Tom Jackson

  • African Startups Modernizing The Legal Profession Through Tech

    The legal profession is beginning to get a tech makeover in Africa. Photo - National Society for Legal Tech By Tom Jackson, 1:11 am AFKI Original

    Technology has not pervaded the legal profession as it has other industries, especially in Africa, where issues with access and affordability remain. There are a small number of African legal-tech startups – backed by international organisations – that are looking to propel that change with the use of technology. From South Africa to Nigeria, the legal profession is in the process of getting a tech boost.

  • Africa Responding To Need For Dedicated Skills In The Fintech Space

    Institutions in Africa are now offering programs that teach fintech skills. Photo - Student Brands - Fintech space By Tom Jackson, 1:52 am AFKI Original

    Finding skilled workers is a major barrier to the development of Africa’s fintech space, which is catering to a large unbanked African population through mobile and other avenues, but the market is slowly responding. The University of Cape Town recently became the first university in Africa to offer a specialized fintech degree, and other ed-tech and related startups have come to the party in an effort to fill the fintech skills gap.

  • Opinion: Rwanda Is East Africa’s New Tech Development Star, Kenya Falling Behind

    Rwanda has been recognized for its tech development efforts. Photo - The New Times By Tom Jackson, 10:49 am AFKI Original

    While both Kenya and Rwanda admit to the importance of tech development in spurring economic success, the countries have two different approaches. Kenya’s tech development has stalled, mostly on President Kenyatta’s watch, and the government needs to match its rhetoric with action if it is to get it going again. In contrast, Rwanda is earning a reputation as a test kitchen for startups, and a recent report placed the country first in government success in ICT promotion.

  • African Fintech Solutions Succeed Due To Nonexistent Banking Infrastructure

    M-Pesa is a fintech success story in Africa. Photo - Quartz By Tom Jackson, 6:13 am AFKI Original

    While fintech solutions in other parts of the world have not produced consistent success, Africa’s lack of banking penetration has opened up possibilities for fintech startups to serve a mobile-first population. This track record of innovation is resulting in increased funding for African fintech startups, while of all the sub-sectors within Africa’s tech space it has also proven the most likely in terms of exits.

  • Venture Capital Firms Are Flooding Back To North Africa

    North Africa - Instabug raises $1.7M in investment to continue growth. Photo - TechCrunch By Tom Jackson, 3:00 am AFKI Original

    The tech scene in North Africa is booming once again, with investors interested in backing startups across Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. Venture capital firms are flooding back into Egypt, from 500 Startups to the IFC to Algebra Ventures, and after years of being denied access to funds, Egyptian tech startups are now swimming in them again. The story is equally positive for Morocco and Tunisia, and the region’s tech future looks bright once again.

  • Initial Coin Offerings Provide Opportunities For Investors, But Caution Is Advised

    South African entrepreneur Vinny Lingham raised $33 million with an initial coin offering. Photo - CoinTelegraph By Tom Jackson, 1:36 pm AFKI Original

    Initial coin offerings are when a creator of a digital currency makes coins available for public purchase to raise money for a project. This is what South African Vinny Lingham recently did, raising $33 million in an initial coin offering run by his U.S.-based company Civic, which is building a digital identity verification platform. There are opportunities for investors in this space, but perils remain.

  • Africa Has World’s Lowest Commitment To Cybersecurity. Kenya’s Safaricom Wants To Change That

    A focus on cyber security by governments is a must. Photo - SourceSecurity By Tom Jackson, 6:55 pm AFKI Original

    Africa as a continent must do better with regards to cybersecurity. With cybercrime on the increase globally, and recent major attacks such as WannaCry, more must be done to secure cyberspace in the continent that has been especially poor at doing so. According to the recent 2017 Global Cybersecurity Index, only two countries on the continent – Mauritius and Egypt – are in the leading stage of demonstrating high commitment to cybersecurity.

  • Silicon Valley-Style Sexual Harassment Undermining Silicon Savannah

    Sexual harassment seems to be on the rise in Kenya's Silicon Savannah. Photo: KenyaForum By Tom Jackson, 1:15 am AFKI Original

    Some of the most prominent Silicon Valley individuals and companies are caught up in sexual harassment scandals, but their story is somewhat echoed in other parts of the world, with individuals within Kenya’s tech ecosystem also experiencing sexism and unwanted sexual advances. The poor response has raised questions about the African tech community in general’s attitude towards women in the workplace.

  • African Tech Hubs Struggle for Sustainability While Revolutionizing Startup Culture

    digital startups - African tech hubs By Tom Jackson, 8:41 am AFKI Original

    African tech hubs play a crucial role in the business development of tech startups, but many of them are struggling for sustainability. Hubs must understand the local ecosystem within which they operate, as well as the needs of their customer startups, keeping in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all approach that works perfectly for all tech hubs on the African continent.

  • Why Entrepreneurs Are Missing Out On Africa’s ‘Hidden’ Informal Markets

    The informal sector holds great promise in Africa. Photo - M&G - informal markets By Tom Jackson, 3:38 pm AFKI Original

    Informal markets represent an incredible opportunity in Africa. In Zambia, for example, the informal sector accounts for 90 percent of employment, and represents well over one million informal businesses. Key areas that need exploring are agribusiness, textiles, timber and forestry, as there are huge opportunities to disrupt smallholder enterprise systems and introduce innovative concepts that can be sustainable and profitable.