Author: Lynn Wandia

WIPO ranks Kenya second leading innovation hub in sub-Saharan Africa

WIPO ranks Kenya second leading innovation hub in sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile, Startups, Technology, Women
Kenya has been ranked the second leading innovation hub in sub-Saharan Africa by the World Intellectual Property Organisation in its latest Global Innovation Index (GII) 2019 report. Kenya’s so-called Silicon Savannah only trails upper middle income economy South Africa, with Mauritius coming third. “Kenya has a track record for recording high levels of innovation, outperforming on levels of innovation relative to GDP for the ninth consecutive year, an excellent record at par with other lower-middle-income countries like India, the Republic of Moldova, and Vietnam,” reads the report. Kenya’s innovative strength has been attributed to startups’ easy access to credit and microfinance loans. “As in previous years, Africa shines in terms of innovation relative to level of development. Ou
The Future of Work in Africa: Unleashing the Promise of Digital Technologies for All

The Future of Work in Africa: Unleashing the Promise of Digital Technologies for All

Business, Internet, social media, Technology
As developing countries brace for technological advances and other disruptions arising from climate shocks, fragility, economic integration and population transitions that will fundamentally transform the work landscape, a new World Bank report notes that Sub-Saharan African countries may benefit from digital technology adoption in different ways than other regions. The Future of Work in Africa: Harnessing the Potential of Digital Technologies for All, a regional companion piece to the World Bank’s World Development Report 2019: The Changing Nature of Work, says the region has an opportunity to forge a different path from the rest of the world – if digital technologies are harnessed correctly by governments and businesses by ensuring that critical policies and investments are in pla
Ethiopian ed-tech startup Accelerated uses data-driven tech to train better teachers

Ethiopian ed-tech startup Accelerated uses data-driven tech to train better teachers

social media, Startups, Technology
Ethiopian ed-tech startup Accelerated is blending behavioural sciences, technology and classroom data in order to build a unique teacher-coaching platform for the African context. Founded in 2016 and now finishing its third academic year of operations, Accelerated was established to address poor education outcomes by improving the quality of teaching in Africa, starting in Ethiopia. It does this by empowering coaches to train better teachers using tech and big data. Much like how TripAdvisor helps travellers to make smart choices on accommodation and itineraries based on ratings from other travellers, Accelerated’s Wagtail system helps coaches with meta data on best teaching strategies and personalised recommendations for any particular teacher. “We know a certain recommendation wor
Logistics challenges facing eCommerce in Africa

Logistics challenges facing eCommerce in Africa

Business, Internet, Mobile, Technology
According to Euromonitor, the world’s fastest growing economies by 2030 will be in Africa. This consequently makes the continent the next big e-commerce market. And as this positive narrative continues to place Africa as a top investment destination, the need for advanced logistics systems has become inevitable. The growth of e-commerce will significantly depend on the quality and efficiency of logistics networks; from intra and cross trade to financial transactions in payment of goods and services. When writing the African e-commerce story, I often leap at the chance to explore only the enviable milestones the continent has made. Nevertheless, there still exist formidable challenges especially in logistics, a vital constituent of the industry. The African Development Bank, in its 2019
Safaricom to target new liberalizing markets once it fully acquires MPesa from parent Vodafone

Safaricom to target new liberalizing markets once it fully acquires MPesa from parent Vodafone

Business, Internet, Mobile
Safaricom is working on a joint venture with Vodacom Group to acquire the MPESA brand from Vodafone. The deal, when finalized, will cost the two companies $13.4 million. According to Collymore, acquiring the rights to MPESA will allow the partners to expand the platform’s footprint in Africa and develop more local products. “We are watching Ethiopia closely because as we see the liberalization of the markets, both the mobile payments market, the telecoms market and the banking sector, we think there could be opportunities,” Collymore said. Speaking to The Africa Report in February, Collymore had said a successor should be, “Someone who understands the financial sector a lot more, if we are to occupy the fintech space, and someone who is not going to be scared of going into other mark