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.
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.
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.
Tom Jackson, 1:41 am AFKI Original
Microsoft has partnered with the Nigerian government to digitally transform service delivery to the country’s investor community. It’s important to look at this in the wider context of Microsoft’s growing involvement in the region. Promoting business and supporting the growth of cloud services are key to Microsoft’s strategy in Africa, as the company eyes the last unsaturated market on earth. Just as Google and Facebook are increasingly involved on the continent, Microsoft too is making a play to establish a long-term customer base there.
DotAfrica Goes Public July 4: Will Africans Embrace It Or Continue To ‘Be Guests On Someone Else’s Web’?By Tom Jackson, 6:41 pm AFKI Original
After years of red tape, the much-hyped DotAfrica domain will soon be available to the public. The psychological impact cannot be underestimated, said Lucky Masilela, CEO of the ZA Central Registry — the company charged in 2012 with giving Africa its own first geographic TLD. DotAfrica is not just about African pride. It’s about business. “We believe that it will increasingly make an appearance in corporate marketing communication with all the associated benefits including feet in stores and clicks on sites,” Masilela said.
Tom Jackson, 6:25 pm AFKI Original
Safaricom is future-proofing its business with innovative new products and an investment in a telecommunications lab, which will streamline innovation and testing at the Kenyan telecoms giant. It has been 10 years since Safaricom launched the M-Pesa mobile money service that is widely attributed to being the catalyst for Africa’s fintech ecosystem and having played a huge part in establishing the company as a market leader.
Tom Jackson, 10:33 pm AFKI Original
The Internet Of Things is already widespread, but people aren’t using the terminology or the platforms that bring greatest value to connectivity between devices, says Arthur Goldstuck, MD of South African tech market research firm World Wide Worx. In Africa, IoT is used primarily in vehicle tracking and telemetry — you might call them the first generation of IoT. There isn’t an industry in Africa that has not been disrupted, a stakeholder said. “All industries are moving into this digital age and are transitioning or transforming their business models. IoT is a key driver for that.”
Tom Jackson, 8:35 am AFKI Original
Fresh from tech achievements M-Pesa, iHub and Ushahidi, Kenya in 2013 launched a $14.5B project to build Konza Techno City, a large tech hub planned outside Nairobi. Four years later, funding for Kenyan tech startups is in freefall. There have been few recent notable tech success stories and Konza City seems further away than ever. Investors have been wary to put up money until they have assurances from the government on reliable low-cost energy, water, plans to limit traffic and prevent slums from being built near Konza.
Tom Jackson, 3:26 pm AFKI Original
Startups innovate much faster than mobile operators but they lack the wide reach — and customers — that more established companies have. Mobile operators and startups in emerging markets should work together because collaboration could be mutually beneficial, according to a new GSMA report — “Opening Doors: A Start-Up’s Guide to Working With Mobile Operators in Emerging Markets.” Some mobile operators are openly listing their API documentation and integration processes, and are willing to listen to startup founders.
Tom Jackson, 9:58 pm AFKI Original
TerraPay is the latest mobile payments platform to enter the crowded East African market with its launch in Tanzania. The challenge for the market lies in navigating regulatory hurdles from one country to the next, an expert said. Interoperability has the potential to unlock intra-African mobile remittances and could be key to promoting cross-border trade. It is expected to overcome challenges to scale and facilitate micro-transfers across borders, a common theme for Africa’s low-income population. Expect to see some consolidation in the market.