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Africa

  • Beyond the hype: what tech trends should Africa really be excited about

    There are very few players in the tech space who don't have their eyes on Africa. With its fast-growing economies and reputation for adapting existing new technologies in new and innovative ways, that's hardly surprising. But what technologies should people actually be getting excited about? And which ones are are simply over-hyped? A fairly good indicator can be found in Gartner's African Hype Cycle. While the technology research company does note that companies trying to grow their business operations throughout the continent must understand the local market conditions within each country, it does highlight some interesting points of commonality....

  • First Bitcoin academy launches in Africa to teach people about digital currency, blockchain

    The Bitcoin Academy is the first of its kind in Africa. The new company will focus on bitcoin and blockchain development courses, and is located at the Bandwidth Barn in Woodstock, Cape Town. The aim of Bitcoin Academy is to educate those wanting to know more about Bitcoin, blockchains, as well as developers wanting to integrate the exciting technology. The organisation is founded by Sonya Kuhnel, who's the founder of Bitcoin Payments and Bitcoin Events. Kuhnel says there has been much resistance towards the digital currency: When I first started in the bitcoin space, I encountered significant resistance towards digital currencies from...

  • 5 massive moments in Nigeria’s internet adoption

    Every month, Nigeria’s telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) releases the latest figures around the country's telecoms subscribers and internet users. While the various telecoms operators experience ups and downs in subsequent months, one parameter is consistently on the increase – total number of active mobile internet users – which adds millions of new users every month. It wasn’t like this in times past until some things happened apart from the advent of the global system for mobile communication (GSM). It is rather sad to note that these critical developments, positive and negative, are not well celebrated nor recognized...

  • Tech4Africa Cape Town to explore ‘rise of the underdog’

    Tech4Africa has announced the speaker line-up for its Cape Town event, which takes place on 6 August. Among the speakers are local entrepreneur Nic Haralambous, who'll share his story of selling a mobile startup to building an online shopping company selling socks as well as South African hockey legend Steve Evans, who'll be talking about the “Underdog mentality” and what it takes to bring down Giants. Memeburn Publisher Matthew Buckland will meanwhile talk about rethinking media in the content marketing era. Matty Cohen, who's head of product at WooThemes, will chat about South Africa's WooCommerce journey, which sold...

  • Windows 10: why Africa could be key to its success

    It's Windows 10 launch day and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella isn't at the company's headquarters in Redmond Washington. Nor is he in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or New York. He's in Kenya. That's important, because it gives us a clue as to just how important Africa might be for Windows 10. Here's why. In the run-up to today's launch, Microsoft said it would be putting taking a more human approach to the launch. Rather than concentrating on the features (which anyone who cares already knows all about) and the business case, it's pushing the focus onto how people use...

  • Next Einstein Forum on the search for 54 of Africa’s top young science and technology ambassadors

    If you're a young African with with a passion for community engagement and a strong track record in the science and technology spaces, then this might pique your interest. The Next Einstein Forum (NEF) has launched the search for fifty-four of Africa's top young science and technology ambassadors, one from each African country. The selected NEF Ambassadors will join the NEF Fellows Class as young science and technology champions from Africa. The NEF is an African Institute for Mathematical Science (AIMS) initiative in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung and aims to unite more than 500 outstanding thinkers and...

  • Connecting the Karoo: how the internet is changing South Africa’s semi-desert heartland

    Back in the Victorian era of the late 1800s, farm life in the Karoo was hard and isolated. There were great distances between farmsteads, and the families saw each only on special market days and when they held nagmaal gatherings in the local dorpie. So imagine, if you will, sitting on such a farm in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but the same-old-same-old spouse, kids and household help for company. And then you hear, over the veld, the tinkle-tinkle of a heavily laden horse-drawn wagon in the distance. As it comes closer, you see the swaying cast-iron pots, the carefully...

  • New survey reveals how South Africans use mobile devices in the workplace

    More than 95 % of employees in South African companies rely on the use of mobile devices within the office. That's according to the results of recent survey, conducted by Dell in partnership with Microsoft. What is interesting about this number though is that it does not stipulate how many businesses have opted for mobile devices over desktop computers. Even with this, the fact that mobile devices are being used this much says a lot about the distracting effect they have had in businesses. To obtain the data, Dell surveyed IT professionals from companies with more than 250 employees. The...

  • Facebook Africa office officially opens its doors

    Facebook has officially opened its Africa office in Johannesburg, six months after Memeburn first reported it would be doing so. Based in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, Facebook's newest business office will be headed by Ogilvy veteran, Nunu Ntshingila, the company's new Head of Africa. According to Facebook, the office will support the significant growth in businesses and people using Facebook. The social network says that Facebook’s active user population in Africa has grown 20% to 120 million in June 2015 from 100 million in September 2014. More than 80% of these people access Facebook from their mobile phones. “We are inspired by the...

  • 16 trends and predictions around South African internet usage

    By 2019, there will be 27-million South African Internet users, up from 15-million in 2014. That's according to the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecasts 2015, which also suggests that South African IP traffic will grow six-fold by 2019, a compound annual growth rate of 44%. Factors expected to drive this traffic growth, it says, include an increase in internet users, personal devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections, faster broadband speeds, and the adoption of advanced video services. The report also suggests that mobile video traffic will grow at 73% a year in the country. Here are some of the...

  • Medo launches a programme to empower young women in science, technology, engineering and maths

    Last night, Medo hosted a discussion and presentation of its Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) programme. The event took place in Cape Town, with the young school girls telling the guests about their experiences and even brainstorming ideas on how the city can solve the problem of cable theft that affects the running of trains. Across industries, gender inequality is a white elephant that comfortably and has always sat right in the middle of these industries. Science and technology is one of these industries. Companies like Uber and Microsoft and others have had to address this...

  • South Africans are increasingly miffed with their mobile operators

    If you find yourself increasingly annoyed with your mobile operator, then you can at least take solace in the fact that you're not alone. A new study released today shows that South Africans are increasingly dissatisfied with their mobile operators, with one notable exception. The study, conducted by the South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi), surveyed 2 195 randomly selected customers of Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and a category called “Other”, which includes Telkom Mobile. With the exception of Cell C which showed a small improvement, each of the brands received lower scores than last year. Despite causing...

  • Online publication Quartz Africa launches in mission to cover the ‘next billion’

    Renowned US publisher Quartz launches its second international chapter in Africa today, reiterating a ripple of international interest in the region which is said to be a hotbed of trade and investment. Launched two years ago by the America's Atlantic Media, Quartz is well-known for being natively digital, meaning that it's been built with the millennial reader first in mind. "Like Wired in the 1990s and The Economist in the 1840s, Quartz embodies the era in which it is being created," the company writes. Quartz is on curious a mission to tap into the world's fast-growing markets (or "the next billion", as...

  • The opportunities for tech in Africa have never been bigger

    Turning tales of hardship into progress, passionate Africans innovatively use technology to improve life on the continent, fuelling future human progress and development especially on the continent’s hard-hit rural areas where access to electricity, clean water and landlines is still a luxury. On May 25 the continent commemorated Africa Day, highlighting the challenges that continue to face our current reality while celebrating the progress we have achieved so far. Africa Day is an opportunity for citizens to reconnect and recommit themselves to support developmental initiatives that aim at changing the lives of Africa and advancing the continent. According to the Borgen...

  • Accra embraces Microsoft CityNext applications

    On 22 May, Microsoft Ghana, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Global Alliance of Mayors and Leaders from Africa and African Descent signed an agreement to make the city of Accra in Ghana Africa’s first "Centre of Excellence". This will be done through the use of Microsoft’s CityNext applications, making the city healthier, safer and more modern The deal came days before the Fourth World Summit of Mayors and Leaders from Africa and of African Descent which will take place from 1 to 3 June 2015 in Accra. “Our collaboration is an excellent example of how private partnerships can help shape...