Africa remains the region of the world where health challenges are most critical. Thus, e-health represents an opportunity for the development of the sector, particularly due to the high mobile phone penetration rate on the continent and its widespread use.

On Thursday, April 18, the International Committee of Digital Health Experts in Africa (CEISNA) announced a partnership with the Higher Institute of Medical Techniques of Lubumbashi (ISTM) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This agreement aims to promote digital health in Africa.

"This agreement marks a decisive step in the promotion of digital health in Africa, by uniting the efforts of CEISNA and the Higher Institute of Medical Techniques to improve healthcare access through cutting-edge technologies," CEISNA stated in a press release.

As part of this partnership, CEISNA will bring its international expertise in digital health to enhance the capabilities of the Higher Institute of Medical Techniques in the areas of training, research, and implementation of innovative health solutions.

This collaboration is part of CEISNA's efforts to promote e-health education in African universities. Earlier in April, the committee also announced a partnership with the Higher Institute of Public Health in Bamako aimed at improving health systems in Mali through digital technology.

These partnerships come at a time when African governments are increasingly looking to leverage innovative technologies in the healthcare sector. It is becoming urgent for Africa to massively develop systems incorporating artificial intelligence techniques to significantly improve care and provide effective responses to some difficult and rare diseases. According to a report by Fortune Business Insights, the global digital health market is expected to reach $559.52 billion by 2027.

Samira Njoya

Posted On vendredi, 19 avril 2024 15:24 Written by

In 2024, a series of internet disruptions across Africa were linked to cuts of undersea fiber optic cables. As a countermeasure, Seacom, a Pan-African submarine cable provider, has launched internet services through low earth orbit (LEO) satellites in South Africa.

Seacom, a Pan-African submarine cable provider, recently unveiled its satellite internet services in South Africa. These services leverage low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, as announced in a press release on Monday, April 15.

For the launch, Seacom joined forces with Eutelsat Oneweb, a renowned British satellite internet provider. The partnership is designed to deliver superior internet connectivity, especially to businesses, in response to the growing need for high-speed connectivity throughout Africa.

The launch of Seacom’s satellite internet service is timely, given the recurrent disruptions in undersea cables that have been affecting connectivity in several parts of the continent. In February of last year, Seacom faced disruptions in its cable network in the Red Sea, which hindered internet connectivity between Africa and Europe, impacting countries like Egypt and Kenya. In March, technical glitches on the West African coast affected the WACS, MainOne, ACE, and SAT3 cables, leaving people in roughly ten countries without internet access.

In light of these incidents, satellite internet has emerged as a favored solution. Seacom has chosen to adopt LEO technology, which involves satellites orbiting the Earth at distances of approximately 2,000 kilometers or less. This technology promises lower latency for quicker communications and improved coverage for remote areas.

Alpheus Mangale, President and CEO of the Seacom Group, stated, “The end goal is to make the LEO service an essential value offering for organizations of all shapes and sizes. Connectivity is on track to become a wholesale service made up of different technologies that work together to meet clients’ needs and deliver the uptime and performance that’s expected from market leaders.”

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Posted On jeudi, 18 avril 2024 16:10 Written by

The government aims to transform Cameroon into an emerging country by 2035. To accelerate the achievement of that goal, the executive is focused on developing information and communication technologies.  

On Tuesday, April 16, in Yaoundé, the construction of the Digital Transformation Center of the Ministry of External Relations (CTDM-MINREX) was officially initiated by the Cameroonian Minister of External Relations, Lejeune Mbella Mbella. This center, slated to be fully operational within a year, is designed to digitize and secure consular data.

The CTDM will be housed in a four-story, eco-friendly building, outfitted with cutting-edge technologies. It will encompass an ICT laboratory, a management unit for the procurement, storage, and distribution of consular materials, a training room, a round-the-clock call center, and a data storage unit, among other facilities.

The establishment of this center is a key component of a wider modernization initiative undertaken by the Ministry of External Relations. This initiative encompasses the roll-out of a digital platform for managing consular services, the equipping and operationalizing of diplomatic and consular posts, and the enhancement of consular officers’ skills.

In executing these projects, Cameroon is backed by Impact Palmarès R&D SAS, an Ivorian firm specializing in biometric solutions. Headquartered in Abidjan, this company was a technical ally to Cameroon in the successful deployment of e-visas a year prior. As per MINREX, from April 30, 2023, to March 30, 2024, Cameroon welcomed 158,000 visitors.

Once operational, the CTDM-MINREX is expected to improve the quality of Cameroon’s consular services to meet international standards. The center will also streamline consular procedures and speed up the process, enabling applicants to receive their electronic visas within 24 to 48 hours.

Samira Njoya

Posted On jeudi, 18 avril 2024 13:06 Written by

Since its inception in 2022, the AfricaTech Awards have awarded a dozen startups for the tangible impact of their activities on society. For its third edition, the event organizers continue to pursue the same goal.

Viva Technology, or VivaTech, an annual exhibition dedicated to technological innovation, announced on Wednesday, April 17, the 45 African startups selected for the finals of the third edition of the AfricaTech Awards. This Pan-African initiative aims to identify and support impactful innovative startups across the continent. The event will take place on May 24 in Paris, alongside VivaTech.

The 45 finalists were chosen from 310 applications following an evaluation conducted by VivaTech and its knowledge partner, Deloitte. These startups hail from 37 African countries, with Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt having the highest participation since 2022. The finalists are divided into three categories: e-commerce & FinTech (15), Climate Tech (15), and Health Tech (15).

Following a second evaluation by a panel of experts consisting of C-Level partners, investors, and CEOs of incubators, the top three startups from each category will have the opportunity to participate in the 2024 edition of Viva Technology, which will be held from May 22 to 25 in Paris.

According to VivaTech's press release, among the 45 selected startups, 42% are founded or co-founded by women, and nearly 90% have at least one woman on their board of directors. They were selected for the concrete impact of their activities on society or the environment, the creation of remarkable innovation, the scalability of their business in the African market, and the formation of a diverse and experienced team.

"In this new shortlist for the AfricaTech Awards, Africa demonstrates all the richness and dynamism of its startup ecosystem and positions itself as the continent to watch for tech and digital innovation. Viva Technology is delighted to make this African reality known to the whole world and to connect it to the stakeholders who will enable it to reach its full potential. This has been one of VivaTech's commitments since its inception, and this year it will once again be one of the key themes of our event," stated François Bitouzet, Managing Director of Viva Technology.

Samira Njoya

Posted On mercredi, 17 avril 2024 15:21 Written by

Since October 2022, Nigeria has embarked on the development of a regulatory framework designed to foster the growth of innovative startups. A series of initiatives have been rolled out to support young companies and stimulate the local tech scene.

On Monday, April 15, Nigeria’s Minister of Communication, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, officially inaugurated the national startup portal. The initiative is designed to stimulate the growth of startups and nurture tech talent in Nigeria.

Bosun Tijani, speaking about this initiative, stated, “The platform will also facilitate a consultative forum where issues affecting startups can be discussed and properly defined for action by the government and other stakeholders.

The digital platform, which can be accessed at startup.gov.ng, offers numerous benefits to local startups. These include registration and labeling, as well as access to valuable knowledge and information resources crucial for their growth and success. Registering on the platform also opens up opportunities for young companies to receive financial support and tax breaks, among other benefits.

The launch of this platform aligns with the objectives of the Nigeria Startup Act, which was enacted in October 2022. This act stipulates the creation of an annual fund of 10 billion naira (approximately $8.6 million) to finance labeled startups through seed funds, grants, or loans.

Official figures reveal that since its inception in November, the new platform has registered 12,948 companies, 912 venture capital investors, 1,735 angel investors, and 925 incubators, accelerators, and hubs.

Samira Njoya

Posted On mercredi, 17 avril 2024 15:08 Written by

Connecting households to the Internet is crucial for African development as it enhances access to information, education, and economic opportunities, fostering inclusive growth and bridging digital disparities.

South Africa plans to provide internet access to 1.5 million households in rural areas and townships, by the end of the year, by deploying Wi-Fi hotspots. Mondli Gungubele (pictured), the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, announced the initiative during a media briefing in Pretoria on April 4.

“We are dedicated to bridging the digital divide by providing Wi-Fi access to communities and ensuring universal access to the internet. This year, we have connected over 740,000 households to the internet, enabled by the installation of 4,250 Wi-Fi hotspots,” said Mondli Gungubele.

This initiative, part of a broader plan to connect 5.5 million households over the next three to four years, seeks to bridge the digital divide and ensure universal access to the internet. The focus is on rural and township areas across South Africa, with particular attention given to reducing the cost of data and providing affordable internet access.

Additionally, efforts are underway to equip rural schools with internet connectivity and digital skills training through the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) Cyber Labs.

According to Minges (2016) in the World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends by the World Bank, an enhancement of 10 percentage points in fixed broadband usage could lead to a rise in GDP growth by 1.21% in advanced economies and 1.38% in emerging economies. However, to accomplish this goal, it is imperative to ensure universal access to the Internet so that all individuals can contribute to generating this wealth.

Hikmatu Bilali

Posted On mercredi, 17 avril 2024 13:50 Written by

The ongoing digital transformation across the continent has already revolutionized everyday practices and instigated profound societal changes. Notably, the education sector, which holds significant importance, is also experiencing substantial reforms.

On April 15, in Algiers, Kamel Baddari, the Algerian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, unveiled plans for a new digital platform. This platform, designed to guide recent high school graduates, will leverage artificial intelligence to help students choose their future educational paths based on their academic records.

Baddari explained, “Graduates from the June 2024 session will have access to a digital platform designed to identify the fields and specialties that best align with their abilities and grades. This will be achieved using artificial intelligence techniques and data analysis.”

The new platform is part of a broader series of digital reforms recently initiated by the Ministry of Higher Education. These reforms have led to significant savings for the ministry, approximately 72 billion DA (around $53.4 million) in university catering costs and 640 million DA in university transportation from October to last March. The digitization process has thus allowed the ministry to streamline expenses and enhance service quality.

The Algerian government’s investment in this new guidance platform aims to reduce dropout rates, reorientation needs, and student dissatisfaction. The artificial intelligence incorporated into the platform will aid young people in making informed decisions about their university courses. The ultimate goal is to transform student life through precise post-baccalaureate guidance and the selection of a professional, customized curriculum. This will enable students to contribute to wealth creation and job opportunities, thereby adding value to the national economy.

Samira Njoya

Posted On mercredi, 17 avril 2024 10:26 Written by

As an entrepreneur, he aims to ensure that sensitive products such as vaccines are transported under the right conditions, from the pharmacy to the patient.

Christian Cédric Toe (photo), an engineer and entrepreneur from Burkina Faso, is the founder of Laafi Concepts. His company provides an all-encompassing solution for tracking the critical conditions of sensitive items such as vaccines and other pharmaceuticals throughout their supply and distribution chain.

Established in 2020, the startup aims to enhance the availability of health products, including vaccines, and bolster food safety across the continent. Central to its services is the Laafi Monitor, a device that enables customers to track the temperature, humidity, and light exposure of their products in real-time. With its customizable alert features, this tool offers reassurance by alerting users to any critical changes.

In addition to this, the startup has created Laafi Mobile, an app designed to monitor and manage the transport and storage conditions of sensitive products, thereby providing a comprehensive solution to its clients.

Laafi Concepts has benefited greatly from the strategic support of Orange. Christian Cédric Toe acknowledges, “Orange has been instrumental in helping us identify new markets, providing mentorship, and granting us access to its network of experts. This support has been pivotal in the development and marketing of our product.”

Laafi Concepts has set ambitious development goals. The entrepreneur shared with We Are Tech Africa, “We aim to standardize all our processes, enhance the accessibility of our products, increase our institutional customer base to 100 by 2025, develop new features for our solution, and expand our presence in new markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Toe was invited to the World Electronics Forum in Morocco, which ran from Monday, April 15, to Thursday, April 18. This event provided him with the opportunity to network and collaborate with other business leaders.

Toe is an alumnus of the Polytechnic University of Bobo-Dioulasso, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and maintenance in 2013. Prior to founding Laafi Concepts, he introduced Laafi Bag, a refrigerating bag that can keep vaccines at the correct temperature for 90 hours. This innovative product, developed by his company Genuine Concept (2015-2020), won him the innovation award at the Rebranding Africa Awards in 2016.

Melchior Koba

Posted On mardi, 16 avril 2024 18:16 Written by

Digital technologies are significantly revolutionizing agriculture, impacting every stage of the value chain from production to marketing. Therefore, it's crucial to focus on improving funding to facilitate this transformation.

Orange, in partnership with the European Union and the German Cooperation (GIZ), recently announced the launch of "DigiGreen & Agri," an ambitious project aimed at enhancing the use of digital technology in the cocoa sector in Côte d'Ivoire.

This ambitious partnership benefits from joint funding of 7.6 million euros and will be implemented over three years, with the main objective of creating jobs for youth in digital agriculture or e-agriculture. The focus is particularly on young people from rural areas, women, girls, and individuals with disabilities, through the Orange Digital Center in Côte d'Ivoire.

Jérôme Hénique, CEO of Orange Africa and Middle East, explains:  “The Orange Digital Centers serve as crucial catalysts for this transformation, providing a free and open innovation ecosystem accessible to all, with a special focus on youth, women, and vulnerable individuals. Collectively, we are rising to the challenge of constructing an inclusive digital future that respects the environment, paving the way for a more sustainable and prosperous economy.”

The DigiGreen & Agri project is part of the efforts and the desire of the European Union to strengthen smart, clean, and secure links in the digital sector, one of the pillars of the Global Gateway Strategy. This strategy aims to mobilize up to 300 billion euros to develop international cooperation in the fields of digital technology, energy, and transportation.

In Côte d'Ivoire, the implementation of the new project should contribute to the improvement of professional skills, the promotion of entrepreneurship, and the modernization and innovation of sustainable agriculture sectors, low-carbon transition, and corporate social responsibility. The project will also contribute to the evolution of the cocoa sector, which accounts for 22% of the GDP and employs 50% of the active workforce, but receives only 5% of bank financing.

Samira Njoya

Posted On mardi, 16 avril 2024 14:57 Written by

The upgrade of forensic laboratories in Africa enhances law enforcement's ability to effectively investigate crimes, gather crucial evidence, and ensure justice and security across the continent.

Mozambique has unveiled a digital forensic laboratory to bolster the country’s ability to gather crucial evidence for criminal investigations and legal proceedings. This initiative, supported by China, was announced last Thursday April 11 at an inauguration ceremony.

“The new laboratory will enhance Mozambique's capacity to produce evidence crucial for criminal investigations and legal proceedings,” said Interior Minister Pascoal Ronda.

The upgraded laboratory, part of the National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC)’s modernization efforts, equips law enforcement with specialized tools to combat technologically facilitated crimes, reinforcing Mozambique's evidence-gathering capacity and enhancing public security.

In a timely development, Mozambique establishes a laboratory to address a range of crimes, with human trafficking being a major concern, as highlighted in the Africa Organized Crime Index Report 2023.

The new laboratory will help in addressing various complex crimes, while contributing to bilateral cooperation and peace promotion between Mozambique and China.

Hikmatu Bilali

Posted On lundi, 15 avril 2024 17:04 Written by
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