Tech: Latest News
Tom Jackson, 9:51 am AFKI Original
In 2017, expect more African reverse innovations that address local challenges and have global applications. Expect more drones. More Africans connected to the internet. Expect the calls for faster, cheaper internet to grow louder in 2017. Four key players in the African tech space talked to AFKInsider about what they know for sure and what they’re looking forward to in 2017: BRCK co-founder Erik Hersman, project Isizwe founder Alan Knott-Craig, Jumia co-CEO Jeremy Hodara and Ovum analyst Danson Njue.
Peter Pedroncelli, 7:46 am AFKI Original
Social media is becoming an increasingly popular medium for African soccer players and other professional sportsmen and women to interact with their fans and fellow sports personalities, with Instagram accounts gaining in popularity. At a competition such as the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), fans are even more interested to follow their sporting heroes on social media platforms such as Instagram. Here are 12 African soccer players with Instagram accounts at the 2017 AFCON.
Dana Sanchez, 4:55 pm
In Burundi, where just 5% of people have electricity, a new 7.5-megawatt solar power plant is under construction. It’s expected to add 15% power generation capacity to the East African country. The groundbreaking was held Thursday in Mubuga. The solar plant will be built on 42 acres, 65 miles from the capital of Bujumbura. Mubuga has never had electricity and is 6.8 miles away from the power grid. Its residents have depended on candles, lanterns, firewood and charcoal since time immemorial.
Dana Sanchez, 6:42 pm AFKI Original
Large numbers of Chinese migrants have followed the money to Africa, but no one really knows how many — not even close. Estimates range from 250,000 to 2 million. Experts say informed guesses are anything from speculative to “very problematic.” It’s a problem because inaccurate claims about the Chinese migrant population can contribute to xenophobic election rhetoric and violence, says a migration researcher. In many countries, statistics on migration are incomplete, out of date or nonexistent. “Statistics are political,” a stakeholder said. The data may be out of date but it’s the only data we’ve got.
Peter Pedroncelli, 8:00 am AFKI Original
African heads of state and politicians make use of social media to communicate with peers and the people which they serve. Twitter is becoming a popular short-message platform in which to connect with the masses, and Donald Trump is not the only world leader that loves to communicate with posts of under 140 characters. From South Africa to Nigeria, the high profile African heads of state tweet, retweet and reply to followers, offering their opinions on many issues while advancing their own agendas through social media. Here are 12 African heads of state who are on Twitter.
Dana Sanchez, 1:55 pm
The African tech space is not immune to the economic pressures faced by other sectors, but it is proving resilient. Significantly more African tech startups raised funding in 2016 than the previous year, but the overall amount of recorded funds declined, according to a new report. Fintech startups were the winning sector, receiving the most investor funding in Africa in 2016. The economic downturn played a part in that. Fintech in Africa is different, a stakeholder said. It’s building new infrastructure rather than disrupting an existing one.
Kurt Davis Jr., 10:56 am AFKI Original
Kenya has long been known for fantastic athletes, but not so much for entrepreneurs focused on the business of fitness. Kenya-born Saloni Kantaria Mathur ranked No. 1 in Kenyan women’s tennis and studied law in the U.S. before starting an indoor cycling studio in Nairobi. The Reform brand is unmistakably Kenyan and it’s not your average gym experience. Reform integrates live-streamed performance data tech into classes, bringing the competitive instinct into the workout. Mathur shared with AFKInsider what she learned as a female African fitness entrepreneur.
Staff, 8:15 am
Blockchain has applications in industries other than financial services, a stakeholder says. Start-ups are already offering products that cover specific use cases. Interest was intense at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Africa in Cape Town. Most of us do not understand TCP/IP protocol, but that doesn’t stop us from surfing the web and exchanging emails. In the same way, clients will come to trust blockchain the same way they trust the Internet. Organizations starting now on a blockchain journey will have a first-mover advantage.
Global Risk Insights, 12:13 pm
While the world electrification rate is roughly 84 percent, only 19 percent of the sub-Sahara Africa population is connected. The grid is unlikely to expand fast enough to satisfy demand. Pioneering business models relying on pay-as-you-go could push off-grid solar energy to reach 9 million African households by 2020. Despite the early success of off-grid solar energy access through pay-as-you-go payment models, challenges remain.
Dana Sanchez, 11:08 am
Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates invested $9 billion in Africa over the course of 15 years, and said he plans to spend another $5 billion there in the next five. The world’s richest man says Africa is proof that life is getting better for more people. His optimism is not universal. His funding of GMO research to improve crop yields and reduce famine has been controversial. Anti-GMO voices don’t deter him. Here are five reasons why Gates said he sees the glass as more than half full in Africa.
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