Five African tech trends to look out for in 2018

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    The BBC’s Clare Spencer picks 5 African tech tendencies to look out for in 2018.

    Land registry you possibly can’t tamper with

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    The thought: Documentation is usually missing in elements of Africa, resulting in land disputes as a result of it is not clear who owns the land. Even when there are information, generally they’ve been tampered with. A report that can not be deleted, utilizing one thing known as blockchain, might be used to stop these disputes. Blockchain is a technique of recording knowledge – a digital ledger of transactions, agreements, contracts – something that must be independently recorded and verified. What makes an enormous distinction is that this ledger is not saved in a single place, it is distributed throughout a number of, a whole lot and even 1000’s of computer systems all over the world. Everybody within the community can have entry to an up-to-date model of the ledger. So it may be an open, clear auditable and verifiable report of any transaction.

    The appliance: Cybersecurity firm WISeKey is utilizing blockchain know-how for the land registry in Rwanda.

    What occurred in 2017: WISeKey introduced a partnership with Microsoft to assist the Rwandan authorities in adopting blockchain know-how, reports technology news site Cryptovest.

    What can we count on for 2018: Step one in adopting blockchain in Rwanda is digitising the Rwanda Land Registry, iAfrikan tech blog reports. The corporate is opening a blockchain Centre of Excellence in Rwanda, reports the New Times, which might go so far as growing a Rwandan cryptocurrency, just like Bitcoin.

    Outsourcing IT work to Africa

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    The thought: The world has a shortage of software program builders. In the meantime, Africa has a rising younger inhabitants. Coaching software program builders in Africa who US and European companies can rent faucets into that human capital.

    The appliance: Andela is a startup firm that trains builders in Nigeria and hires them out to world tech firms. The unique concept was to show individuals a sensible ability after which use the cash they make to pay for his or her training, Iyin Aboyeji, one of many founders of Andela, explained to the Starta podcast.

    What occurred in 2017: In October Andela raised $40m in funding, reports TechCrunch. The earlier 12 months it had raised $24m from Mark Zuckerberg, reports Forbes.

    What can we count on for 2018: There are rumours that it’ll open up in Egypt according to iAfrikan.

    Making it simpler to pay for issues

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    The thought: Many individuals throughout Africa haven’t got financial institution accounts. Cellular cash – sending cash through your cellphone – has already proved a really profitable different to money. Africa has turn into the worldwide chief in cellular cash with greater than 100 million individuals having cellular cash accounts in 2016, according to McKinsey research. Cellular monetary companies now embody credit score, insurance coverage, and cross-border remittances. The issue is that there are too many various methods which don’t at all times work with one another. This implies numerous individuals in Africa cannot pay for merchandise on-line.

    The appliance: Flutterwave is without doubt one of the new improvements coming by way of. It makes it simpler for banks and companies to course of funds throughout Africa. It lets prospects pay of their native currencies and permits individuals to ship cash from the US to a cellular cash pockets, charging sellers a small service payment, which it shares with banks.

    What occurred in 2017: Within the first quarter of 2017 Flutterwave processed $444m in transactions throughout Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya, it informed BBC. From the beginning the corporate has processed greater than $1.2bn in funds throughout 10 million transactions, reports CNN. The corporate obtained $10m of funding from the US this 12 months, CNN provides.

    What can we count on for 2018: The brand new funding might be used “to rent extra expertise, construct out our world operations and gasoline fast enlargement of our group throughout Africa,” Flutterwave says. With that, it hopes that extra individuals in Africa should purchase issues they aren’t at the moment capable of pay for, like on on-line retailer Amazon. Because the agency’s boss Iyinoluwa Aboyeji places it: “If we’re profitable, we would simply encourage a brand new technology of Africans to flip the query from: ‘What extra can the world do for Africa?’ to ‘What extra can Africa do for the world?'”.

    Getting issues delivered by drone

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    The thought: There’s a world race for industrial drone deliveries of small packages, which have been restricted within the US and Europe due to aviation guidelines. As compared, some elements of Africa, akin to Rwanda, are welcoming drones. The mixture of rural roads and huge quantities of land which isn’t on a flight path make elements of Africa excellent for growing supply drones.

    The appliance: The logistics firm Zipline runs drones which might ship small packages like blood, vaccines and anti-venom.

    What occurred in 2017: The world’s first drone port opened in Rwanda in October 2016 and Zipline introduced it was going to broaden to Tanzania.

    What can we count on for 2018: Zipline’s Tanzania operation is predicted to start in Dodoma, in early 2018, reports Forbes. It should have 4 distribution centres throughout Tanzania, providing a spread of medical provides. Forbes says this would be the largest drone supply system on the earth.

    Turning the lights on whenever you’re off-grid

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    The thought: Nationwide grids are struggling to offer for the individuals who have entry to them, not to mention prolong to the individuals in hard-to-reach areas. Renewable power presents a chance for individuals to create power nearer dwelling.

    The appliance: Peg Africa is without doubt one of the firms that sells photo voltaic panels to people who find themselves not on the nationwide electrical energy grid. Photo voltaic panels are simply too costly for plenty of individuals in order that they pay it again in instalments by way of small funds on cellular cash when they need electrical energy.

    What occurred in 2017: PEG Africa raised $13.5m, reports Techmoran.

    What can we count on for 2018: PEG Africa is increasing in Ghana and Ivory Coast.

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    Learn extra about know-how in Africa

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    Africa needs more engineers and makers

    Five African inventions we told you to look out for in 2017

    How African governments block social media

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