Tech: Latest News
Global Risk Insights, 11:42 am
There has been no internet access for Cameroon’s English-speaking regions for 58 days. Many banks and ATMs are closed, plunging the regional economy into chaos. Local businesses are losing foreign contracts. Anglophone Cameroon is home to Cameroon’s growing tech scene and five of the country’s seven seaports. The internet blackout is forcing Nigerians working in the Cameroonian tech sector to return home. It may play a decisive role in the upcoming 2018 elections when President Biya seeks another term.
The Conversation, 9:16 am
Disruptive competition through technology can benefit consumers, but it also raises socioeconomic issues. Africa is no exception. There are concerns that Uber, with its first-mover advantage in the ride-sharing market, is growing into a monopoly despite the benefits to consumers. Traditional metered taxis are seeing red. In South Africa, new entrants into the ride-sharing app market have made little progress. The picture is very different in Kenya. Safaricom appears to have overcome the seemingly insurmountable first-mover position enjoyed by Uber.
Not Just Theory Anymore: Gates Foundation Funds Malarial Mosquitoes, Being Bred In Labs To Destroy Their Entire SpeciesBy Staff, 5:18 pm
In Africa, scientists are preparing to use genetics to end malaria. The Gates Foundation is exploring technology that involves altering mosquitoes so that new generations are almost all male. Male mosquitoes don’t bite people, and a population without females can’t reproduce. It’s never been done before. No one knows if a gene drive, once released into the wild, could jump to other species. Malaria is one of the greatest public health threats on the planet. If we have the power to end it, should we?
Dana Sanchez, 7:17 pm AFKI Original
500 Startups invests 70% in the U.S. The rest of its deals are in 60 other countries and the VC fund has its eyes on Africa. “We continue to look for and source deals from traditionally underrepresented ecosystems,” said 500 Startups founding partner Dave McClure. Geeks on a Plane has done 17 tours. This will be its first in Africa. “We are looking to build stronger relationships with investors on the ground, maybe even find a few startups to invest in.” 500 Startups has invested in 1,700-plus companies. The tour is a way for startups, investors, and executives to learn about high-growth tech markets.
Staff, 1:01 am
Accessing utilities in the Western world is relatively straightforward. You have an address, a bank, and a measurable credit rating. Service providers know you have credit in place to pay for the service in advance. However, if you are one of the millions of people across Africa who are unbanked, the process is not nearly as easy. Africans have been forced to find alternative solutions to solve the problem and drive innovation as they do so. By ensuring people have access to credit and services, organisations can open further access to infrastructure.
Dana Sanchez, 1:01 am
Companies expanding in Africa are helping drive the need for more warehouse space. There is a dire shortage of warehouse facilities, says global real estate consultancy Knight Frank. Scarcity of quality warehouses in Nairobi presents opportunities for investors and developers, and the largest development bank in the world is taking notice. U.S.-based IFC and the U.K.’s CDC finance group are investing up to $35 million in Nairobi warehouse development. Logistics is an often overlooked part of economic development, the CDC said.
Dana Sanchez, 1:05 am
South Africa’s metered-taxi drivers are getting their own taxi hailing app to compete with Uber, and Uber says bring it on. In their latest protest against Uber, members of the SA Metered Taxi Association on Friday blocked highways and entrances to O.R Tambo International, the country’s busiest airport. Uber says there’s enough business to go around in Africa, and it encourages the competition to use technology to access what it says are abundant economic opportunities. As the price of smartphones fall and mobile penetration rises, Uber is also looking for more opportunities to invest in Africa’s taxi-hailing industry.
Dana Sanchez, 2:00 pm
Following failure to launch in 2014, Africa now has the unique web address .africa. It’s almost five years since the African Union submitted the domain name to the governing body that establishes generic top-level domains. The .africa domain is expected to be available July 1 but the level of demand is uncertain.
Africans have been applying for years to register their preferred .africa domain names on a reserve list, on the understanding they would have first rights to it. “With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity,” said outgoing A.U. OCommission Chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Tom Jackson, 12:09 pm AFKI Original
ShowMax’s European launch is proof that its hyper-local video-on-demand concept, pioneered in Africa, has wider application, says ShowMax Africa head Chris Savides. The cost of mobile data may be the biggest factor affecting the uptake of subscription video-on-demand on the continent. A number of services have tried and failed. It’s not an easy business because it’s not just about the technology, but also about understanding customer needs and content. “It may be that your niche isn’t the type of content but how you deliver that content in a way nobody else is doing,” Savides told AFKInsider.
Mongabay, 1:34 pm
Ethiopia has failed to make the most of emission reduction projects that allow developing countries to sell certified carbon credits, a stakeholder said. Making carbon credits marketable requires time, substantial investment and resources. Even then, a prospective buyer might reject them. Proponents say the carbon trading projects can’t come soon enough. The country is losing five times more forest than it’s planting. If Ethiopia is strategic, it can sell abundant resources like water to help power industrialization, boost tourism, boost electricity generation and create a wealthy green economy. And it’s renewable.
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