps young African women achieve their professional dreams, in partnership with beauty brand, Dark & Lovely Africa, has just opened applications for the 2017 Dark & Lovely x SLA Beauty Accelerator.
Staff, 8:18 am
The IT industry is in a position to change the roles of women in the workplace and society–as new technology-enabled learning, employment, and business opportunities emerge in the digital era. We’re seeing a number of important tech trends converging: from high-speed mobile networks, to low-cost smartphones, publicly-available e-learning tools and powerful Cloud-enabled software. Today, one’s location becomes less important, as women in rural areas gain more opportunities to empower themselves.
Staff, 11:48 am
If you follow the right accounts for young African tech entrepreneurs on Twitter, it can feel like there’s a never ending debate about who gets funding or not in Africa. While many of those debates have grown, founders from one sector of the startup space have been more positive than most: fintech.Take Flutterwave, a payments company which builds infrastructure to ease processing payments across Africa, it’s raised $10 million in its Series A round. Flutterwave was co-founded by Iyin ‘E’ Aboyej.
Staff, 11:19 am
Rwandan President Paul Kagame has broken ground to begin construction on the $818m Bugesera International Airport in Rwanda. The airport is being built to handle the rising air traffic in the country, as well as bolster intraAfrican travel, investment and business. Kagame said: “Bugesera Airport is an important part of Rwanda’s strategy for socio-economic transformation. “Rwandans to whom we are accountable are used to having high expectations and trust us to deliver. This will be no different.”
Staff, 8:29 am
The Federal Government says it is embarking on Smart City project in order to leverage on technology solutions to improve efficiency of cities across the country. The minister of communication Adebayo Shittu disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the Smart Cities Nigeria Summit yesterday in Abuja. The minister said the with the development of new technological innovations–mainly ICTs–the concept of the “Smart City” has emerged as a means to achieve more efficient and sustainable cities.
Staff, 8:02 am
There are many women doing great things in tech in South Africa, making their mark with cool initiatives and strong leadership roles. Gender diversity in technology is an ongoing challenge, and women have to constantly prove their capabilities and strengths.
Here are 5 women in the ever growing fast-paced South African tech space.Barbara Mallinson is the founder and chief executive of Obami, a social learning platform being used by hundreds of schools across Africa, Europe and the United States.