Tech: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 10:53 am AFKI Original
The annual survey evaluates the top 100 brands in Africa based on consumer responses via mobile text messaging. Results show that non-African brands strengthened their positions in Africa, while African brands’ share among most admired brands dropped from 23 percent to 16 percent. “It is a great concern that the share of African brands is so low and even declining,” said the founder of Brand Africa. “It is a wake-up call for African governments to create enabling environments to support entrepreneurs.”
Mongabay, 3:04 pm
Lemurs — small primates endemic to Madagascar — are among the most endangered mammals on Earth. A new computer-assisted recognition system — LemurFaceID — can use facial characteristics of lemurs from photos taken in the wild to identify them. The technology could remove many limitations of traditional identification and could do it faster, cheaper and more accurately than other traditional methods, researchers say. It could even help track lemurs taken from their natural habitat by wildlife traffickers.
Peter Pedroncelli, 1:35 am AFKI Original
Zimbabwean business mogul Strive Masiyiwa has been incredibly successful in his career as an entrepreneur and investor, with business interests worldwide showing his pedigree as a businessman. The founder and CEO of telecoms company Econet Wirless is Zimbabwe’s richest man, and continues to use his fortune for philanthropic pursuits throughout the African continent, with education among the youth proving to be a particular passion for the British educated Masiyiwa. Here are 12 things you may not know about Zimbabwean businessman Strive Masiyiwa.
Dana Sanchez, 4:02 pm
Africa has potential to boast more billion-dollar startups than anywhere else on Earth, says an Africa-focused investment manager. More than 200 African private equity deals were reported in 2016. Almost a third were in South Africa, but the potential in Nigeria is mind boggling. Internet spending in Nigeria was nearly $2B last year, with only 3% of Nigerians having fixed broadband access. Multiple billions in spending is driven by mobile internet users. Digital content and the subsequent advertising and brand exposure are, for the first time, accessible by the majority of Nigerians on their mobile devices.
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.”
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