Tech: Latest News
Tom Jackson, 12:55 pm AFKI Original
U.S. firms are suspicious of non-homegrown products, whereas Germany had a more positive view of Africa, says a South African fintech manager. “No technology product, no matter how cool, sells itself,” she said. The CEO of an African blockchain startup hopes to start doing business in Hollywood and Bollywood. He encourages new startups expanding internationally to “develop the narrative around their product, unique value proposition, back story, and successes.”
Born In Caribbean, Educated In Boston, Startup In Nairobi: All Roads Led To Africa’s Mobile RevolutionBy Dana Sanchez, 9:15 pm
In the MIT lab, Kenfield Griffith thought he was going to solve the world’s problems. Then he arrived in Kenya and stood in Nairobi’s Kibera slum. “I looked around and said to myself that even if I was Bill Gates, I wouldn’t know what to do,” he said. Griffith put his faith in mobile phones, and prevailed. In 2016, his Nairobi startup, mSurvey, closed its seed funding round led by investments from Safaricom, Silicon Valley’s Cross Culture Ventures, and a Caribbean angels group backed by Richard Branson.
Dana Sanchez, 11:11 am
Facebook wants to connect everyone in the world with its social network, but that’s hard to do if the world doesn’t have internet access. Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are building their own networking infrastructure on land and across the seas rather than just leasing bandwidth connections operated by telecoms. In doing so they’re assuming a role traditionally played by telecom companies. Facebook has announced plans to lay nearly 500 miles of fiber cable in Uganda by the end of the year, infrastructure it believes will provide internet access for more than 3 million people.
Peter Pedroncelli, 3:20 am AFKI Original
Africa loves soccer, and the popularity of the sport has inevitably attracted soccer sponsors that provide funds in the form of sponsorship deals to be associated with the various competitions taking place around the continent. These global and local brands are important to the development of the sport, ensuring that the most popular brands on the continent are associated with the regional and continental competitions that command the most attention and support from fans. We take a look at 12 soccer sponsors that are involved in sponsorship of the beautiful game on the African continent.
Tom Jackson, 2:19 pm AFKI Original
Just 2% of retail transactions in Africa are electronic. Cash is still king and small transactions — less than $2 — have hindered the growth of mobile money outside of its Kenyan heartland. The value of M-Pesa and similar services is questionable for Africans living on just a few dollars a day. The average M-Pesa transaction value is closer to US$30. It’s unsustainable for agents to serve lower-income segments. They can’t afford to get down to the level of very small transactions, limiting the effect of mobile money on the bottom of the pyramid.
Dana Sanchez, 11:27 am
Five winning African tech startups are in Silicon Valley competing with others from around the world and hopefully attracting venture capital. A lot of them are self-taught and lack formal training in venture creation and digital entrepreneurship, an event manager said. “They have built companies on binary codes and learned new skills through the mobile internet. If a Silicon Valley technology event is live streamed across the world, there are African entrepreneurs huddled somewhere, watching it and consuming every panel, consuming every fireside chat, taking notes, and then applying those notes to their local context.”
Peter Pedroncelli, 7:40 am AFKI Original
The rich will pay more tax. That’s one of the most riveting things to come out of South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s 2017 budget speech. Income tax increases across the board did not materialise, but wealthy South Africans will be taxed at a higher bracket. Taxpayers earning more than $115,000 a year will pay a 45% tax rate. Around 100,000 taxpayers will be affected. Investors and global credit agencies were keen to hear Gordhan’s speech — his second one in his second stint as finance minister. Here is a closer look at 12 things you should know about the 2016 South African budget speech.
Dana Sanchez, 2:43 pm AFKI Original
South Africa is invariably cited in discussions about jobless rates in Africa, but two thirds of African countries have higher unemployment. Africa is witnessing its best growth performance in decades, yet the world’s youngest continent, demographically speaking, continues to have high unemployment with few signs of recovery in 2017. High unemployment is a key factor shaping young people’s decisions to migrate. The continent’s youth population is expected to double to 830 million by 2050.
Kurt Davis Jr., 1:00 am AFKI Original
The number of urban Africans almost doubled between 1995 and 2015 and is expected to double again by 2035. Rapid growth is driving the African phenomenon of the megacity — an urban area with a population of at least 10 million. Megacities have economic benefits – economies of scale, innovation, clusters of skilled labor, and higher incomes. But they also struggle with congested slums, unemployment and out-of-control traffic. More than 50 percent of the African urban population lives in slums.
Staff, 1:01 am
Emerging markets such as Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa are expected to grow twice as fast as advanced economies as technology improves productivity. SA and Nigeria are among the few countries expected to see a marked acceleration of annual average growth over the next few decades. However, PwC warns that to support this long-term sustainable growth, the countries need to diversify their exports to ensure their growth is not dampened by global price or demand shocks.
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