Tom Jackson

  • Why African Cities Are Striving To Be Tech Hubs

    digital startups 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.

  • African Governments Meddling In Tech Sector Could Hurt Growth

    By Tom Jackson, 4:27 am AFKI Original

    Far too many times over the last few months we have seen African governments meddle in the continent’s tech sector. The risk is that this undue involvement will curtail the growth of what is currently Africa’s most buoyant sector. The Kenyan government was the latest to get active in tackling tech last week, backing legislation that will regulate content of gaming applications, video on demand (VoD) companies and over the top (OTT) services.

  • Why African E-health Companies Are Becoming World Leaders

    By Tom Jackson, 4:59 am AFKI Original

    Last month’s Frost & Sullivan report, Enabling eHealth Technology in South Africa, Kenya and Ghana, painted a glowing picture of the e-health space on the continent. From telecoms to startups, many firms are capitalising on the increasing advancements in ICT to improve healthcare delivery, with South Africa, Kenya and Ghana ahead of the game. “The total eHealth market for South Africa, Kenya and Ghana is in a nascent stage with expectations of high long-term growth,”

  • Universities Are Key To A ‘Silicon Africa’

    By Tom Jackson, 4:36 am AFKI Original

    With their links to industry, access to research, and top drawer facilities, universities can be a catalyst to a Silicon Africa. This is not something that has been the case too often, thus far at least. But, in certain cases, such as the C4DLab at the University of Nairobi and the LaunchLab at Stellenbosch University, universities are realizing they have an important part to play

  • Africa Proving Bitcoin Is So Much More Than Just Remittances

    By Tom Jackson, 7:17 am AFKI Original

    Just because individual Africans couldn’t get their heads round using bitcoin to send money, doesn’t mean it has no useful application on the continent and globally. Just last week, Barclays Africa was at the centre of the major development in blockchain technology that could change the way international trade is conducted. Alongside Barclays UK and Israeli tech startup Wave, a graduate from the Barclays Accelerator in New York,