Tech (300)

Cassava is one of the most widely consumed foods in sub-Saharan Africa. It is easy to cultivate and can be processed into many things. It nevertheless faces threats that can be overcome with technology. 

On Tuesday, June 6, smart farm management software provider FarmERP announced the deployment of its FarmGyan platform based on AI, machine learning (ML), and computer vision in Nigeria.

According to the provider’s release, the platform aims to boost cassava cultivation in the country to improve productivity, profitability, and predictability.

"FarmERP [...] brings a specialized focus on helping Cassava farmers by extending the crop life [...] in Cassava plantations up by 40% through its tech-enabled platform," the release said.

Nigeria's cassava industry is the largest in Africa. For several years, the country has been the world's leading producer of cassava, accounting for 21% of global output. However, cassava plantations face several challenges, including the proliferation of pests, the presence of diseases, and extreme weather conditions.

To solve these problems, the FarmGyan platform will digitize the growth path. It will also monitor plants and quickly identify weed infestation by using drone images and AI models. 

The platform will also be able to detect crop and soil moisture, crop water requirements and irrigation, and manage diseases through satellite-based crop health monitoring tools. Overall, FarmGyan will contribute to effective and efficient crop management.

After Nigeria, the company will extend its services to other African countries, notably Angola and Ghana. The aim is to help as many stakeholders as possible to practice Agriculture 4.0 to achieve profitable and sustainable agribusiness.

Samira Njoya


Posted On vendredi, 09 juin 2023 12:44 Written by

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the digital summit GITEX Africa, which gave several companies the opportunity to bag agreements. 

On Wednesday, May 31, Hicham El Habti, President of Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique (UM6P), and Safia Faraj, CEO of French company Atos signed a collaboration agreement on the sidelines of digital summit Gitex Africa in Marrakech. The agreement aims to strengthen collaboration in the fields of research, innovation, and education, and to support the development of digital talents in Morocco and Africa.

"The two institutions will collaborate on research and development projects, as well as on the organization of scientific conferences or seminars, or the sharing of material and human resources [...] Atos will organize events, open houses, and training courses for UM6P students. It will also connect them with Internship and recruitment opportunities. Similarly, Atos employees will be welcomed at UM6P for engineering and management training courses," reads the press release issued on June 1.

The Moroccan university is multiplying its partnerships to establish itself as a reference in fields relating to digital transformation. With its Stargate incubator, the institution facilitates the emergence of start-ups in the country. In that context, thanks to this new partnership with Atos, it can help the Moroccan tech sector address the tech skills and talent gap. 

Let’s note that during GITEX Africa, Atos, a leading digital transformation player in Africa, also signed agreements with Togo to implement a national electronic identification system. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Posted On lundi, 05 juin 2023 12:10 Written by

To grow and compete with their counterparts around the world, African businesses need stable, low-latency connectivity and digital tools to optimize their activities. Projects are being implemented to enable access to what they need. 

Liquid Dataport, a subsidiary of connectivity company Liquid Intelligent Technologies, announced on Wednesday, May 31 the launch of its new fiber optic route linking Mombasa, Kenya, to Muanda in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) via Uganda and Rwanda.

According to the release announcing the launch, this is the shortest route between East and West Africa and will reduce data transmission latency by 20 milliseconds.

We have a significant number of wholesale, enterprise, and hyperscale customers along this route, and we fully support them in operating their global networks. The availability of our latest and shortest East to West route brings many proven economic and social benefits – from providing access to online educational resources to creating more jobs and driving the adoption of new technologies,” said  David Eurin, CEO of Liquid Dataport.

This latest fiber optic route complements Liquid's previous achievement, completed in 2019, linking Dar es Salaam to Muanda on the west coast of the DRC via Zambia. It will bring more reliable and affordable broadband connectivity to over 40 million people who live and work in all the major cities along the route.

The partnership is part of Liquid Intelligent Technologies' "One Broadband Africa" initiative. The company is pursuing its strategy of conquering the African and global markets for broadband connectivity and digital services. In recent months, it has strengthened its presence in Africa by expanding into Nigeria, Egypt, and Algeria. On Thursday, May 25, the company signed an agreement with satellite telecom services provider Viasat to provide high-speed Internet connectivity services in West Africa.

According to Hardy Pemhiwa, CEO of Liquid Intelligent Technologies, this east-west axis will promote digital inclusion by bringing global traffic to the continent, but also by reducing the cost of broadband Internet access across the continent.  

Samira Njoya

Posted On jeudi, 01 juin 2023 15:55 Written by

Nigeria, with its 218 million population, needs 363,000 doctors to reach the WHO’s recommended one doctor for every 600 residents. With the ratio becoming less attainable, authorities have decided to leverage the power of tech tools. 

Last week, the Nigerian Federal government inaugurated NigComHealth, an e-health solution. The solution was developed in partnership with NigComSat, a Nigerian ICT and telecommunications company, Sawtrax, a Nigerian software company, and Ethnomet, a Canadian health technology start-up. The aim is to provide people, especially those in rural and remote areas, with better access to health care.

“The doctor-patient ratio in the country is getting worse, with a physician attending to more than 5,000 patients. This represents a stark contrast with WHO’s recommendation of one doctor to 600 patients. With 218 million people to cater to, Nigeria requires at least 363,000 additional doctors to meet this target,” which NigComHealth is expected to achieve, according to Professor Salahu Junaidu, the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy. 

For several years now, the country has been the hotspot for the tech revolution in Africa.  In the health sector, the number of healthtech solutions is multiplying and increasingly becoming a viable alternative to people with low or no access to health services. The solutions contribute to the achievement of the third sustainable development goal, which aims to ensure health and well-being for all by guaranteeing, among other things, universal access to medical coverage and health services.

However, despite the efforts, e-health solutions are not yet accessible to most rural populations. According to the GSMA, Sub-Saharan Africa had a 28% internet penetration rate in 2020. In addition, Nigeria particularly has the highest internet exclusion index in the world, according to a study published by World Data Lab in 2022. According to the same source, about 103 million people (out of a population of about 218 million) are "Internet poor," meaning they cannot afford the minimin Internet bundle. 

In that context, if no additional measures are taken, NigComHealth, seen by politicians as the tool to resolve the desperate health access issue, may be just another healthtech solution in the Nigerian tech landscape. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Posted On jeudi, 25 mai 2023 13:22 Written by

In the digital era, data generated by internet users are raw materials for various multinationals. Restricting its misuse is a security issue, particularly in Africa where regulations are somewhat lax. 

The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) announced on Monday (May 22),  a €1.2 billion fine against Meta Platforms Ireland Limited. The fine was imposed over the violation of Article 46 (1) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in relation to the unlawful processing and storage of European Facebook users’ data in the U.S. 

Meta Platforms Ireland Limited is allowed five months to "suspend any future transfer of personal data to the United States," six months to stop "the unlawful processing, including storage, in the United States" of the transferred EU personal data. The Irish CPO's decision comes in the week marking the fifth anniversary of the GDPR, which became effective on May 25, 2018.

The decision issued Monday by the Irish regulator is the umpteenth in a series of fines that stems from a multitude of complaints filed, since 2011, by privacy activist Max Schrems.

It calls on African authorities to regulate the management of African users’ private data by multinationals such as Facebook, Amazon, and Google ... whose services are used by hundreds of millions of people on the continent.

The African Union Convention on Cybersecurity and the Protection of Personal Data adopted on June 27, 2014, which aims to protect personal data is yet to become effective. As of April 11, 2023, it was ratified by 14 countries. The last country to ratify it was Côte d'Ivoire, on March 8, 2023. As per Article 36, one more ratification is needed for the text to officially become effective.

Muriel Edjo

Posted On mercredi, 24 mai 2023 11:05 Written by

The digital economy is already disrupting the labor market in Africa, where a significant lack of basic, intermediate, and advanced digital skills still exists. To address this skills gap, educational institutions are exploring the educational segment. Additionally, some other companies are also getting involved, albeit for different purposes. 

Since its inauguration in October 2021, Orange Digital Center (ODC) has trained 1,900 individuals, including 60% women, in digital skills in Madagascar, according to Frédéric Debord (photo), CEO of telecom operator Orange Madagascar. More than 600 of the learners from this digital skills acquisition center were professionally inserted, we learn. According to Frédéric Debord, the Malagasy-based ODC is the only one in the 15 similar centers across Africa to have achieved such performance. 

The executive made those comments at the 12th edition of the Conference on Digital Transformation in Africa (ATDA), held on May 19-20, 2023 under the theme "Human Capital: Catalyst for a successful African digital ecosystem.” During this international meeting, Frédéric Debord called on African digital actors to invest in training nearly 650 million individuals in digital skills on the continent by 2030.  

According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), more than 230 million jobs will require digital skills by 2030 in sub-Saharan Africa, which will translate into nearly 650 million training opportunities. The institution points out that digital skills will be among the seven most important skills in the future. Yet the current workforce does not have an adequate supply of these skills, and the gap between supply and demand, which is larger in sub-Saharan Africa than in other regions, is likely to grow.

For now, African education systems are not being reformed fast enough to take those realities into account. However, private training organizations are already moving to meet the needs with fee-based training. Sometimes, the trainings are free, thanks to investments made by companies as part of their social commitment.

For instance, under its corporate responsibility, Orange has deployed 42 women digital centers, in addition to its ODCs. The centers have helped train more than 10,000 unqualified and unemployed women in digital skills. The group has also deployed 240 Digital Schools in Madagascar, and more than 400,000 students and teachers are benefiting from the program, which aims to improve the quality of education, promote equal access to digital education and encourage the use of digital tools in schools.

Posted On mardi, 23 mai 2023 11:56 Written by

Over the past five years, Kenya has made significant progress in the ICT field.  The country is now a digital hub attracting several multinationals. It still wants to consolidate that position.  

On Wednesday, May 10, Kenya signed a partnership agreement with Venom Foundation, a foundation specializing in crypto development and licensed by Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial center and free zone located on Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Under the agreement, a state-of-the-art hub dedicated to the creation of new blockchain and Web3 applications in Africa will be established in Nairobi.

"The Kenya Blockchain Hub will provide essential tools and resources to support African nations in building a robust foundation for digital transformation. By implementing blockchain-based solutions, we aim to promote transparency, efficiency, and trust throughout the continent. [...] The benefits of this partnership will extend both nationally and globally, improving lives and unlocking potential," the Venom Foundation tweeted.

Blockchain is a storage technology that keeps track of a set of transactions in a decentralized, secure, and transparent manner. It offers high standards of transparency and security, as it operates without a central control body. It can be used in various sectors, including finance. This partnership demonstrates the growing interest that blockchain and related technologies are gaining in Kenya. Global cryptocurrency exchange Binance reports that about 8.5% of Kenya's population (4.25 million people) own digital currencies. This growing craze is currently driving the government's desire to introduce a 3% tax on digital assets in the next fiscal year.

Although there is no national strategy on blockchain and related services yet, the market is growing and changing. The Kenyan government, aware that it cannot curb people's adoption of new technologies because it still lacks the right regulatory framework, has taken security measures by developing a Sandbox through which new technologies, software, and other services can be tested in a safe environment before being made available for consumption.

Before the public initiative with Venom Foundation, an almost similar private initiative had already taken shape in October 2022. That month, the Swiss-based nonprofit NEAR Foundation announced the launch of the Regional Blockchain Hub in Kenya in partnership with Sankore, a NEAR Foundation guild based in Kenya. The Kenya Regional Hub's mission is to accelerate blockchain innovation, education, and talent development across Africa.

Samira Njoya

Posted On vendredi, 12 mai 2023 10:25 Written by

Competition is intensifying in Africa's rapidly growing data center market. Both local and foreign companies are increasing their investments in infrastructure to meet the rising demand for cloud services across the continent. 

An agreement was signed on Monday, May 8, to secure land for the construction of a large-scale data center in Egypt. Khazna Data Centers, a company specializing in data center construction and operations based in Abu Dhabi, has partnered with the Egyptian ICT company, Benya Group, to carry out the project. The agreement was signed by Ahmed Mekky, CEO of Benya Group, Hassan Al Naqbi, CEO of Khazna Data Centers, and Amr Aboualam, chairman of Maadi Technology Park.

Under the agreement, Khazna Data Centers and Benya Group will build a $250 million data center at Maadi Technology Park in Cairo. The center will have a capacity of 25 megawatts (MW) that is expected to double to 50 MW as expansion plans are implemented. The goal is to meet the region's underserved data markets. Construction works are expected to begin later this year and be completed within three years.  

The new agreement marks Khazna’s entrance into the Egyptian market. The company plans to expand into three other MENA markets, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Morocco.

According to Ahmed Mekky, Khazna's expansion in Egypt "will contribute to attracting more investments for business sectors involving intensive operations, supporting cloud computing and content system operators” and “encourage major commercial companies to join these giant digital clusters that rely on the latest cloud computing applications, digital technology, and big data."

Samira Njoya

Posted On mardi, 09 mai 2023 12:17 Written by

Lillian Barnard has been the managing director of Microsoft South Africa since 2019. Kalane Rampai will replace her.

Microsoft appointed South African Lillian Barnard (photo) as president of Microsoft Africa. The US tech giant announced on May 2. 

Barnard has been working in the ICT industry for more than 25 years. She has held local and international leadership positions at companies such as IBM and Vodacom before becoming the CEO of Microsoft South Africa in 2019. She held the position since and will now be replaced by Kalane Rampai.

The appointments align with Microsoft's digital transformation efforts in Africa. The tech behemoth opened its Africa Transformation Office (ATO) in November 2021 and put it under the leadership of Nigerian Kunle Awosika. Microsoft's investments in Africa include digital infrastructure, connectivity, training, cybersecurity, cloud, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and startups. According to an International Data Corporation (IDC), Microsoft and its partner ecosystem will spend about $3.7 billion in Africa on services and products over the next three years.

“As African organizations of all sizes, and across every sector, pivot and adapt to changing business and customer needs, they are looking for partners who can accelerate their agility, flexibility, and competitiveness, while also cutting costs and driving efficiencies. I am deeply passionate about unlocking the growth potential, using technology to deliver real impact for businesses, communities, and economies across the continent,” says Barnard.

Isaac K. Kassouwi

Posted On vendredi, 05 mai 2023 17:16 Written by

He has over 12 years of experience in various fields such as humanitarian aid, finance, and entrepreneurship. With Naledi Services, he supports SMEs and start-ups in their digitization process.

Patrice Binwa Aganze (photo) is a Congolese entrepreneur who graduated from the University of Goma in 2011 with a degree in finance and financial management services. He also holds certificates of Professional Competence from Trust Merchant Bank and HavardX. He is renowned as the founder and CEO of tech company Naledi Services.

The company was founded in DR, in 2014. It develops custom web and mobile apps, and offers and maintains security systems, among other things, to help entrepreneurs in their management tasks. 

"Naledi Services was created to provide solutions that improve the management of SMEs and startups. Our slogan says it best: “Think IT, Get IT”. We have noticed that many people start their businesses with the buzz around entrepreneurship, but the vast majority of Congolese SMEs do not have management tools adapted to their business," said Patrice Binwa Aganze on what prompted him to create the company, during an interview with TechCabal on May 2, 2023.

The digital solutions he provides SMEs and startups include Reflet, a store management software that offers the possibility to create loyalty programs to reward customers when they visit points of sale. There is also Akiba, a savings management software designed for microfinance institutions and establishments.

Naledi Services is also a communications agency that offers its clients advertising, media, print, marketing, press, and public relations management. It also manages professional and leisure events. To date, Naledi Services has 2,351 active users and has worked with over 375 SMEs and NGOs. 

Its founder, Patrice Binwa Aganze, is a UN Capital Development Fund Business Development Support Expert since 2020. He entered the professional world, in 2009, by joining Radio Kivu One as a columnist. At the same time, he was working for APROFIME (Action pour la promotion de la fille-mère) as a senior accountant. He was also a customer service agent for Trust Merchant Bank from 2013 to 2014.

Melchior Koba

Posted On vendredi, 05 mai 2023 11:57 Written by
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