Friday, September 24

East Africa

Egyptian entrepreneurs join global Endeavor network
Apps, East Africa

Egyptian entrepreneurs join global Endeavor network

Mounir Nakhla, co-founder of Egyptian ride-hailing startup Halan, and the three co-founders of mass transit system Swvl have been chosen to join the global Endeavor network, offering access to mentorship and acceleration services. The global Endeavor initiative launched in Nigeria and Kenya last year, and has accepted a host of African entrepreneurs into its network in recent months. The organisation works to catalyse long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs worldwide. It supports entrepreneurs that have passed through the initial startup phase and demonstrate the potential for rapid expansion and scale.  At its most recent International Selection Panel (ISP) in San Fra...
Kerb, an ‘Airbnb for parking spaces’ launches in Kenya
Apps, East Africa

Kerb, an ‘Airbnb for parking spaces’ launches in Kenya

Kerb, an Australian ‘Airbnb for Parking’ has launched in Kenya to allow car users find parking easily as well as let homeowners rent out their spare spaces to make extra cash. Launched in Australia in October 2016 by Rob Brown and Matt Salmon , Kerb is live across the world in 19 languages and localized in 300 cities. The Kenya launch will be shortly followed by a regional expansion across East Africa. “We’re really excited about the benefits that Kerb is going to have for users”, says Co-founder Rob Brown. “The app allows you to list an entire car park up in minutes, and each individual bay can be customised by availability, price and vehicle type.” Kerb changes the conventional view about where people can park their cars, motorbikes, boats and even helicopters! Kerb’s tech...
Nigeria’s AMPZ.TV, Ghana’s OZÉ & Kenya’s WayaWaya named regional winners in MEST Africa’s $50,000 pitch competition
East Africa, Start-ups

Nigeria’s AMPZ.TV, Ghana’s OZÉ & Kenya’s WayaWaya named regional winners in MEST Africa’s $50,000 pitch competition

Five promising start-ups from across Africa have been chosen as regional winners in MEST Africa’s annual Pan-African pitch competition, moving one step closer to winning $50,000 in equity investment, a place in the MEST Africa incubator of their choice and global mentorship to help their company scale. Winners will pitch on a global stage in the finals at the 4th MEST Africa Summit, to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, June 10-12.  Out of nearly 1000 applicants from across the continent, 10 finalists were chosen to pitch at the regional finals in Accra, Lagos, Nairobi, Cape Town and Abidjan, held February 27-28th. Winners from each region include: Nigeria –AMPZ.TV, the ‘LinkedIn for Sports’ that is developing the next generation of Etos, Drogbas and Aubameyangs through te...
Apps, Central Africa, East Africa, Trends

Uber launches UberASSIST to help elderly and disabled riders in Nairobi

Uber in Kenya has announced the launch of a new product; UberASSIST a platform that caters for senior riders and riders with access needs in the wake of World Disability Day last week. Drivers driving on UberASSIST have attended dedicated information sessions and are better equipped to help senior riders and those with access needs to travel more effectively and more frequently thus enabling them to enjoy the freedom they deserve. “Everyone deserves an opportunity to travel freely within their own city, and with UberASSIST, we are able to provide reliable transportation to senior citizens and riders with access needs,” says Loic Amando, General Manager of Uber in East Africa. Continue reading Photo: Laura Dale / AAP
Central Africa, East Africa, Nigeria, Southern Africa, Tech Policy, West Africa

Zimbabwe’s internet blackout shows how powerless major telcos are against governments

Internet access was restored in Zimbabwe late on Wednesday, but on Thursday WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter remained inaccessible. More than 600 people were arrested this week as police armed with AK-47 rifles rounded up protestors, according to the Associated Press. At least six people were killed when the military was deployed to quell protests against high fuel prices on Monday. Amnesty International reported eight deaths, while the Association of Doctors for Human Rights reported treated 68 cases of gunshot wounds and more than 100 other cases of assaults. A tense calm returned on Thursday. Zimbabweans were protesting a fuel hike that would see the price of petrol and diesel rise by 150%in a country that already had fuel shortages. Amid the violent crackdown on pro...
Central Africa, East Africa, Nigeria, Southern Africa, Tech Policy, West Africa

Internet Switched Back On Again In Zimbabwe After A Total Blackout For The Second Time In A Week

The Zimbabwean story continues to be crazier at every turn. Around mid day on Tuesday the government ordered internet service providers to block all citizens from the internet. The nation was switched back on yesterday after 30 hours of darkness. When we thought that it was all done, the government issued another directive at Nicodemus time last night around 10 pm instructing total shut down again. Zimbabwe woke up to no internet today and Econet subscribers had the following message in their SMS inbox: At 22:05 17/01/19, we were served with another directive for total shutdown of the internet until further notice. Our lawyers advised we are required to comply with the directive pending the Courts decision on its legality. The earlier directives are already the subject of a pendin...
Rwanda emerging as a key tech and investment hub in Africa
East Africa

Rwanda emerging as a key tech and investment hub in Africa

As South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria dominate the African tech ecosystem, Rwanda is slowly, yet assuredly, emerging as a key tech and investment hub with its ease of doing business. Partech Ventures’ 2017 report revealed that South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria accounted for 76 percent of total funding in 2017 and was the top three tech startup ecosystems to have highest number of startups funded per country. Whilst the trio continue to dominate, Rwanda, despite its small population, is positioning itself as a profitable commercial hub through its ease of doing business [Rwanda ranks 29th globally in World Bank’s annual ‘Doing Business Report’], and by implementing a lenient visa policy. Much of the partnership work has been undertaken by the Rwanda Development Board, whose mission is to stimul...
Africa Tech Summit Kigali to provide unrivaled insight, networking and business opportunities
East Africa, Events

Africa Tech Summit Kigali to provide unrivaled insight, networking and business opportunities

Africa Tech Summit Kigali on February 13 – 15, will once again provide unrivaled insight, networking and business opportunities for African and international tech leaders and investors who want to business in Africa. The three-day African Tech Summit will feature three tracks – The Future Summit, The Africa Start-up Summit and The Creative Summit. Each will explore the latest trends, connect 400+ digital leaders, tech corporates, MNO’s, banks, investors, regulators, start-ups, creatives media, and leading tech ventures from across Africa over an action-packed three days of insight, networking and entertainment. The Future Summit will deliver a cross-sectional view of new technologies, solutions and opportunities across the African mobile, digital and tech landscapes. An array o...
Africans in Tech, East Africa

Inside the world of a Kenyan cryptocurrency miner

Eugene Mutai is well aware of the risks of mining virtual money. "Sometimes I ask myself: will the bubble pop? "He's right to be, cryptocurrencies are volatile. That hasn't stopped him from operating in this shadowy and controversial corner of the global financial system. A few years ago Mutai was working odd jobs on farms in rural Kenya. Now he's a cryptocurrency miner in Nairobi. His apartment where he mines, is dimly lit blue and drowned with the low drone of a self-made cryptocurrency computer rig. Mutai began researching cryptocurrencies last year. "I was curious about what was making these alternative coins drive. "Bitcoin was hard to mine by that point in time," Mutai tells CNN. There were already many Bitcoin miners. Instead, Mutai started mining Ethereum, a similar but less w...
AI, East Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa

Drones driven by AI will track illegal fishing in African waters

Across the African continent, drones are finding innovative uses -- from monitoring displaced populations to delivering critical medical supplies. Moroccan technology startup ATLAN Space is developing artificial intelligence (AI) to guide autonomous drones so they can scan large areas for "environmental crimes" like illegal fishing, poaching or deforestation. In June, ATLAN Space won the National Geographic Society's $150,000 Marine Protection Prize to implement a pilot project to combat illegal fishing in Seychelles. Drones will be armed with information about illegal fishing hotspots, explains Badr Idrissi, CEO and co-founder of ATLAN Space. Once a drone detects a boat, AI will enable it to verify whether it is a cruising boat, tanker or fishing vessel. The drone will then est...