Tech (443)

With the open innovation framework, Algerian authorities want to boost the number of cleantech operating in the country, address various challenges and ultimately export local expertise. 

Algeria Venture (A-Venture) and  Schlumberger signed Wednesday (May 1) an open innovation framework for technical support to Algerian energy startups. 

Speaking during the signing ceremony,  the Minister of Startups Yacine El-Mahdi Oualid explained that the innovation framework would encourage more startups to enter the energy sector, which is vital for the national economy. It will also increase the number of projects and cleantech developed in the sector while helping address the energy transition challenges facing Algeria. 

Ultimately, thanks to the innovation framework, Algerian energy startups will be able to export their expertise in the North African sub-region and beyond. 

Under the open innovation framework, “international, private, state and parastatal groups will collaborate and help startups and project owners address Algeria’s future challenges in sectors like digital transformation and energy transition,” indicated Redha Kelkouli (photo, left), MD of Schlumberger North Africa.  

Startups play a key role in the improvement of access to various vital services. In Africa where businesses and households are still affected by the energy deficit, startups can offer alternative solutions. For that reason, the volume of investments they attract yearly is growing steadily. In its report  “2021 Africa Tech Venture Capital,” Partech estimated the volume of investments attracted by cleantech in 2021 at US$193 million, up by 30% year on year. 

Ruben Tchounyabe

Posted On vendredi, 13 mai 2022 17:55 Written by

In Africa, digital transformation is on the rise but so are cybersecurity threats. However, the continent does not have enough cybersecurity professionals to face the threats. Various partners are moving to bridge the skill gap. 

Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) and Deloitte Morocco Cyber Center (Deloitte MCC) signed Monday (May 9), a cooperation framework agreement to promote high-level scientific and technological research in cybersecurity. 

The partnership was announced in a release published the same day on UM6P’s website. According to the release, the aim is to build cybersecurity talents and create new solutions. To do so, the three pillars will be prioritized. The first pillar is the development of a certification program recognized by international cybersecurity standards bodies. The second is the creation of a research and development program aimed at encouraging innovation and preparing for major changes (post-quantum cryptography, artificial intelligence, etc). The last one is the development of a professional integration pathway at Deloitte MCC and Deloitte as a whole.  

I am confident that our partnership with our colleagues at Deloitte MCC will contribute significantly to sealing the link between research and the professional world in Morocco and Africa,” said Hicham El Habti (photo, right), President of the UM6P. According to the latter, UM6P’s digital adoption has led to positive outcomes. For instance, the university’s startup ecosystem is growing steadily while its computer science, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence academic programs are renowned nationwide. However, students need to apply their knowledge in the professional world. The partnership with Deloitte MCC will facilitate that transition. 

This new ambitious partnership allows the construction of a bridge between the academic world and the business world, thanks to the support of public institutions and the State. We believe that this is the only way to create ecosystems that can train and retain high-level talent while fostering the emergence of new business models that are attractive to start-ups, scale-ups, and specialized investment funds,” commented Imane Elbaraka (photo, left), Managing Director of Deloitte MCC. 

Ruben Tchounyabe











we are tech africa 

Posted On jeudi, 12 mai 2022 16:24 Written by

With the acceleration of digital transformation in Africa, the continent will need more human resources with adequate digital skills. With Academia Raqmya, Morocco intends to develop those skills. 

Morocco’s Digital Development Agency (ADD) launched, Tuesday (May 10), the country’s e-learning platform, Academia Raqmya. By launching the platform, Morocco wants to boost digital skills and e-learning.  

For Minister of Digital Transition Ghita Mezzour (photo), who presided over the launching ceremony, Academia Raqmya is a key step in the operationalization of the country’s digital transition. It is “in line with instructions given by Mohammed VI for human capital development,” she added

Academia Raqmya is launched in a context marked by accelerating digital transformation in most African countries. As a strategic sector for socio-economic development, training is one of the areas prioritized.  Through the platform, Morocco will offer a range of digital courses allowing learners to acquire new skills and actively participate in the development of the digital economy. With the platform, Morocco also wants to boost digital inclusion. 

To introduce learners to the digital world, the platform offers two programs, namely “digital enhancement,” and “digital literacy.” 

The platform aims to teach 12,500 learners in its first year with 173 courses that make up a total of 1,200 training hours. In its first three months (the pilot phase), it will train 1,350 learners and in the active phase (fourth to twelve months), it will train 11,150 learners to reach its target. 

Ruben Tchounyabe










we are tech africa 

Posted On jeudi, 12 mai 2022 16:08 Written by

When the AfCFTA became effective in January 2021, it boosted the business opportunities available for actors. Yet, some players are still left out because they have poor or no access to market information. Ancestral House Eastern Africa wants to address that issue.

Online trading platform Ancestral House Eastern Africa recently launched its activities to facilitate intra-African trades. With offices in Abuja, Nigeria, and Nairobi, Kenya,  the platform acts like a facilitator offering administrative, technical, logistics, and commercial assistance. 

According to Ancestral chairman Ose Imoukhuede (photo), although most African SMEs can easily export or import goods from other continents it is hard for them to carry out intra-African trades despite the yearly US$1 billion potential of the market. 

Ancestral House Eastern Africa, therefore, wants to make intra-African trades easy for those firms by addressing a certain number of challenges. The said challenges are namely “lack of market information, inexperienced exporters/importers, poor logistics infrastructure, inefficient cross-border payment systems/infrastructure, cultural differences, gaps, and trust deficit, as well as  varied Competitive landscapes.”

For the time being, the online trading platform will connect East and West African traders with services like business matchmaking, market research, logistics, consumer trends, and behaviors. 

Ancestral connects “producers and consumers of goods and services across Africa through technology-driven go-to-market information and expertise,” explains chairman Ose Imoukhuede.

In January 2021, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) became effective in a market of 1.2 billion people covering 55 countries with combined GDP estimated to be some US$2.5 trillion. In those countries, SMEs represent 80% of the economic fabric but they are still struggling to penetrate overseas markets. With Ancestral’s trading platform, they can capitalize on regional markets to reach buyers outside the continent.  

Ruben Tchounyabe

Posted On mercredi, 11 mai 2022 12:53 Written by

In five years, the African gaming community has recorded outstanding growth. The industry now appears like a strong job and wealth creation catalyst on the continent.

Goethe Games Station -a gaming tour- was launched in Burkina Faso last May 7.  Organized by Goethe-Institut Ouagadougou and Enter Africa, a creative African organization initiated by 15 Goethe-Institutes,  it aims to teach “young people about the ins and outs of digital and virtual reality.”

Over seven months, in the framework of Goethe Games Station, a caravan will be organized at selected popular places in Ouagadougou on the first weekend of every month. During the events, the national gaming community will be introduced to the youth.  

For Evelia Gadegbeku, president of Enter Africa, the project is aimed at giving the “Burkinabe youth the opportunity to discover gaming, the opportunities it offers, and its career paths.”

The caravan will also educate participants on how to make good use of digital technologies and avoid the dangers of gaming addiction, notably social division and aggressive behaviors. 

Last year, a Newzoo report revealed that of the 1.14 billion residents in Sub-Saharan Africa, 186 million (16% of the overall population) were video game players. 95% of the game players (177 million) play mobile games. According to the report, with an annual growth rate estimated at 9.2% yearly between 2020 and 2024, the region has the fastest-growing mobile gaming community in the world. 

Also, 34% (63 million) of Sub-Sarahan African gamers pay for games. Sub-Saharan African gamers are also expected to be the fastest-rising in the world. 

According to Newzoo, the gaming industry generated US$590 million in 2021, with promising growth prospects. With democratization actions, Burkinabe youth can capture part of those revenues in the same way South Africans, Nigerians, Ghanaians, Kenyans, and Ethiopians are already doing. 

Muriel Edjo





we are tech Africa

Posted On mardi, 10 mai 2022 17:46 Written by

Based on three factors, StartupBlink ranked the top 100 countries that had a conducive ecosystem for startup development in 2021. Three African countries have joined the top 100, and all of them are located in West Africa. 

In 2021, the number of African countries in the best 100 countries for startups rose to 14, up from 11 in 2020. The ranking was presented in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2021 published by StartupBlink. 

Though minimal, the progress demonstrates a certain dynamism in the investments made by African countries to offer the youth an appropriate innovative entrepreneurial framework. In Africa, most countries are aware that startups are important players they can rely on to improve residents’ access to various services and curb unemployment.  

In the 2021 ranking, there were no Central African countries. East Africa was represented by six countries (up from four in 2020) against three countries for North Africa.

Southern Africa was represented by two countries, including South Africa which won a spot in the best 50 countries for startups. The region that achieved the most notable progress is West Africa with three countries (Nigeria, Ghana, and Cape Verde), which were absent from the top 100 last year. 

StartupBlink bases its ranking on the three factors notably, quantity, quality, and business environment. The quantity factor measures the number of startups, co-working spaces, accelerators, and “Startup related Meetups” in a said country. As for the quality score, it takes into account several elements including the number of employees per startup, private sector investments, and the presence of unicorns. 

The third factor (business environment) “focuses on general indicators connected to infrastructure, business environment, ecosystem critical mass, and the ability to freely operate as a startup founder.”  

Even though their countries are absent from the best 100 ranking, some African cities are among the best 1000 cities for startups. For StartupBlink, it is “a testament to their entrepreneurs’ ability to disconnect from geopolitical barriers, inefficient governments, or the painful lack of national resources available to support their growth.” Those cities are notably Luanda, Dakar, Douala, Buea, Yaoundé, Kinshasa, Cotonou, Alger, Ouagadougou, Bamako, and Conakry.

Muriel Edjo

Posted On vendredi, 06 mai 2022 17:40 Written by

Urban mobility is a real challenge in large African towns. To address the situation, startups like GoMetro are developing alternative solutions.

South African logistics startup GoMetro secured ZAR16.3 million (US$1 million) in pre-A funding from Kalon Venture Partners, Hlayisani Capital, and several others. 

According to the release published Thursday (May 5) by Kalon Venture Partners,  the funds raised will help GoMetro “accelerate its growth, bolster its commercial team and rapidly expand into the South African, UK, and American markets.” 

GoMetro was founded in 2011 by Julien Coetzee. It helps manage bus and car fleets and improves operational efficiency, security, and predictability. Unlike on-demand transportation, with GoMetro, trips depart and arrive at specific points. 

“By using our mobility management platform and digitizing their entire fleet, operators can save up to 30 percent in operating costs by increasing overall vehicle utilization, controlling excess mileage, and managing back-office costs. We have also seen our customers increase the certainty and accuracy of their delivery windows by 50 percent,” said the CEO of GoMetro, Justin Coetzee.

GoMetro’s Android and iPhone apps show pickup points, departure and arrival points, routes, and the schedule of available shuttles. Users can therefore choose the closest locations and save time. Payments are made with the integrated wallet.  

The startup also has a mobile app specially made for drivers. On that platform, drivers can view pending tasks, check their driving scores and perform vehicle inspections. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Posted On vendredi, 06 mai 2022 15:33 Written by

The coronavirus pandemic accelerated digital transformation across the globe. In Africa, about 230 million jobs will require “some level of digital skills” by 2030, according to the International Finance Corporation (IFC). However, there is still a huge digital skill gap on the continent. Hence the importance of such programs. 

Pan-African organization Power Learn Project (PLP) announced, Thursday (April 28), the launch of its "One Million Developers for Africa" program. As its name implies, the program aims to train one million Africans in software development by 2025. In its first phase, launched this year, the program will train more than 10,000 learners in six countries, namely Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, and Zambia.

According to Ms. Mumbi Ndung'u, PLP Chief Growth & Operations Officer, the project’s “goal is to drive transformative change for the youth of Africa through technology skilling.”

“The program will offer online junior software development training, consisting of curated programming languages as well as a soft skills component in employability, and entrepreneurship to enable the learners to acquire entry-level smart technology jobs. Through support from partners, the course will be covered on full scholarships, so the learners’ only concern is to learn and absorb as much as they can, as they prepare to navigate the digital revolution with us, ” she added. 

The coronavirus pandemic proved how important digital transformation is for Africa. However, there is still a shortage of digital skills required on the continent. Meanwhile, about 70% of the population in Africa is aged between 18 and 35 and 60% of that population is underemployed or unemployed. Digital skill training can thus become an important tool in addressing that situation and at the same time providing the skills necessary for digital transformation on the continent.

For John Kamara, chairman of the board of PLP, the pan-African organization is “working towards the Pan African dream of building relevant capacity to extract value from the fourth industrial revolution."

During the 16-week training, learners will be taught courses like Python programming, Dart programming with the Flutter framework, introduction to blockchain technologies, web technology (PHP, HTML, JAVA), databases (SQL programming), and employment and entrepreneurship skills. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Posted On jeudi, 05 mai 2022 17:16 Written by

The online training platform has already convinced several investors with its innovative model. Its ambition is to enter new African markets and prepare millions of residents for the digital economy. 

Malagasy start-up Sayna raised, Thursday (April 28), US$600,000 from Orange Ventures, Launch Africa Ventures, and MAIC Investors Club, to develop its operations. 

The startup created Sayna Academy, a computer skills training platform, and Sayna Works, a micro-task platform. With the funds raised, it wants to upgrade its platforms to be able to host 257,000 microtasks and attract more than 3,000 active freelancers and 12,000 learners by 2024. 

In 2021, its founder, Matina Razafimahefa, unveiled the startup's plan to enter the Ivorian, Ghanaian and Senegalese markets. 

This fundraising is both a crucial step for SAYNA’s international development and a strong symbol for the Madagascar tech scene. Our team is today composed of 25 people split between France and Madagascar. This is also a sign of hope for hundreds of thousands of young African talents who, until now, have not had the opportunity to become professionals to take advantage of the fourth industrial revolution underway on the continent,” she said commenting the fundraising. 

Sayna was founded in 2018 and quickly attracted ambitious young people looking to acquire soft skills to improve their living conditions. 

For Zach George, managing partner of Launch Africa Ventures, “Sayna, with its focus on soft skills training, mentorships, and a peer-to-peer learning environment, stands a good chance of becoming a direct gateway to projects, experience, and income for youth across the African continent.” 

In 2021, the startup obtained over US$105,000 from I&P Acceleration Technologies, a program that funds startups in sub-Saharan Africa thanks to support from the French Development Agency (AFD), through the Digital Africa Initiative.  To date, it claims 450  learners trained and over 609 corporate partners and clients served. 

Muriel Edjo

Posted On mardi, 03 mai 2022 15:50 Written by

With the digital library created, Moroccan authorities want to encourage reading and contribute to the development of new skills. 

The Moroccan Ministry of Youth announced, Monday (April 25) the creation of a digital library with more than 36,000 books, freely accessible to every citizen. The books are categorized by age group and subject. Every week, the digital library will be updated with new books published by more than 400 authors, we learn. 

According to the Ministry, the library is created to diversify the digital services offered by media libraries and contribute to the vulgarization of new information technology standards in the publishing sector. 

With its digital library, the country wants to encourage the population to read, learn and acquire new skills. They can access it anywhere they are. As for users of media libraries and cultural centers supervised by the Ministry of Youth, they will receive a username and password to visit the digital media library anytime they are within the premises of those cultural centers.  

The digital library is launched just days after World Book and Copyright Day (April 23) and just weeks before the national reading day (May 10). 

In 2019, the Morrocan High Commission for Planning (HCP) revealed that only 0.3% of the Moroccan population read daily and the average daily reading time is two minutes. The HCP also stressed that 55% of the young population have never read a book while 33.8% reads occasionally and 11.2% read regularly.  

Ruben Tchounyabe

Posted On vendredi, 29 avril 2022 16:28 Written by
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