Tech: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 3:29 pm
Johannesburg-based Standard Bank is the latest to join the R3 consortium after some global heavyweights pulled out. The network represents a collaboration of 75-plus banks exploring blockchain as a solution for digital payments. Goldman Sachs, Santander, Morgan Stanley and the National Australian Bank have quit the NYC-based R3. Their departure raises questions about how much distributed ledger and blockchain technology are worth to the financial sector. One expert says they could have quit over competition and not wanting to share.
Tom Jackson, 7:55 am AFKI Original
As tech becomes more widespread in Africa, democratic processes will become more accessible. Internet and mobile technologies can reach remote areas and give voice to many. Rashaad Alli is a manager at South African nonprofit People’s Assembly, which supports websites that make parliamentary information more accessible to ordinary people. “Access to information is a great enabler to effect social change and deepen democracy,” Alli said. “Tech tools help increase transparency, expose corruption, strengthen democracy and hold governments to account.”
She’s There When African Governments Turn Off The Internet: Meet The Lawyer Advancing Facebook In AfricaBy Staff, 1:01 am
Some describe Ebele Okobi, 42, as Facebook’s secretary of state for Africa. Last year, at least 11 African governments shut down the internet for various temporary reasons. Where there are shutdowns, there is Okobi. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of her work is Free Basics, the Facebook-driven platform that provides a free version of the internet. Telecos in 22 African countries provide it. Facebook can control what is accessible, and many have criticized it for creating different classes of internet access. For its part, Facebook says half of all Free Basics users convert into paying internet customers within a month.
Dana Sanchez, 1:01 am
Rwanda has scheduled a string of aviation events this year that it hopes will help bolster its growing tourism sector. The country has a new convention center to host such events. In July it celebrated the opening of Kigali’s new $300-million five-star Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre. More than 2,700 aviation experts are expected to attend five major international aviation events that include Aviation Africa 2017 and Africa Airport Summit. Kigali International Airport was ranked third-fastest growing in Africa in 2016.
Tom Jackson, 10:02 am AFKI Original
Africa is outsourcing great tech jobs to skilled workers on other continents. There are tens of thousands of unfilled software jobs on a continent plagued by unemployment, especially among its digitally savvy youth. Digital skills training is vital to Africa’s future, says the co-founder of CodeX, one of many companies in Africa trying to address the shorfall. Many of the continent’s challenges can be solved with tech solutions, but ultimately they must be solved by the people who understand the problems intimately – Africans themselves. Help is on the way. Here are some of the companies offering skills training in Africa.
Ann Brown, 2:31 pm AFKI Original
In Nigeria’s competitive advertising and marketing environment, Adaora Mbelu-Dania has learned that standing out sometimes means sitting down — at the table, that is — with agencies much larger than her own. A creative consultant, she counts among her clients a violinist, graffiti artist and contortionist. “Size does not matter,” she told AFKInsider. “We are a small agency, and have pitched for jobs alongside the popular or large agencies. We’ve been chosen over them several times. We are not afraid to sit at the same table as global agencies.”
Dana Sanchez, 10:32 am
Faced with an escalating price war at home in India, Bharti Airtel is looking to its African operations to reduce debt. India is one of the most competitive telecom markets in the world. The company lost $91 million in Africa in Q3 of 2016. Airtel has 22.14 percent market share in Nigeria and 34.1 million customers. Market observers in Nigeria say lack of access to foreign exchange for operators, falling revenue per user and customers’ lack of disposable income are hurting telecom operators in the country.
Peter Pedroncelli, 7:00 am AFKI Original
Last week Davos 2017 took place in Switzerland, with the annual week-long World Economic Forum meeting bringing together the world’s economic elite to discuss global issues and solutions to challenges that face the world at large. Africa plays a key part in these discussions, with politicians, business people and others with an interest in Africa’s economic future making their way to the gathering in order to contribute to various discussions. Here are 12 insightful quotes from African representatives who were present at Davos 2017.
Dana Sanchez, 3:21 pm AFKI Original
There are not a lot of hotels near Cape Town International Airport. Most business and leisure travelers are in a hurry to get to Cape Town, or reluctant to leave, and understandably so, given the city’s many attractions. That’s why the 145-room Hotel Verde, a three-minute drive to Cape Town International Airport, feels like such a game changer. I stayed there on a trip to Cape Town and it felt like a glimpse into the future of the hotel industry. General Manager Samantha Annandale told me the hotel got at least $2.6M in free publicity just for being green.
Tom Jackson, 9:51 am AFKI Original
In 2017, expect more African reverse innovations that address local challenges and have global applications. Expect more drones. More Africans connected to the internet. Expect the calls for faster, cheaper internet to grow louder in 2017. Four key players in the African tech space talked to AFKInsider about what they know for sure and what they’re looking forward to in 2017: BRCK co-founder Erik Hersman, project Isizwe founder Alan Knott-Craig, Jumia co-CEO Jeremy Hodara and Ovum analyst Danson Njue.
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