Tom Jackson

  • Africa Tech Summit Stakeholders Want ‘Taskforce’ To Develop Talent For Africa’s Tech Scene

    Africa Tech Summit Kigali brought the continent's tech players together. Photo - Appsafrica By Tom Jackson, 1:55 am AFKI Original

    AFKInsider’s Tom Jackson attended the Africa Tech Summit in Kigali last week, and what he discovered was an understanding of the obstacles and a clear path to continuing tech growth on the continent. Concerns about connectivity, market sizes, talent, funding and scalability have not gone away, but Africa Tech Summit Kigali made its own small contribution to assembling the “taskforce” that will be needed to sustain the tech sector’s growth.

  • Why Africa Must Get Better At Defending Against Cybercrime

    Cybercrime - Anonymous Africa launches cyber attack against SABC over censorship. Photo - TVwithThinus By Tom Jackson, 2:52 am AFKI Original

    South Africa has one of the world’s highest rates of cybercrime, with 8.8 million people falling victim in 2016, according to online security company Norton. In West Africa, research released by Trend Micro Incorporated in collaboration with INTERPOL found scams targeting individuals and businesses have grown exponentially since 2013. Nigeria is especially affected, with cybercrime costing its economy $500 million each year.

  • Nigerian E-Commerce Sector Struggling, But There Is Still Hope

    konga.com - Nigerian e-commerce sector By Tom Jackson, 2:22 am AFKI Original

    It has not been a great week for the much-touted Nigerian e-commerce sector. One of the country’s flagship e-commerce companies, Konga, was acquired by local tech firm Zinox. Acquisitions are usually signs of having done well, but that is not so in Konga’s case. While rival firm Jumia continues to motor on, raising vast amounts of funding, even as it still strives for profitability, Konga has fallen behind.

  • Record-Breaking 2017 Closes Gap Between Impact And Return-Driven Investing In Africa

    record-breaking - agri-tech company - Investor That Backed Uber And Airbnb Invests In New York and Nairobi-based Agri-Tech Company. Photo: africarenewal By Tom Jackson, 3:33 am

    African startups had a record-breaking 2017 when it came to fundraising, securing a total of $195 million, according to the recently released Disrupt Africa African Tech Startups Funding Report. The gap between “impact” and “non-impact” – that is to say firms that are solely focused on deriving the biggest possible return on investment is diminishing as impact funds move towards more sustainable investments.

  • African Tech Companies Feel Benefits Of Initial Coin Offering Craze

    Wala raised capital with an initial coin offering. Photo - Getwala By Tom Jackson, 6:04 am AFKI Original

    Looking back at 2017, it is undeniably clear that it was the year of the initial coin offering (ICO). The ICO of South African blockchain consultancy Ekasi-bucks was an unmitigated failure, but the likes of property investment platform ProsperiProp and fintech startup Wala raised decent amounts of money – $200,000 and $1.2 million respectively – despite falling well short of their initial targets.

  • Could A Pharmaceutical Giant Really Revolutionize African Healthcare?

    Telemedicine is winning the healthcare battle in Ghana. Photo - Novartis Foundation By Tom Jackson, 1:21 am AFKI Original

    Philanthropic organization, the Novartis Foundation, has enjoyed such success with its pilot of a telemedicine program in Ghana that the country’s healthcare service is to implement it nationwide. Started in 2011, it has come a long way, and government now hopes to make full national coverage possible by 2019. This is part of the Ghana Health Service’s larger ambition to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2020.

  • How Opera Is Becoming A Major Player In Africa

    Major player - Fintech adoption rates expected to soar in South Africa. By Tom Jackson, 5:38 pm AFKI Original

    Opera, the developer of the most used mobile browser in Africa, is significantly scaling up its operations on the continent as it gradually becomes a major player in the tech space. For years, the Opera Mini browser has been crucial to Africans due to its ability to bring down data costs, and it now has over 100 million monthly users on the continent. In addition, the newly released Opera News app saw more than 100,000 downloads in less than two weeks.

  • The 8 Best African Tech Companies To Follow In 2018

    tech talent - tech companies By Tom Jackson, 1:40 am AFKI Original

    All in all, 2017 was another major year of development in the African technology space, but some tech companies made particularly impressive steps forward. From fintech to ed-tech, these tech firms were examples of success in an industry that is crying out for role models to follow and emulate. AFKInsider takes a look at eight of the African tech companies that enjoyed significant success in 2017.

  • Safaricom, Airtel Face Contrasting Fortunes In Kenya

    Safaricom By Tom Jackson, 11:17 am AFKI Original

    The year 2017 was, quite frankly, an exceptional one for Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom, but the same cannot be said for competitor, Airtel. Safaricom ended the year in as dominant a position as ever in the East African country, with 72 percent of market share, putting it far ahead of nearest challenger Airtel, which stands on less than 15 percent. Safaricom continued to expand into new areas, building out its taxi-hailng app Little and launching e-commerce platform – Masoko.

  • What Is In Store For Zimbabwe’s Tech Scene After Mugabe Departure?

    tech scene - African tech hubs By Tom Jackson, 4:03 pm AFKI Original

    November was a landmark month for Zimbabwe, with President Robert Mugabe deposed after 37 years in power. But what does Mugabe’s removal mean for the country’s tech scene, which many have claimed has great potential but continues to be in the doldrums? Those in the know encourage the government to provide seed capital to tech startups, as well as offer incubation, mentorship, and exchange programmes with other tech ecosystems in Africa.