Tech: Latest News
Staff, 11:13 am
High data costs are limiting full internet usage in Africa with 20MB being used per month despite the increasing mobile penetration, a leading global internet company has said. Opera in a State of the Mobile Web in Africa 2016 report said the data costs are highly prohibitive. “Data remains prohibitively expensive for many mobile users in Africa.
Staff, 10:41 am
San Francisco-based drone deliveries firm Zipline has raised US$25 million in Series B funding to expand its operations across Africa. Zipline launched in Rwanda last month, enabling blood transfusion clinics across the Western half of the country to place emergency orders by SMS, which are then delivered by one of the company’s fleet of 15 drones, called Zips.
Dana Sanchez, 10:41 am
The degree of diversity in African genetic samples is greater than any other region on Earth. Yet just
3% of the 35 million-plus who have participated in genetic screening studies are of African descent. The research community assumed that poorer countries, like many in Africa, don’t need genomic studies because the biggest killers there are infectious diseases. African underrepresentation in genomics databases is about to change. The first chip created specifically to target genetic variation in African populations is expected to ship in 2017.
Peter Pedroncelli, 3:10 am AFKI Original
The Africa International Film Festival will be held from November 13-20 at Eko Hotels and Suites, on Victoria Island in Lagos, as the annual event attracts increased interest. Africa’s cinematic celebration is stocked with a list of movie premieres, film screenings, industry sessions, master classes and other festival programmes. Here are 12 things you didn’t know about The Africa International Film Festival.
Tom Jackson, 9:55 am AFKI Original
Around 650 million people in Africa live without access to electricity. The electrification rate is as low as 14.2 per cent in rural areas. In East Africa, only 23 per cent of Kenyans and 10.8 per cent of Rwandans have access to an electricity supply. The majority of these people as a result use costly and unhealthy forms of energy. But in the power of the sun, Africa also has the answer to this problem.
Dana Sanchez, 12:57 pm
More than 70 percent of the world don’t have a street address, and sub-Saharan Africa leads. About 200 million people live in slums — home to the informal economy that is creating jobs. Big box stores like Cape Town-based clothing retailer Foschini Group are tapping in to the economic buying power of informal settlements. They’re coming up with innovative solutions to deliver e-commerce purchases to people who don’t have addresses.
Dana Sanchez, 4:17 pm
Nigeria is threatening to shut down supermarkets selling genetically modified foods, and it has ordered South African grocery giant Shoprite and others to withdraw all GM food from their shelves until they get permits from the Nigerian government. “We are very serious about this,’’ a government spokesman said. Harmful effects of eating GM foods have been proved mostly without scientific basis. The potential harm from pesticides, however, is a different story. The same companies that make and sell GM plants make and sell chemicals to treat them.
Tom Jackson, 9:29 am AFKI Original
E-commerce in Africa is a very long-term play indeed. Aside from issues with logistics, there are also problems with online payments, which still suffer from a lack of trust, and the sheer fact Africans still prefer to shop online. Moreover, fewer than 30 per cent of Africans have internet access. The Nigerian e-commerce powerhouses, however, have their eyes on a far greater prize, and are prepared to stomach losses for a number of years.
Kurt Davis Jr., 3:41 pm AFKI Original
Sub-Saharan African banks are late to the party. More than 75% of Africans lack access to traditional banking. Fintech offerings with the most potential are the ones that address the unbanked and underserved. Addressing Africa’s poor is impactful and a money maker, but it’s also time-consuming — something to consider if you want a quick return. Africans may be quick to try a mobile app or technology but end users are not always quick adopters. Here are five sub-Saharan markets with the most opportunities in fintech.
Opinion: State-Owned African Electricity Monopolies Should Stop Seeing Off-Grid Solar As CompetitionBy Staff, 12:02 am
Manufacturers of off-grid power systems say they can’t keep up with demand in Africa. Many policymakers in Africa see off-grid solar and traditional technologies as competing and fret that off-grid power companies will eat into the customer base of state-owned electricity monopolies. Instead they should encourage the competition. It’s lifting the burden of rural electrification from the state and allowing the state to concentrate investment on improving power supplies for large-scale industrial growth.
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