Tech: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 1:36 pm
In future, insurers, asset managers and banks are likely to benefit from the innovation revolution taking place in financial technology, which is creating new means of distribution. Partnerships will be key in reaching new customers, especially in parts of Africa where insurance premiums are being built into mobile subscriptions. “For insurers, the need to drive the distribution model and mobile platforms can fundamentally help,” an EY leader says.
Dana Sanchez, 11:41 am
Europe’s largest automaker is expanding in Africa, hoping to open an auto assembly plant in Rwanda and also pilot ride-hailing and car sharing services. VW’s move into “app-based integrated mobility” in Rwanda is significant for two reasons. It’s happening in an African city and it’s a new business model for future urban mobility. Rwanda does not have an established vehicle industry and Uber hasn’t entered the market yet. VW isn’t just competing with Uber. Other ride-hailing services are looking for new markets in Africa.
It’s Back: South Africa Invites Foreign Financing ‘Solutions’ On Nuclear Fleet, Cites Koeberg SuccessBy Dana Sanchez, 12:46 pm
Nuclear fleet South Africa – it’s back. After many delays, SA has invited foreign financing solutions, formally jumpstarting its stalled nuclear build program. It put out a request for information from potential foreign contractors. Despite public protests, the government wants to build a new fleet of nuclear power stations. A RFP was delayed following reports that Russia had already secured the deal. France, U.S., China and South Korea are interested too. One thing SA has on its side is experience.
Dana Sanchez, 11:43 am
Disruption is expected to pick up in South Africa’s real estate industry in 2017, a stakeholder says. South African homeowners increasingly want to earn income from their real estate investments. Airbnb — a website that lets homeowners rent out space in their homes — is making it easier to do so. This is expected to impact how people buy property as they look for homes that will double as vacation rentals.
Dana Sanchez, 8:34 am
Paystack, one of Nigeria’s most hotly anticipated tech start-ups, has secured $1.3M seed funding from investors including Tencent and Comcast Ventures. China’s Tencent is 46% owned by South African media company Naspers. Comcast is the largest broadcasting and cable TV company in the world. Donald Trump said he intends to keep business ties to Comcast, staying on as executive producer for the spin-off of Comcast affiliate NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” series.
Betting On Poorer Africans, Soros-Backed Leapfrog Raising $800M For Investments, Eyes Kenyan InsurersBy Dana Sanchez, 9:50 am
LeapFrog Investments is betting on poorer Africans, or “emerging consumers” because they outnumber the continent’s middle class about four to one. Kenya’s new regulations will create buyout opportunities. Nigeria’s huge population and Ghana’s more sophisticated consumers make those markets attractive too. “We’re looking at payment companies because it’s becoming a popular tool that just offers much cheaper ways of doing business” across the continent, a LeapFrog partner said.
Dana Sanchez, 5:26 pm
Tanzania’s Hadza are some of the world’s last hunter gatherers, and they’re using technology to help protect the shrinking woodland they’ve depended on for 40,000 years. Carbon trading — a market-based method of regulating greenhouse gas emissions — is helping save their forest. The tools of their survival include marking the spot with GPS where trees have been illegally cut down. The Hadza monetized carbon savings by selling carbon offsets to local and international companies that want to to reduce their carbon footprint.
Tom Jackson, 4:20 am AFKI Original
Drones are, without doubt, one of the next big things of Africa’s tech revolution. Slowly but surely, they are being introduced in innovative ways to help with the continent’s development. In an interesting move, the City of Cape Town last week announced a partnership with local tech firm WeFix to use drones to spot sharks at Fish Hoek and Muizenberg beaches.
Dana Sanchez, 11:04 am
One of South Africa’s largest banks bought a majority stake in the team that built the country’s largest mobile payments product. Africa has the highest mobile money adoption rate in the world, but it’s hardly universal, catching on more in some countries and less in others. While banks and mobile payments startups would like to see large-scale adoption of mobile money, the reality is cash is likely to remain king in Africa — internet penetration and trust in the financial system are low on the continent.
Dana Sanchez, 2:42 pm
Five candidates for the top African Union job will face off Friday in a first-ever televised debate. African citizens will get to ask the candidates questions via social media about their vision for the continent. The A.U. hopes the debate will popularize it. Does the A.U. need to be popularized? Some consider A.U. support of withdrawal from the International Criminal Court as dangerous for Africa. The public won’t actually be voting for the next A.U. chairperson, but as the institution evolves, maybe one day that will happen.
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