Tech (443)

To add value to its economy, Morocco seeks new partnerships with international partners. Its agreement with HCL is highly strategic given its reputation as the best destination for outsourcing. 

Indian multinational IT services and consulting company Hindustan Computers Ltd (HCL) will soon set up a “delivery center” in Morrocco. Indeed, last May 28, during her official visit to India, Moroccan Minister of Digital Transition, Ghita Mezzour,  signed a memorandum of understanding with HCL.

According to a release from the Ministry of Digital Transformation, the memorandum states HCL’s ambition to offer high-value-added IT services to its global clients from the Morocco-based delivery center. The IT consulting company will focus notably on coding, software development, and training Morrocan talents. Ultimately, HCL plans to use Morrcoo as an outsourcing hub to conquer the African market. 

Morrocco's already high internet penetration rate is growing exponentially. The country, whose population can speak Arabic, has an educated and qualified workforce. Indian entrepreneurs can capitalize on the Moroccan population’s ability to speak French to reach African countries whose population mostly speak French,” Minister Mezzour said. 

The government official’s visit to India was organized to enter into strategic partnerships with large firms. During her visit, Mezzour presented Morrocco as one of the three best outsourcing destinations in Africa because of its political stability, its commercial partnerships with European countries, and its trade openness in Africa.  

Ruben Tchounyabe

Posted On mardi, 07 juin 2022 13:39 Written by

Nowadays, digital skills are important to be employable or employ one’s self. Private and public actors understand that and they want to help the youth get those skills for an end to the ever-increasing unemployment problems.

Guinean incubator Ose Ton Emploi launched, Saturday (May 28), its digital training lab dubbed Sanku Lab. The lab, funded to the tune of €55,000 by the Orange Guinea Foundation, will train up to 2,100 people for ICT jobs, notably prototyping and creating digital solutions and tools. 

At Sanku Lab, the trainees will have access to every piece of equipment needed like laptops, a 3D printer, a vinyl laser cutter, a heat press, electrical tools, digital embroidery machines, etc… 

During the launching ceremony, Ose Ton Emploi’s founder Danda Diallo explained that Sanku Lab would henceforth be the cornerstone of his incubator’s activities. Praising the initiative, Youssouf Boundou Sylla, Secretary-general of the Guinean Ministry of Technical Education indicated that they are “socio-economic growth drivers.” 

Ose Ton Emploi, created in 2018, aims to support young innovative project owners. It has already incubated several startups and is a member of Afric’Innov, a network of  African incubators. Through its works, it helped school dropouts showcase their talents and initiate their professional integration.  This is one of the reasons it was backed by the Orange Guinea Foundation. 

Because of the importance of the digital sector nowadays, we support digital initiatives to allow the youth to master the usage of digital tools, discover what they are passionate about, get trained, contribute their creativity to create startups, mature them and enter markets for guaranteed self-sufficiency,” said Amina Abou Khalil Nyame, Orange Guinea Foundation’s representative during the launching ceremony.  

Ruben Tchounyabe












we are tech Africa

tech africa

Posted On vendredi, 03 juin 2022 12:22 Written by

In Africa, ICTs have proven their worth in resolving key issues in almost every sector, including the health sector. By using their tools, Senegalese authorities want to improve healthcare. 

African genomics startup 54Gene and Senegal will soon launch a program aimed at assembling the reference genome of the Senegalese population. In that regard, the startup signed, Tuesday (May 24), a memorandum of understanding with the Senegal Academy of Science and Technology (ANSTS) and Cheikh Anta Diop University’s department of human genetics. 

The program dubbed SEN-GENOME is scheduled to start in July 2022 and initial results are expected for December 2023. Based on results from the genomic study of the country’s main ethnolinguistic groups, it will help lay the foundation of precision medicine, and identify the hereditary risk factors of some diseases like cancer, heart diseases, and hereditary diseases. It will also allow better health surveillance for the Senegalese population. 

For Prof. Aynina Cisse, ANSTS representative during the signing ceremony, SEN-GENOME is launched because researchers noticed that “the reference human genome currently used is not representative of the genetic variety of Africans as a whole and Senegal in particular.”  

In that regard, the program will establish a reference genome reflecting the genetic diversity of the Senegalese population. The reference genome assembled will be used to improve the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and prevention of the most common diseases. It will also allow anthropologists to better understand communities’  socio-cultural history.

Modern medicine will rely on every individual's gene pool. SEN-GENOME, which is the first reference genome project in Francophone sub-Saharan Africa, will help initiate a genomic medicine plan in Senegal,” explained Prof. Rokhaya Ndiaye Diallo, head of Cheikh Anta Diop University’s department of human genetics.

"Africa has the most genetically diverse population but, those populations are poorly represented in international genomic databases.  SEN-GENOME will help fill this gap and allow Senegal further precision medicine,” commented Dr. Abasi Ene Obong, 54Gene founder and CEO.   

Muriel Edjo

Posted On mercredi, 01 juin 2022 13:25 Written by

African countries are gradually adopting the 5G, presented as the primary tool empowering the next wave of digital transformation thanks to its speed. To boost its effective use, public and private actors are moving to help African innovators develop 5G-powered apps and solutions. 

Cameroonian business incubator Boris Bison Youth Empowerment Business Incubator (BB Incubator) currently plans to deploy 5G tech spaces across Africa. In that regard, it recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pan-African video-game publisher Ludique Works and the Finnish technology learning accelerator network Start North. According to a release dated Tuesday (May 24), the tech spaces are baptized “5G Mokki Tech Spaces.” 

Our aim is [to create] a Pan-African tech space network that connects the African continent to Europe and the rest of the world, promoting the learning and adoption of technology, remote work, and entrepreneurship. In addition to promoting education, jobs, and the economic development of the regions, the network also aims to curb climate change by utilizing the latest technology,” explained Boris Ngala (photo, right), founder and CEO of  BB Incubator.

Africa’s first 5G network was deployed in 2020. Up to now, less than ten countries have effectively launched the fifth-generation network technology on the continent.  Meanwhile, network technology is presented as the primary tool that will empower the next wave of digital transformation by supporting virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and autonomous things. So, private actors are moving to allow the African youth to test the network while developing tech solutions. 

The 5G Mokki Tech Space network can serve international and local companies, provide creative-economy and technology-based jobs, and promote entrepreneurship based on the learning of the latest technology and hands-on projects that serve local conditions. Furthermore, this is supported by an extensive national and international collaboration with universities and companies,” said Douglas Ogeto, Ludique Works co-founder and CEO. 

Developed by Start North, the “5G Mokki Tech Spaces” concept was created during an academic program organized in partnership with Finnish University Aalto to develop real-life 5G apps.  According to the May 24 release distributed on behalf of Start North, Aalto is currently “in talks” with the University of Addis Ababa (Ethiopiaà and the African School of Economics (which has campuses in Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, and Benin) to deploy the “5G Mokki Tech Spaces”. “A project is underway to set up a 5G Mokki in a rural area in Zambia [...] to provide immersive learning and research in the field of agriculture,” we learn. 

Ruben Tchounyabe

Posted On lundi, 30 mai 2022 14:01 Written by

Egypt is one of the countries with the fastest-rising used-car market. Despite the presence of notable competitors, Sylndr wants to conquer the market and become the most-trusted retailer. 

Egyptian startup Sylndr recently raised US$12.6 million from a group of investors led by Saudi VC firm Algebra Ventures. On Monday (May 23), the fundraising was announced by Omar El Defrawy, Sylndr co-founder and CEO. 

With the funds secured, the startup specialized in used car retailing wants to scale operational capacity, develop its tech infrastructure, and build its retail segment. It also plans to double its workforce by the end of 2022 and update its tech to allow users to list their cars for sale. Sylndr plans to double the size of its team by the end of the year and open up to buyers in late 2022 or Q1 2023.

For Omar El Defrawy, Sylndr’s ambition is to quickly become the most trusted used car retailer in the Middle East, Egypt particularly.  “The main problem that we’re trying to fix in Egypt is the complete mistrust between buyers and sellers of used cars in the markets.[…] imagine if you enable financing and make the cars much more affordable to people, that’s a core value proposition we want to ship as well,” El Defrawy told Techcrunch. 

According to Ken Research, Egypt is, since 2020, one of the countries with the fastest-growing used-car market. The reason for that growth is the high cost of new cars. Popular car models cost around US$15,000, which is quite expensive for many Egyptians in a market where car financing is quite burdensome.  In that context, Sylndr wants to capitalize on retail sales, auctions, dealership, B2B sales, financing, insurance, towing services, and other value-added services. 

Startups like Cazoo, Cars 24, and Spinny have also seen the potential of the Egyptian market and are developing strategies to conquer it.  

Ruben Tchounyabe

Posted On jeudi, 26 mai 2022 12:53 Written by

Technology now appears as an essential tool that can be leveraged for improved governance and growth. In line with its commitment to socio-economic development in Africa, Orange wants to support the development of innovative tech solutions.   

French telecom group Orange announced Friday (May, 20), the launch of its 12th Orange Summer Challenge, a 3-month competition helping students create innovative tech solutions. Backed by Google and EY Tunisie, the competition is open for students in the eight MENA countries where Orange already has its digital centers. Those countries are namely Tunisia, Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon, Mali, Sierra Leone, Madagascar, and Jordan.

In the framework of the summer challenge, students who have projects aimed at leveraging technology for the greater good will receive training and mentorship from local and international coaches. The experts teaching and mentoring them will notably come from Orange Coding Academy (for the software component of the competition) and the FabLab Solidaire (for the hardware component).

They will also receive technical support, notably in project design (business modeling, business plan writing, etc…), from EY Tunisie. 

The three partners will also provide design thinking and soft skill courses to help mentees present their projects during the final stage of the competition in each of the participating countries. Applications for the summer challenge are open till June 15, 2022. Interested students can submit their applications here

Ruben Tchounyabe

Posted On lundi, 23 mai 2022 16:05 Written by

Most of the reports focused on Africa’s development stress the fact that entrepreneurship can address unemployment and wealth-creation problems. However, there are funding problems. To address those problems, investors, venture capitalists, business angels, and alike are stepping in with ever-innovative financing offers. 

London-based venture capitalist Mustard recently launched a £4 million (US$5 million) investment vehicle to support African startups with “globalizable” ideas. Through its investment vehicle, Mustard plans to be both an investor and builder that will develop African idea-stage ventures that are likely to appeal to a global audience.

According to Mustard, African startups have the potential to influence the global scene, therefore imprinting a positive image of the continent.  Therefore, it will invest both capital and technical expertise (engineering, design, and storytelling) even before the beneficiary projects and ventures are incorporated. 

For the former Tony Elumelu Foundation CEO and Venture Capital advisor for the current project, “Mustard’s approach will [...] bring stories from Africa and other cultures to the world [...] through the meaningful brand narratives it builds for tech ventures.”  

Africa has many stories to tell, and over the last twenty years the story of its resilient youth seen through the growth of tech startups has been one of its most significant,” she added. 

Meanwhile, Seni Sulyman, founder of Black Ops (a community of African Venture builders and operators), believes that “right from the first time [...] Mustard’s thesis and idea-stage investment approach [..] was really powerful.” 

I am keen to see what comes next from the Mustard team because I want to see African brands go global, which will not only mean massive changes for the continent but also for its place in the world,” he commented. 

Ruben Tchounyabe

Posted On vendredi, 20 mai 2022 20:25 Written by

Internet is an important tool for socio-economic development in Africa, but the majority of the population still has no access to it mostly because they are far from enabling infrastructures. To address that challenge, operators are turning to satellite internet. 

In Senegal, Orange subsidiary Sonatel will improve its broadband coverage through its Gandoul-based ground station. On Tuesday, May 17, on the sidelines of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day and the fiftieth anniversary of the ground station, the operator reactivated the satellite internet infrastructure.

With Gandoul ground station, Sonatel wants to allow internet access for a larger population, notably those located in rural areas far from fiber-optic infrastructures and telecom towers. The service will be provided through “O3b mPOWER,” an advanced communication satellite system currently consisting of eleven satellites, intelligent software, and innovative ground infrastructures. In February 2022, it signed a service agreement with “O3b mPOWER” owner,  Société Européenne des Satellites (SES).  

"The multi-terabit capacity of O3b mPOWER satellite constellation and its automated ground infrastructure can generate thousands of dynamic beams to deliver unprecedented multi-gigabit per second and low-latency connectivity services to clients in Africa,” Sonatel says.  

This will facilitate access to public and private online services for millions of Senegalese. In the long run, Sonatel may even extend its offers to other West African countries.  

Gandoul ground station was inaugurated on April 5, 1972, by former president Léopold Sédar Senghor. It was first renovated in 1991, then in 2003 before welcoming Africa’s first intercontinental satellite antenna in 2020.  In 1978, the ground station empowered most of Senegal’s international communications, making the country the first to transmit satellite communications in Africa. In 1981, it contributed to the successful launch of NASA’s space program Columbia. 

Muriel Edjo

Posted On jeudi, 19 mai 2022 14:11 Written by

In January 2022, Twiga Foods launched a diversification strategy by adding a range of products to its offering. With Twiga Fresh, it pushes the commitment up a notch to offer quality and affordable food products to Kenyans.  

Kenyan agritech Twiga Foods recently launched Twiga Fresh, its subsidiary dedicated to commercial farming. According to Twiga Foods CEO Peter Njojo, the startup invested US$10 million with the support of development funds. The commercial farming subsidiary is already producing watermelons, onions, and tomatoes on a 650-hectare piece of land leased in Taita-Taveta, we learn. To boost its yield, Twiga Foods will use modern farming techniques.

Twiga Fresh, in addition to our growing range of private label products, will ensure we drive growth in customer numbers and broaden the basket size by offering quality produce at a discount against prevailing market prices,” said CEO Njono.  

It is in line with the diversification strategy unveiled by Twiga Foods last January by adding sugar, salt, rice, cooking oil, maize flour, etc to the list of the products it sells. In November 2021, the agritech raised US$5 million to support its East and West African expansion.  

The startup, which connects farmers, sellers, and final consumers, promises to continue sourcing fresh farm products to address food inflation. By leveraging technology, it offers low prices by reducing the number of intermediaries in the supply chain. “The commodity-driven volatility in the world today is causing an unprecedented level of food inflation across the world. In Africa, we can least afford this disruption, and that is why we are excited about the imminent impact our technology-enabled supply chain will have in reducing the cost of food,” explained Peter Njonjo.

Ruben Tchounyabe

Posted On jeudi, 19 mai 2022 14:03 Written by

Since 2020, most African countries have been investing heavily in their digital transformation. Indeed, the coronavirus pandemic demonstrated that their socio-economic ecosystem was not resilient to major crises. Although the pandemic is gradually waning off, they are intent on enhancing their preparedness.

Mauritania's Minister of Digital Transformation Cheikh El Kebir Ould Moulaye Taher (photo), unveiled, Monday (May 16), the key projects to be launched by his Ministry in the coming days. 

 The projects were presented on the sidelines of a cybersecurity event. According to the government official, the projects include connecting the country to a second subsea cable system, launching a dozen new e-services, accelerating e-governance, and creating a computer emergency response team.  

The investments will boost the use of digital tools, which efficiently improve public service and inclusive growth, he added. They will also raise Mauritania’s preparedness for the digital economy. Indeed, in the past ten years, the country made little to no digital progress. It did have three telecom operators and several internet service providers but its internet penetration rate is 35.8%, revealed Hootsuite and We Are Social in the Digital Report 2022

By enhancing connectivity, e-governance, and cybersecurity, the government wants to improve residents’ access to quality internet and the development of innovative entrepreneurship. Its aim is also to enhance the efficiency of public services whose credibility depends on the security of online users.  

In its latest e-government development index (EGDI), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) ranked Mauritania 38th out of 54 African countries. In its Cyber Security Index, the ITU did not even rank the country because there were no data on its cybersecurity performance. 

Muriel Edjo

Posted On jeudi, 19 mai 2022 13:55 Written by
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