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  • Innovating Africa means practical solutions to unique challenges

    Innovation is one of the most important contributors to economic growth in any market. Innovators create wealth, attract investment and provide job opportunities. They also create new supply chains and boost exports. This is a universal reality. However, the reasons why individuals become innovators (and the subsequent output), depends upon the context. A desire to become rich by becoming the next Apple might motivate the majority, but here in sub-Saharan Africa, there are often other, more nuanced reasons for inventing new products and services.

  • How Flickswitch is enabling Africa to become a continent of connected things

    The Internet of Things (IoT) — or the concept of connected devices — is becoming more prominent by the day. It’s estimated that there will be around 38 billion connected devices by 2020. While still in its infancy in South Africa, it’s growing fast. In fact, Kees Snijders along with his partners Hein Koen, Gerrie Swart and Kristien Wolmarans from South Africa’s Flickswitch are banking on it. And so far, it’s boded them well.

  • Africa should accelerate IPv6 migration now to avoid a scramble later

    The Internet community across Africa needs to prepare for the inevitable day when AFRINIC, the Regional Internet Registry (RIR), will run out of IPv4 addresses to allocate to its members. This follows the news that ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers) officially ran out of IPv4 addresses on 24 September this year. Africa is the only region that has not yet depleted its pool of IPv4 addresses. The RIRs in Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America all no longer have IPv4 addresses to allocate to their respective members. Though AFRINIC still has IPv4 addresses to spare, it is time for...

  • YouTube finally launches offline video feature in South Africa

    The world's largest online video platform boasts over a billion users watching hundreds of millions of hours everyday. Countries with limited data connectivity however are still largely untapped markets. To help remedy this, YouTube launched its offline feature in South Africa today at AfricaCom 2015. Using the YouTube app, this would enable people to save clips of cats getting vacuumed or epic documentaries onto their mobile devices. Saved videos can then be played back without an internet connection for up to 48 hours. The feature has been available in India, Indonesia and the Philippines since last year and was introduced in...

  • 10 of Africa’s most innovative apps of 2015 you should know about

    Pan-African competition AppsAfrica has concluded earlier this week, announcing the continent's ten most innovative mobile applications of 2015. With entries stretching from Nigeria to Togo and South Africa, the awards recognised a variety of platforms, that include live video and radio streaming to e-readers and many more. "Our mission is always to promote and honour the fantastic innovation across the mobile and tech ecosystem in Africa," AppsAfrica wrote in a blogpost. "We had diverse entries from 21 countries and both the finalists and winners are a testament to how technology is being used to disrupt business models, empower people and drive...

  • How Africa’s 1bn+ population will transform telecoms sector

    Africa has earned itself many titles over the years and one of which is that it is the untapped market, with much potential. During 18th annual AfricaCom 2015, which is currently on its second day of the three-day conference in Cape Town, the continent has been branded with another title -- that of being the untapped telecommunications market. Against a slowing subscriber growth around the world, Africa is showing a 47% market penetration and offers 500 million potential mobile subscribers. “Africa’s telecoms sectors will continue to undergo huge transformation. While over the last decade this has largely been fuelled by a series of...

  • How will new technology transform Africa? [AfricaCom]

    Technology has already had a massive effect on Africa. So much has been said, and so many words have been written, about how the continent has leapfrogged more developed markets (especially when it comes to mobile) that it's become cliche. While there's still truth in those cliches, the vast majority of those developed markets have caught up with, and in many cases overtaken Africa in areas where it once led. That doesn't mean that the rate of technological change in Africa has slowed down -- the top 10 connected African countries already represent half a billion internet users for...

  • The Ericsson Mobility Report sheds light on Sub-Saharan Africa connectivity

    The Ericsson Mobility Report is out, painting a rosy, albeit distant, future of 5G networks in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and other markets. The report reveals that in 2021, there will be about 150 million mobile subscriptions. This growth will be driven by the 5G network, based on standards that meet ITU IMT-2020 requirements, expected to be deployed from 2020. The numbers are impressive in all the markets, proving once again that we now live in a connected world. Predicted to lead with the first and fastest 5G subscription uptake are South Korea, Japan, China and the US. According to the...

  • Africa gets its first ever home-grown superhero TV series

    Superheroes are everywhere. The world can't get enough of them. In fact, Africa now has its own superhero TV series. Called Jongo, the series tells the story of Eli King, a young man who acquires supernatural abilities through an alien crystal at the Cradle of Humankind. The crystal is left to him by his father, an enslaved miner who is murdered shortly after escaping. As Eli tries to deal with the death of his father and find the men responsible, he must also grapple with the powers of the crystal and how it will change his life. However, the...

  • What will the African tech landscape look like in 2019?

    Over the past 50 years, Internet technology has rapidly and profoundly changed the way people work, live, play and learn. The power of the Internet is allowing African citizens to do more things, from more places, faster and better. Computers, mobile devices, homes, cars, clothes, businesses and even cities are all being connected to the global network. Today’s pace of technology change is akin to a vortex, relentlessly sweeping everything into its spiral path, demanding digitization. The force of this change is too strong to ignore, and anything that fails to adapt, such as outdated business models, will break apart...

  • How are you paving your road to be a digital world leader in Africa?

    By 2020, more than seven billion people and businesses, and at least 30 billion devices, will be connected to the Internet.* Predictions on the future of digital consumption no longer shock me and as an enterprise leader, it shouldn’t shock you either. Business IT professionals own a minimum of three devices connected to the internet viz. mobile, tablet and laptop – it’s not a statistic I pulled from a survey, but rather my own observation at every ICT conference I’ve attended in the last 12 months, including AfricaCom 2014 and VAS Africa 2015. At the VAS Africa 2015 conference, Nevo Hadas,...

  • Africa-built digital player goes live on BBC World Service

    The BBC World service has announced the launch of a new digital player designed and built by digital innovators from Africa. Called BBC Minute CatchUP, the player can sit within any online page and will let users hear and share the latest edition of BBC Minute. Built by social enterprise hub RLabs, CatchUP is specifically created to work well on smartphones. BBC Minute CatchUP was designed in Cape Town, and comes from one of the development studios (aka 'hackathons') held earlier this year by the BBC World Service and BBC digital innovations team, Connected Studio. "African audiences have become 'mobile-first'...

  • 5 excellent examples of African corporate blogs

    Although social media and content marketing is commanding a lot of buzz and marketing budgets these days, smart businesses are not underestimating the power of blogging as an essential tactic for business marketing. A Corporate blog is a blog that is published and maintained by a brand or business in order to reach its organisational goals. From brands across medical, beauty, electronic, fashion industries to services like consulting and banking, smart brands and small businesses are already leveraging corporate blogs as a way of getting the word out, promoting their business and engaging with their target audience. Apart from...

  • African businesses seriously need to adopt talent management software

    Businesses across Africa are starting to focus on the selection, development and retention of skilled employees in the light of increasing competition for skilled resources across the continent. Talent management technologies are not only automating the talent process but also driving talent management practices to support business operations. Talent management is becoming a competitive advantage which is enabled through new technologies available to business. The growth in African economies and demand for highly skilled employees are driving the demand for talent management technology across the continent. The demand and interest is driven by the need for African corporates...

  • Everything you need to know about the East African startup landscape [2015/2016 Update]

    Update: Are you a venture capitalist or an angel investor looking to invest in a company? Are you an entrepreneur looking for capital or other opportunities? Are you an aspiring startup owner looking for assistance? Well, you have come to the right place. Ventureburn presents an updated guide to East Africa’s startup scene. This article is the most comprehensive guide for anyone who wants to get involved with, or have a better understanding of, the region’s fast-growing startup space. It’s the second of our inaugural series, with others focusing on South Africa and West Africa.