African Tech Round-up

AFRICAN TECH ROUND-UP  |  Podcast , ±30 min episodes every 5 days
The African Tech Round-up podcast delivers all the week's technology, digital and innovation highlights from across the African continent and beyond, while the African Tech Conversations podcast features relaxed in-depth chats with leading entrepreneurs, innovators and thought-leaders who are intimately involved in Africa’s Information & Communications Technology scene.
13
OCT

Adebayo Alonge explains how RxAll's AI-driven spectrometer authenticates medicines

Adebayo “Ade” Alonge is the Nigerian co-founder of RxAll, a platform which provides patients in the developing world with authenticated and verified medicines. Prior to this, Ade was a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, and before that, he spent eight years working a Sanofi, Roche, and BASF.In this absorbing, not-so-quick chat with Andile Masuku, Ade unpacks the state of play within Nigeria's pharmaceutical mass market, and explains how RxAll is enabling direct access to affordable, high-quality medicines while helping to reshape how drug purchasing habits within markets rife with counterfeit product.
03
OCT

112: The Great Bitcoin Surge And Cryptocurency Mining feat. Simon Dingle

South Korea has reportedly become the latest notable nation to follow the likes of Nigeria and China by outlawing the use of cryptocurrency. Given these developments, policymakers all across the continent are no doubt mulling over the merits of banning Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). They are probably concerned that by shunning cryptocurrencies, they might end up being on the outside looking in on a lucrative financial trend that may well prove impossible to rein in regardless.In this episode of the African Tech Round-up podcast, cryptocurrency enthusiast, Simon Dingle, joins Andile Masuku and Musa Kalenga to discuss the great Bitcoin surge that is fueling the world's current obsession with virtual money.Simon explains why some people are displeased with the likes of PR journalism outfit, Memeburn, and CBS's cable channel, Showtime, for allegedly taking advantage of their audiences to mine crypocurrency. And in the wake of all the recent moving and shaking by some African virtual currency exchanges such as Luno, BitPesa and BitMari, Simon also factors in on what separates mediocre platforms from great ones.Music Credits:Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
25
SEP

Bertil van Vugt on how VC4Africa's new startup academy is boosting aspiring founders

Bertil van Vugt is Business Development Lead at the Amsterdam-based organisation, VC4Africa. In this quiet chat with Andile Masuku, taped at Afrobytes Tech Conference 2017, Bertil gives us a sense of the mind space tech industry business opportunities occupy in the average European. Given his vantage point, he's also well-placed to factor in on how Africa's tech ecosystem is coming along in terms of growth. Finally, Bertil also unpacks the noble rationale behind the recent launch of VC4Africa's online startup academy, and explains why he's bullish on the e-learning trend.
20
SEP

African Billionaire Watch & Other Political Conversations feat. Sinclair Skinner

A few weeks ago, Africa's richest man, Nigeria's Aliko Dangote baffled many pro-African investment proponents by declaring that if things go the way he plans, come 2020, a significant chunk of his wealth will be deployed abroad. Andile Masuku factored in on the furore in this think piece for Business Report and African Independent.In this African Tech Round-up episode Andile and Musa Kalenga are joined by Bitmari Co-founder and self-proclaimed "pre-racial thought leader", Sinclair Skinner for an unfettered family-style straight-talk session which literally went all over the place-- including reacting to Mr Dangote's recent revelation.Beware the scorching candid views and unintentional hot takes on everything from Naspers' problematic links to South Africa's apartheid past and Tanzania's new drone delivery program, to the big ticket maneuverings happening in South Africa's fintech scene courtesy of South Africa's wealthiest black man, Patrice Mostepe.Music Credits:Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
19
SEP

Internet Society's Michuki Mwangi separates hype from reality regarding Africa and the internet

Michuki Mwangi is the Regional Development Manager for Africa at the Internet Society where he works in the African Regional Bureau to promote Internet growth and sustainability since 2008.As the Internet Society celebrates it's 25th year anniversary, Michuki relects on the progress being made on the continent to enable more and more Africans harness the life-changing potential on the internet. Among other things, Andile Masuku asks him who can be trusted in the light of numerous political and commercial interests around the world all keen to exploit the internet to advance selfish ambitions.
06
SEP

Adedana Ashebir On Village Capital's Investor Bias Report + Do Expats & Repats Care About Africa?

Adedana Ashebir has recently been tasked with heading up Village Capital's business on the continent. In this conversation, Adedana walks Andile Masuku through some of the thinking behind and the findings published in Village Capital's implicatory Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded report called Breaking the Pattern: Getting Digital Financial Services Entrepreneurs to Scale in India and East Africa.Among other things, this fintech-focused research highlights the fact that more than 90 percent of funding for East African fintech start-ups typically goes to expatriate founders (European or North American), and the fact that despite East Africa posting a record haul in terms of start-up investment ($84.7million or R1.13billion) over the last two years, a whopping 72 percent of that funding has gone to just three companies - namely, M-Kopa, Off-Grid Electric and Angaza.Adedana factors in on the lively debate that's ensued in the wake of the report being published, and shares candid insights on the awkward dynamics of navigating the continent's emerging tech scene as a repat.
31
AUG

A Chat With George Asamani Of DooWapp

George Asamani is an exceedingly well-traveled 39-year-old Ghanaian who currently calls Addis Ababa home. He is the co-founder of a music and messaging app called DooWapp-- an alumnus of Telefónica's Wayra startup accelerator in the UK. In this conversation, taped at the Enterprise Africa Summit 2017 hosted by the British Council in Accra some months ago, George gave Andile a sense of the positive innovation vibes that he's absorbed while living and working in various African markets over the years. They also chatted about the importance of responding readily to market feedback when iterating a passion-driven 'nice-to-have' software product.
21
AUG

110: Kenya's Twiga Foods Closes $10.3M Series A Investment Round Led By Wamda Capital

The last few weeks have seen three promising African tech startups land significant investments-- namely, the Nigerian digital payments firm, Flutterwave ($10 million), the Kenyan mobile-driven food supply platform, Twiga Foods ($10.3 million), and the South African fractional investments service, EasyEquities ($7.5 million).In this installment of the African Tech Round-up, we discuss the merits of the Flutterwave and Twiga deals, but somehow, we forgot to chat about the EasyEquities transaction on this episode (our bad). That particular transaction stands out somewhat, owing to the fact that 30% of the company was acquired by the South African financial services giant, Sanlam.Here's to hoping that the Sanlam-EasyEquities deal signals a trend towards African institutional investors becoming savvier at identifying and financing home-grown start-ups before their overseas counterparts swoop in to snap up promising businesses from right under their noses.Music Credits:Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
20
AUG

A Chat With Charlene Chen Of BitPesa at Afrobytes Tech Conference 2017

Charlene Chen is the Chief Operating Officer of BitPesa-- an online payment platform founded in Kenya that leverages Blockchain settlement to lower the cost and increase the speed of business payments to, from and within sub-Saharan Africa. In this chat with Andile Masuku, Charlene explains how BitPesa helps clients, that range from African businesses and multinational companies paying suppliers as far as China and Dubai to international remittance companies, use their API services for white-label payments to dozens of bank networks and mobile money operators across Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, and the DRC.She also unpacks why BitPesa hasn't gotten caught up in speculation regarding Bitcoin and sheds light on about the company's prospects following the successful close of their $5.7 million Series A in January 2017.
14
AUG

A Chat With Eunice Baguma Ball Of Africa Technology Business Network

Eunice Baguma Ball is the Ugandan Founder and Executive Director of the Africa Technology Business Network (ATBN). For over 10 years, Eunice has worked at the intersection of tech and social enterprise - leveraging her engineering background to build an impressive reputation as a tech and innovation specialist.In this chat with Andile Masuku, Eunice gives her take on the state of African women in tech, comments candidly on some of the cultural hurdles women continue to face in what is still largely an unwelcoming, male-dominated industry, and gives us the low-low on a ground-breaking book she hopes to publish in December 2018, called Founding Women.Founding Women will shine the spotlight on African Female founders who are building technology businesses across Africa and the Diaspora-- with the aim of creating visible role models to inspire young African women to reach their full potential as innovators and tech leaders.Listen in to hear how you can contribute to an ongoing Indiegogo crowd funding campaign that will not only help the book get made but also ensure that many promising African women founders and innovators access it for free.
13
AUG

Kenya General Election 2017: The Fake News Factor With Eric Mugendi of PesaCheck.org

Eric Mugendi is the Managing Editor at PesaCheck.org. In this chat with Andile Masuku, taped on Monday, August 7th, 2017 - a day before Kenya's General Election - he factors in on how fake news has influenced public sentiment in the lead up to the highly-contested polls. We deliberately asked Eric to weigh in on the fake news situation before his insights were clouded by the election results. We've also been intentional about waiting for the official outcome to be declared before releasing this podcast, in respect for Kenya's democratic process.
31
JUL

109: Investor Bias Debate 2.0 + Should Africa Embrace Uberisation? feat. Vije Vijendranath

A couple of weeks ago, a think piece by Andile Masuku entitled "We simply must not allow investor bias to persist" - featured in African Independent and Business Report - caused a bit of a stir on Twitter. The hubbub surrounds the article's tackling of the sensitive issue of investor bias that appears to be prevalent in Africa's startup finance scene.Cited in Andile's piece are research findings published in a recent Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded report by the American VC outfit, Village Capital. According to the report, more than 90% of the funding that's gone into East African fintech startups over the past year or two has benefitted firms with expatriate founders. This has lead to some local founders complaining that their ventures aren't being fairly appraised for investibility in terms of their potential and financial viability. In this episode of the African Tech Round-up, Andile Masuku and Musa Kalenga are joined by Tapsnapp founder and CEO, Vije Vijendranath, to discuss some of the impassioned feedback to the investor bias debate to unpack some of the impassioned feedback to the investor bias debate that's recently surfaced from certain quarters within our tech community and to chat about some possible solutions to the situation.Then, being that Tapsnapp is surfing the "Uberisation of everything" trend, and given the current push-back Uber is experiencing in South Africa from various stakeholders, we decided to try and answer the question: how enthusiastically should Africans embrace on-demand marketplace platforms?Music Credits:Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Music licensed ...

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