Monday, September 21

Author: Africa Tech Digest

Founded in 2018, Africa Tech Digest is the go to destination for a collection of tech news coming out of Africa and her Diaspora.
Norwegian tech company exits Nigerian venture
West Africa

Norwegian tech company exits Nigerian venture

Norwegian software company, Opera, announced it has made a $6.1 million divestment from a Nigerian subsidiary. The disclosure was made during the company’s second quarterly report for 2020. Opera did not mention the name of the company it exited. In Nigeria, Opera operates a few companies alongside a partnership in portfolio company OPay.  The European company owns the Opera browser, one of the most popular browsers in the country thanks to its data saving features. Opera also operates OList, the classifieds listing platform, Opera News and OKash, the lending service. OKash exits as both a separate app and on  OPay through a partnership. So which Nigerian venture did Opera divest from? Obviously, it’s not OPay. Opera considers the Nigeria-based fintech to be a s...
Africa’s Technology Hub Rises in a Congested Lagos Neighborhood
Trends, West Africa

Africa’s Technology Hub Rises in a Congested Lagos Neighborhood

The fading facades of century-old buildings in a neighborhood of the Nigerian megacity of Lagos house a vibrant technology cluster that’s caught the eye of Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google. The Yaba area, home to the Yaba College of Technology and the University of Lagos, is an emerging technology ecosystem -- from fewer than 10 startups in 2013 to more than 60 today, including businesses like booking site Hotels.ng. It also hosts digital labs for Nigeria’s oldest bank, First Bank of Nigeria Ltd., and Stanbic IBTC, the local subsidiary of Africa’s largest lender. “Lagos, like other major cities such as Nairobi and Accra, is at the height of this exciting expansion in innovation across tech, with Yaba quickly finding itself at the center,” said Chimdindu A...
Are tech companies Africa’s new colonialists?
Opinion

Are tech companies Africa’s new colonialists?

Foreign-owned start-ups are driving an African tech revolution — and prompting old fears of exploitation Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.comT&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found here. https://www.ft.com/content/4625d9b8-9c16-11e9-b8ce-8b459ed04726 In 1886, barely a year after Europe’s great powers met in Berlin to carve up the continent of Africa, Queen Victoria granted Sir George Goldie a charter for his Royal Niger Company. The charter gave Goldie, a moustachioed, waistcoated gentleman of Scottish descent, the ri...
Using tech to improve Africa’s logistics industry
Uncategorized

Using tech to improve Africa’s logistics industry

Poor infrastructure is currently holding back the growth of Africa's logistics markets. Industries can make a variety of goods, but they struggle to transport them safely and quickly to customers without established networks. According to global property consultancy Knight Frank, the cost of transport takes up 50-75% of the retail price of goods. But there is hope, from both foreign investment and home-grown solutions. For example, in Nigeria, digital start-up Kobo360 developed an app that revolutionises cargo delivery by making sure that everyone in the supply chain is connected to ensure the safety and accountability of cargo in transit. A call centre of staff is able to monitor truck deliveries enroute in real-time and communicate directly with drivers, manufacturers and...
German government launches €1bn Africa fund
Start-ups

German government launches €1bn Africa fund

German ambassador to Ghana Christoph Retzlaff earlier today announced that the German government had launched a €1-billion Africa fund. Retzlaff (pictured above, left with former Ghanaian president John Dramani Mahama) said in a tweet last week that the fund will support African startups and small businesses, as well as German and European companies. It’s not yet clear when the fund will make its first investments or which startup verticals it will target. Ventureburn sought comment from the German embassy in Ghana on this and other details on the fund but had not received a comment at the time of publication. The fund is part of the G20 Compact With Africa initiative which was launched under Germany’s G20 presidency in 2017 to promote investment in Africa....
Uber to remove riders with bad feedback
Ridehailing

Uber to remove riders with bad feedback

Uber has announced a new quality system to remove riders with persistently bad feedback. Soon Uber will begin notifying a small number of riders who have consistently received bad feedback from drivers, that they must improve their behaviour or they could lose access to the Uber app. With this new policy, when Uber sees a pattern of riders getting consistently bad feedback, they will receive a warning and will be given advice on how to improve, if they continue to receive bad feedback from drivers after warnings, the next step would be to temporarily suspend their account for one week and if still there is no improvement eventually face the possibility of full deactivation. Alon Lits, General Manager for Uber Sub-Saharan Africa explains, “We have recently updated our community guide...
Africa’s Biggest Smartphone Seller is Taking a Cue from Apple
Telecommunications

Africa’s Biggest Smartphone Seller is Taking a Cue from Apple

As iPhone sales continue to dip and Apple is paying more attention to its services, the Chinese phone manufacturer leading the market in Africa, Transsion Holdings, seems to be toeing the same line and developing a service portfolio for itself. Transsion’s Infinix and Tecno phone brands are already popular in Nigeria and Kenya thanks to competitive pricing that makes the phones more affordable than their biggest competitors. Actively pursuing new services to offer users could further raise interest and profits. Transsion Overtook Samsung in Smartphone Sales in Africa Source: ATLAS In January, Transsion’s Mobile Internet Centre launched a new service in Nigeria. Scooper is essentially a media platform, offering content on football, literature, politics, technology and a r...
Kenya to be Part of Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Program for Women-led Startups
East Africa

Kenya to be Part of Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Program for Women-led Startups

Kenya will be one of the nine countries that will benefit from Microsoft’s Cloud Accelerator Program that entails a 6-month training designed to help women-led companies start and build their business through Microsoft products and its cloud distribution channel. The program, which is currently running in the U.S., will be introduced in Kenya, South Africa, Canada, France, Germany, India, the UAE and the U.K. in partnership with IdeaGen and Women in Cloud. Generally speaking, the project is geared toward offering access to the cloud, mentorship, networking communities, and resources to women-owned tech firms. The program, which was founded two years ago, was launched to pursue a community-led initiative to empower women in tech and drive growth. Microsoft says the project has since bec...
Chinese tech giant Huawei turns to Africa to offset US blacklist
Telecommunications

Chinese tech giant Huawei turns to Africa to offset US blacklist

As the United States leads a drive for the West to shun Huawei over security fears, the Chinese tech giant has sought to strengthen its position in Africa, where it is already well-established. Huawei has taken a leading role in developing next-generation 5G mobile phone networks around the world. But it has been in turmoil since Washington charged its equipment could serve as a Trojan horse for Chinese intelligence services. The world's second smartphone marker fiercely denies the allegations, but the US has urged countries to avoid it and several companies have distanced themselves. They include Google, whose Android operating system runs most smartphones. And as Washington and Beijing duke it out in an escalating trade war, nations around the world are faced with the dil...
What to Expect from the Africa Tech Summit 2019
Events

What to Expect from the Africa Tech Summit 2019

As a part of the London Tech week, the Africa Tech summit will take place June 11, 2019. The event is the fourth of its kind, and will provide the opportunity to speak to and hear from African business leaders, as well as networking opportunities with international tech leaders and investors to drive growth in Africa. Over 250 key stakeholders from across the country will be in attendance at the 5 Star Leonardo Royal Hotel London St Paul’s, situated next to St Paul's Cathedral. The conference will host over 50 expert speakers, including Erick Yong of GreenTec Capital, Chijioke Dozie of OneFi & Caron, Tunde Kehinde of Lidya, and Tomy Davies of Lagos Angel Network (LAN). The morning will begin with Blockchain and Crypto for Africa, featuring talks from Edward George, CNO of Kle...