Tech: Latest News
Ann Brown, 12:48 pm AFKI Original
There is no Silicon Valley in Cape Verde. The government sells a lot of tech services that independent companies could be providing, acting as both regulator and provider. This limits the private market, says Pedro Fernandes Lopes, a local who is bringing the first TEDx talk event to the island nation. It took a local Cape Verdean tech startup months just to register an app because Google didn’t recognize Cape Verde, Lopes told AFKInsider. “We need to raise the global visibility of Cape Verde and its tech innovators. And I think TEDx Praia will play a part in that.”
Dana Sanchez, 6:25 pm
Google launched an online learning portal a year ago offering digital skills courses free to anyone in Africa, designed to use up as little data as possible. Many people who took the courses had limited internet access and high data costs. The US tech giant is now turning its attention to web-focused skills training for small businesses across Africa. In addition to skills and workforce training, Google is laying fiber optic cable, easing access to Android phones as it expands on the continent. Google was valued at $109.5 billion in 2016.
Dana Sanchez, 10:15 am
Many migrants who make it to Italy don’t tell friends and family about the hardship. A campaign that exposes the realities is now targeting potential African migrants on social media in 15 West and Central African countries — where most arrivals in Italy originate. Posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram give testimonials created by migrants in multiple languages. All end with the warning, “Be aware, brother” and “Be aware, sister.” A record 181,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean in 2016 on flimsy boats operated by smugglers. Of those, 25,000 were mostly unaccompanied children. Arrivals in Italy are up 66% so far in 2017.
Peter Pedroncelli, 5:40 am AFKI Original
Africa is the new tech frontier, with a great deal of potential and passion for technology that should translate into the right environment to nurture and grow successful African tech startups, but obstacles and struggles remain. These issues scupper the necessary investment and growth that these startups require so that they can become sustainable and successful on a continental and global scale. We take a look at 12 things that need to be addressed in order to help struggling African tech startups.
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.
- Real Estate