Tom Jackson

  • 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

    bitcoin exchange 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,

  • Funding For African Tech Startups Is Snowballing In 2016

    African startups - connect African coders 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.