Africa is a continent of great opportunity and potential, but as a whole, the continent needs to work to become more globally competitive for the benefit of industries such as tech to truly thrive. Africa competes for foreign direct investment with other emerging markets such as Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Africa needs to address a number of key issues in order to rival their main competitors in the market and carve out a competitive landscape that will attract foreign direct investment. Africa’s average competitiveness ranking is 21 percent compared to Latin America and The Caribbean’s average ranking of 40 percent, and Asia’s average ranking of 57 percent.
Business: Latest News
Kurt Davis Jr., 1:32 pm AFKI Original
It is surprising how many business people assume Africa is behind the times in technology. Infrastructure may be a problem…but technology is a different story, and in fact, innovation and active appreciation for the wonders of technology are present throughout the continent. Sub-Saharan Africa, in many instances, can make a Western business person feel like they underuse their mobile phone…or simply feel behind the times when they do not know how to use M-Pesa.
Peter Pedroncelli, 6:15 am
While wearable tech is all the rage across the globe, Africa is not being left behind, with first quarter data showing impressive growth for the African region, alongside the Middle East. Wearable devices such as the Samsung Gear and Apple iWatch have gained traction in Africa, and the latest figures compiled by the International Data Corporation show an upward trend for the fashionable and functional accessories. The International Data Corporation’s Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker for the first three months of 2017 illustrates that shipments of wearables were up 30.2 percent year-on-year.
Peter Pedroncelli, 5:08 am
Nigerian fintech startup NetPlus has worked in partnership with global payments giant Mastercard to develop an e-commerce solution that provides the Nigerian and wider African markets with more cashless payment options. The e-commerce sector in Nigeria and most of Africa is held back by the fact that cash is still widely used, but this partnership aims to address that and make a cashless consumer culture more attainable in the region.
Peter Pedroncelli, 9:26 am
The winners of the Facebook First Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge were announced this week, with submissions from Egypt doing very well. Egyptians featured prominently among the winners and runners-up of the three categories, as did Morocco. A total of 60 finalists from 64 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region were considered for the eventual winner’s prize, which included $20,000 in addition to three months of Facebook mentorship.
Peter Pedroncelli, 3:00 am AFKI Original
African tech innovators create jobs while finding solutions to modern African problems, and they deserve to be celebrated for the important role they play in society. Twitter has become a popular short-message platform in which to connect with the masses, and African innovators, along with the wider audience on the continent, have adopted the social media platform via mobile and desktop. Here are 12 African tech innovators who are worth following on Twitter.
Kurt Davis Jr., 12:06 pm AFKI Original
The African continent will continue to experience major urban development in the coming decades. Such urban development requires improved mass transport and freight-moving systems to support the population growth. Some urban planners even argue that mass transport networks are central to cities’ ability to control the expansion and better manage property development, while reducing travel times and boosting land values.
Peter Pedroncelli, 8:47 am
The new dotAafrca top-level internet domain appears to be very popular among trademark owners, as it has attracted just short of a thousand registrations during the initial registrations period, known as the sunrise phase. The top-level domain has been through its sunrise phase, is now in its landrush phase, and will be available to the general public from July 4, but already dotAfrica is showing why it has been much-anticipated. The heavy initial interest in the dotAfrica domain places it in the top 10 worldwide for the number of domain name reservations during the sunrise phase of a launch process.
Peter Pedroncelli, 6:17 am
Mobile phone sales across the African continent fell during in the first quarter of 2017 in comparison with the fourth quarter of last year, but East Africa still remained in positive growth territory. Overall shipments of mobile phones to Africa in the first quarter amounted to around 54,5 million units, which represents a decrease of 8,2 percent versus fourth quarter data for 2016. A sharp decline in smartphone sales, which were previously growing consistently, contributed to the first quarter growth negativity, with a staggering 17,6 percent decline in the smartphone segment for the first three months of the year
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.
Staff, 8:13 pm
In Mali, where skin conditions are widespread and skin doctors are scarce, physicians have turned to a new app to treat patients remotely. From his Bamako office, Professor Ousmane Faye, one of a small number of dermatologists in Mali, examines photos of an arm and a torso afflicted by a skin disorder. The photos arrived the same day the patient visited his doctor in Koulikoro, 35 miles away. Faye’s program lets general practitioners in even the most remote areas to consult with a specialist.
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