Tom Jackson

  • Funding For African Tech Startups Is Snowballing In 2016

    African startups By Tom Jackson, 3:32 am AFKI Original

    The African tech space continues to buck the continental trend, clocking up an increase in funding as other sectors face less certain economic times. Last year, according to a report by Disrupt Africa, over 120 African tech startups received a total of $185.7 million in funding. This year looks set to be another bumper year, if notable rounds for the likes of South Africa’s WhereIsMyTransport and Zimbabwe’s Esaja in the last few weeks are anything to go by.

  • 5 Reasons Why Mark Zuckerberg’s Visit To Africa Was Important

    Zuckerberg’s Visit To Africa By Tom Jackson, 2:27 am AFKI Original

    Zuckerberg’s visit to Sub-Saharan Africa, though not having his holiday snaps at hand from the last few years I cannot confirm whether he has, say, sat on a beach in Zanzibar or been to the top of Table Mountain in the past. Startup-land went doolally as the Facebook boss – the seventh richest man in the world – hung out with entrepreneurs and developers at the Lagos Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB) and the iHub in Nairobi,

  • How One Startup Is Helping Nigerians Get Loans Using Their Social Media Profiles

    By Tom Jackson, 4:58 am

    Traditional banking in Africa has failed – 80% of the continent’s 1.2 billion people do not have a bank account or access to formal financial services. So mobiles and web-based services are stepping in to fill the gap. But there is much more to Africa’s financial services story than M-Pesa, the wildly successful mobile banking platform launched in Kenya and Tanzania in 2007. For example, Nigeria’s Social Lender looks at borrowers’ social media profiles to assess their creditworthiness.

  • 7 Universities Backing African Tech Startups

    African Tech Startups By Tom Jackson, 5:14 am

    African universities are increasingly playing a part in encouraging student-led tech startups, in the hope that young people can become job creators. These new initiatives across the continent are replicating successful models from abroad, such as the US knowledge regions of Route 128 – which developed around MIT – and the renowned Silicon Valley, which developed around Stanford University. University incubators and initiatives have can have enormous benefits for a startup

  • The Tech Giants Trying To Steal African Startups’ Lunches

    African startups By Tom Jackson, 9:29 am

    There cannot be a more stunning validation of your startup idea than it being pinched by an Apple or Google. OK, so massive companies aren’t targeting African startups specifically, and there is no suggestion ideas are being stolen. But there are a number of big players threatening to steal the lunches of African innovators. Will they succeed?

  • Connected East Africa: Kenya Leads In Public Service Automation

    By Tom Jackson, 5:29 am AFKI Original

    Connected East Africa is perhaps testament to the level of frenetic tech activity in Nairobi, Kenya, that once each year the entirety of the city’s tech stakeholders decamps to the coast to restock, though the ocean and the perfect golf courses also provide a draw. Yet this year’s the event did consider in detail what the country has already achieved, and what it hopes to do over the course of the next year.

  • African Women In Tech: Stop The Labeling! We Are Entrepreneurs Too

    African Women In tech By Tom Jackson, 3:56 am AFKI Original

    The dialogue around female tech entrepreneurs in Africa needs to change from usage of belittling terms such as “mompreneur” to focusing on promoting positive role models for others, according to female leaders in the sector. Though prominent female tech leaders do not object to discussion of the issues surrounding women in tech, in many cases the tone of the conversation is demeaning and patronizing.

  • Amanda Spann: Africa Cannot Afford To Miss On The Digital Revolution

    By Tom Jackson, 3:55 am AFKI Original

    Having run BRANDSPANpr, an innovation identity agency, and served as co-founder and chief marketing officer of tech social enterprise Blerdology, she is well versed in the needs to the tech ecosystem. Now Amanda Spann is putting her skills to even better use, as communications and marketing director for IBM Cloud Computing and co-founder of tiphub.

  • African Women In Tech: Must We Prove Ourselves Equals?

    Women In Tech By Tom Jackson, 8:28 am AFKI Original

    Njeri Wangari is an entrepreneur with a strong background in tech, but in spite of the success of her company AfroKidz she still feels like she must prove herself over and over again to her male compatriots. Wangari’s company developed Safari Tales, an educational and entertainment app which has gained huge popularity and featured prominently in a number of startup competitions.

  • Beyond Banking: Africa’s March To Financial Inclusion Is On

    By Tom Jackson, 7:35 am AFKI Original

    It is not easy or even possible to see 100 percent of Africans formally banked within the next 15 years, but what seems clear is that through a number of different initiatives more Africans than ever before will be able to access some form of financial services. Movements have been afoot for a few years though – both governmental and private sector – to reduce this dependence on cash and bring the continent more into the formal banking fold.