Tech: Latest News
Staff, 9:35 am
On any corner in Nairobi on any given day, the future of African commerce can be seen in action. From the most basic of feature phones, right up to sophisticated smartphones, M-Pesa has revolutionized how people pay each other money and do financial transactions. Since M-Pesa was pioneered by Safaricom –Kenya’s largest mobile operator with some 70% market share– it has expanded to 29.5 million active customers in 10 markets. They did a whopping 6 billion mobile money transactions in 2016.
Staff, 9:17 am
While China snakes its influence in technology across African, one of its smaller neighbors has also been making inroads in countries. South Korea claims to have a stronghold in the central African country of Rwanda. The unlikely story begins with KT Corporation, a South Korean telecoms giant, which started helping to form the backbone to Rwanda’s communications infrastructure a decade ago. The state-owned company currently builds and operates ICT services in Rwanda’s public and private markets.
Staff, 8:59 am
None of African leaders at the U.N. General Assembly made a statement about technology. Can we handle its negative effects if we don’t discuss how best to streamline its use.In Nigeria, Twitter and WhatsApp was used to fuel inter-ethnic violence despite warnings by the president and vice president against hate speech on social media. We had a similar event in Kenya during the recently cancelled election when some people were arrested for sending messages on WhatsApp calling for ethnic cleansing.
Peter Pedroncelli, 8:51 am
A total of 11 Cameroonian tech startups have been selected to take part in the country’s local Seedstars World competition on September 29, with the winner of the early-stage startup contest in Douala earning the right to pitch to investors at a final in Switzerland next year. The global tech startup competition will be the first-ever Seedstars event in Cameroon, with the 11 startups who were announced this week pitching to a panel of judges.
Peter Pedroncelli, 6:15 am AFKI Original
Mobile internet is incredibly important to Africans, with a high mobile penetration rate making mobile the major medium through which Africans connect to the internet. Broadband, or fixed line internet, speeds via desktop or laptop computers are constantly improving throughout the continent, but it is on mobile that some of Africa’s top speeds may surprise people, with one East African nation in particular enjoying faster average mobile internet speeds than people in the U.S.
Ann Brown, 2:55 am AFKI Original
Ghanaian entrepreneur Nana Opoku W.O. Agyeman founded Asoriba, a web-based church management application that keeps the church connected to its members throughout the week, and not only on Sundays. So far, Agyeman has signed 395 churches in Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and the U.S. He has registered 30,000 church members to Asoriba, which was named the Ghanaian startup of the year in 2015.
Peter Pedroncelli, 6:40 am AFKI Original
Africa loves sport, and the popularity of numerous top sports such as soccer, rugby and cricket has inevitably attracted tech companies that are interested in funding sport in the form of sponsorship deals to be associated with the various teams, competitions and players. Numerous global and local tech brands benefit from this, while the sports themselves require the finances provided by these deals to survive and thrive.
Peter Pedroncelli, 3:44 am
In the confusion and concern surrounding the potential for hyperinflation to heavily affect Zimbabwe, bitcoin has become a viable and popular means of transacting with regards to big ticket items, driving the price of the cryptocurrency on the local exchange. The price of bitcoin on Zimbabwe’s exchange, BitcoinFundi, was trading at a 85 percent premium at $7,200 per bitcoin on Wednesday.
Peter Pedroncelli, 3:19 am
South African bitcoin wallet and exchange, Luno, has expanded into Europe while attracting an additional investment of $9 million in a recent round of funding. Luno announced that it was expanding its service offering to cater for an additional 35 markets in Europe, bringing its total number of territories to 40. The bitcoin exchange enjoyed a successful Series B funding round led by London-based venture capital firm Balderton Capital.
Peter Pedroncelli, 5:15 am
A Rwandan startup called EarthEnable has been crowned as the winner of an international sustainability innovation competition for an ingenious idea that is focused on helping poorer communities. EarthEnable won the annual Postcode Lottery Green Challenge thanks to their sustainable alternative for cement as a replacement for dirt floors, winning the Rwandan startup $600,000 in prize money.
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