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Africa

  • 5 factors that differentiate fintech in Africa

    Fintech in Africa, as elsewhere in the world, is big business. Investment is flooding into startups providing innovative ways of offering financial services. Startups in the fintech space took on almost 30 per cent of the total funding raised by African tech businesses in 2015. Globally, growth in the sector is huge, with US$19.1 billion invested globally last year, a 106 per cent jump from 2014. But the fintech space in Africa is different to that in developed economies, with a whole raft of opportunities presented by unique factors that are not found elsewhere in the world, says Wim van der...

  • AfricaWorking: corporates announce plan to give 250k youth entrepreneurship, employability skills

    A number of companies, including Barclays Africa; Emerging World; FranklinCovey; Knod; Microsoft; Safal Group; and Syngenta, this week came together to announce AfricaWorking -- an initiative which aims to provide some 250 000 youth across the continent with entrepreneurial and employability skills. Starting in Kenya and South Africa, the initiative aims to work across the continent by 2020. "Most large corporations are looking at youth skills development in one form or another, because it’s crucial to their business," says Lutz Ziob, Dean of the Microsoft 4Afrika Academy. "The idea behind AfricaWorking is to bring these corporations together, align our efforts,...

  • New conference to explore disruptive tech in Africa

    Disruption technology is changing the world at a rate never seen before. And although the consequences are still unclear for many industries, it is clear that people's jobs will be affected. There are also, however, a host of untapped opportunities for these technologies to lift millions out of poverty. If the latter is to happen in Africa, then the continent needs to figure out how to use these technologies strategically. In a bid to add to the conversation around this, Things Technologies will host an Industry4.0 summit at the Sandton Convention Centre on 23 June. The summit is inspired...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [23/05/2016]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or scratch up on some of your skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we’ve rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • The unstoppable rise of African fintech is rapidly changing the way Africans transact

    Fintech is disrupting the way ordinary Africans manage and use money. And these fintech players are standing up to traditional institutions as a force to be reckoned with. Accenture estimates that over one-third of mainstream financial services’ revenue is at risk due to disruption in the industry from fintech. Many reports show how the rapid development of African fintech, which exploded in the years following the 2008 global meltdown, is threatening established players in the mainstream financial services sector. Africa is fertile ground for new fintech services which are leveraging the power of communities and social media to make financial services...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [09/05/2016]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or scratch up on some of your skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we’ve rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • 3 bright spots investors can find in South Africa’s dismal economic news

    For nearly a decade, the South African economy took on the role of “Africa’s sick man.” Economic growth nearly stagnated at 1.7% between 2008 and 2015, compared with sub-Saharan Africa’s 4.9%. President Jacob Zuma’s appointment and quick removal of David van Rooyen as finance minister sent the rand, the country’s currency, into a tailspin last year. Calls for Zuma’s impeachment reached a fever pitch after a South African court ruled that he had misappropriated resources for personal home improvements. And as if those political missteps weren’t enough, World Bank data indicate that youth unemployment in South Africa has reached 52.6%. Kenya’s...

  • Diversity in tech startups: time to check our privilege

    I was recently asked to speak on diversity in the South African tech space at Net Prophet, the popular technology and entrepreneurship conference. The talk addressed issues around race (mostly) and gender in the tech space. It asked how tech could solve some of the gender issues and race issues in the country and around the world. How are companies and the tech industry at large dealing with fact there aren’t enough women and people of colour in tech in South Africa and Africa at large? And how can we encourage entrepreneurship in those groups? It is such a...

  • What a Rwandan motorcycle taxi startup can teach Uber

    With its relentless expansion, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Uber is an indomitable force. But there's another transport market, African motorcycle taxis ('motos'), where Uber will have to go a long way to beat the leaders in the field -- Safemotos -- a fast moving startup based in Kigali, who were recognised in the 2015 NT100. I was lucky enough to meet with Nash and Peter, a passionate and dynamic founder team, while visiting Kigali. Other than the obvious financial potential of the SafeMotos, they explained how it's addressing a clear social need for improving motorcycle...

  • 3 key trends that will sustain long-term growth in Africa

    A troubled murmur spread through the investment community in recent months, built on speculation that Africa’s economies are losing momentum after a decade of stellar growth. Turmoil in the foreign exchange market elicited doubts among investors as they watched the Nigerian naira, South African rand, and Zambian kwacha take a beating against the major world currencies. Economic growth in Africa’s largest economies — South Africa and Nigeria — decelerated to low single digits and stoked fears of stagnation and recession. These challenges are real, but they’re not insurmountable. And they’re also only part of the picture. Technology is revolutionising Africa’s...