Tom Jackson

  • Expect More African Reverse Innovations: 4 Top Players In African Tech, On What They Know For Sure

    Expect more African reverse innovations By Tom Jackson, 9:51 am AFKI Original

    In 2017, expect more African reverse innovations that address local challenges and have global applications. Expect more drones. More Africans connected to the internet. Expect the calls for faster, cheaper internet to grow louder in 2017. Four key players in the African tech space talked to AFKInsider about what they know for sure and what they’re looking forward to in 2017: BRCK co-founder Erik Hersman, project Isizwe founder Alan Knott-Craig, Jumia co-CEO Jeremy Hodara and Ovum analyst Danson Njue.

  • 5 Things To Expect From African Tech In 2017

    By Tom Jackson, 4:42 am AFKI Original

    Another year, another milestone for the African technology space. With things developing at a rapid pace, it is hard to predict what will be the next big innovation in this exciting sector. Let’s have a go, in any case. Drones seem to have been a topic of discussion for a long time, yet in Africa we haven’t seen much of them. That is probably about to change. The continent is no longer deemed a risky place to do business, but rather digital’s “final frontier”.

  • 5 Major Developments That Shaped Africa’s Tech In 2016

    fintech distributed ledger tech By Tom Jackson, 2:01 am AFKI Original

    Africa is increasingly establishing itself as a hotbed of tech innovation, and 2016 was packed with further progress. From Cairo to Cape Town, from major players to the smallest startups, African tech is developing at a startling pace. But what were the major developments on the tech scene over the course of 2016? Increasingly, investors are seeing Africa as an opportunity rather than a risk, and the tech space in particular is proving itself able to withstand the general slowdown.

  • D Is For Drones. Drones Are For Development In Africa

    By Tom Jackson, 4:20 am AFKI Original

    Drones are, without doubt, one of the next big things of Africa’s tech revolution. Slowly but surely, they are being introduced in innovative ways to help with the continent’s development. In an interesting move, the City of Cape Town last week announced a partnership with local tech firm WeFix to use drones to spot sharks at Fish Hoek and Muizenberg beaches.

  • Why African Cities Are Striving To Be Tech Hubs

    By Tom Jackson, 4:20 am AFKI Original

    The majority of African cities are striving to be tech hubs. From Cairo to Accra, Lagos to Nairobi, Cape Town to Johannesburg, cities are striving to emulate Silicon Valley as tech hubs. Nairobi’s iHub launched with government support, and the Enterprise Kenya initiative is designed to assist local startups. In Lagos, the presidency has offered backing to tech startups, and there are a myriad of hubs.

  • Why Connectivity Is Key To African Growth

    By Tom Jackson, 6:56 am AFKI Original

    A recent McKinsey report on “digital globalisation” found flows of data and information now generate more economic value than the global trade in goods. Essentially, this means that an industry that did not exist 15 years ago is now bringing in more value to a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) than the centuries-old trade in goods. That is quite something.

  • Mapping The Tech Ecosystem At Africa’s Biggest Startup Event

    By Tom Jackson, 4:41 am AFKI Original

    Last year, the annual AfricaCom conference in Cape Town finally got serious about startups, launching the co-located AHUB event to bring together entrepreneurs, investors and other stakeholders from across the continent. The event took place for the second year last week, bigger and better, and allowing the ecosystem to join together to map the sector’s progress and discuss obstacles.

  • How Tech Can Fund Small-Scale Solar Power Plants In Africa

    Africa Solar Power By Tom Jackson, 9:55 am AFKI Original

    Around 650 million people in Africa live without access to electricity. The electrification rate is as low as 14.2 per cent in rural areas. In East Africa, only 23 per cent of Kenyans and 10.8 per cent of Rwandans have access to an electricity supply. The majority of these people as a result use costly and unhealthy forms of energy. But in the power of the sun, Africa also has the answer to this problem.

  • Will Africa’s E-Commerce Giants Ever Turn A Profit?

    By Tom Jackson, 9:29 am AFKI Original

    E-commerce in Africa is a very long-term play indeed. Aside from issues with logistics, there are also problems with online payments, which still suffer from a lack of trust, and the sheer fact Africans still prefer to shop online. Moreover, fewer than 30 per cent of Africans have internet access. The Nigerian e-commerce powerhouses, however, have their eyes on a far greater prize, and are prepared to stomach losses for a number of years.

  • How Tech Can Fix Africa’s Transportation Problems

    Africa's transport problems By Tom Jackson, 2:33 am AFKI Original

    Whereas in places like London, local transport authorities have rolled out app and web-based solutions allowing commuters to check schedules and be notified of issues, in Africa that role is falling to startups like Ma3Route and GoMetro. This is a vital role. Transport is at the heart of how people live and work, and making it affordable and accessible is key to economic success.