Wednesday, June 26

Tech & Business

SMEs
  • SME loan products offer a considerably low interest rate, which helps fund businesses.
  • Pezesha is a financing platform for small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) that enables them to access affordable credit and other financial services through embedded finance infrastructure.
  • Safaricom has partnered with Pezesha, a digital lender, to credit small business owners, adding to the telco’s existing loan products.

Pezesha loan products

Pezesha is a financing platform for small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) that enables them to access affordable credit and other financial services through embedded finance infrastructure.

Pezesha has created an integrated digital financial infrastructure whose mission is to lead platforms and marketplaces where small and medium-sized businesses work through a collaborative approach. Financial institutions or networks connect on this platform and are matched with quality SMEs, driving meaningful financial inclusion and reducing any inequalities in access to formal financial services.

In 2023, Pezesha partnered with FSD Kenya to

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Price for Engineering Innovations
  • Price for engineering innovations was awarded to Esther Kimani from Kenya.
  • A solar-powered tool using AI and machine learning-enabled cameras to swiftly detect and identify agricultural pests and diseases has won Africa’s largest prize for engineering innovation.
  • Her tool reduces crop losses for smallholder farmers by up to 30 per cent while increasing yields by as much as 40 per cent.
  • The Africa Price has supported almost 150 entrepreneurs across 23 African countries, generating over 28,000 jobs and benefitting more than 10 million people through the innovative products and services developed.

Price for Engineering Innovations was awarded to Esther Kimani from Kenya. This price, recognised as Africa’s most esteemed engineering accolade, was presented in Nairobi on June 13, 2024.

Kimani’s pioneering AI-driven pest and disease detection tool for crops secured this price for its groundbreaking impact on the agricultural sector, particularly for smallholder farmers in Kenya.

Read Also: Inside Africa’s

Smart cities
  • Smart cities are emerging as a critical solution to address the rapid urbanisation and infrastructure challenges facing African cities.
  • Smart cities in Africa focus on infrastructure development to enhance connectivity, mobility, and accessibility.
  • The limitations in human resources, organisational capacity, and rigid bureaucracy are significant obstacles to adapting to the demands of digital transformation and smart cities in Africa.

Smart cities in Africa

Smart cities are emerging as a critical solution to address the rapid urbanisation and infrastructure challenges facing African cities.

Smart cities agenda in Africa strive to ensure inclusive and equitable development by addressing social inequalities and providing all residents equal access to opportunities and services. This includes affordable housing programs, social safety nets, and community development initiatives to improve living standards and reduce poverty in urban areas.

Smart city projects also prioritise accessibility and universal design principles to ensure that infrastructure and services are accessible to people

Social media
  • Social media has been noted on several occasions and recorded as a severe danger to cognitive warfare, the new fighting front in the 21st century.
  • At this moment, 170 million Africans (Facebook users in Africa) are connected with thousands of people across the globe compared to three decades ago.
  • social media ban affected communications and business, and the impact was immense, as strict regulations made information dissemination cumbersome.

In March 2023, The Guardian report indicated that translated Chinese military reports suggested that warfare shifted from killing the body to invading the mind – forcing United States (the world’s advanced military superpower) President Joe Biden administration’ urging TikTok stakeholders to sell their stake in the app or face US ban.

In the same spirit, TikTok use in East Africa makes social media appear like a grim monster out to devour anything in its path. Recently, the TikTok application in Kenya became

The digital revolution
  • The digital revolution in Africa is propelling various sectors into new realms of potential, and the gaming industry is no exception.
  • Blockchain technology has the potential to benefit both game producers and players by offering a safe and transparent method of handling in-game transactions.
  • African game developers have opted to look at incorporating new technologies into the games they offer, such as allowing players to use Bitcoin and blockchain technology while playing.

Africa’s gaming Industry

The digital revolution in Africa is propelling various sectors into new realms of potential, and the gaming industry is no exception. GeoPoll’s latest report, “Gaming in Africa,” explores the burgeoning gaming scene across Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.

The African gaming industry is emerging as the fastest-growing for mobile gaming, driven by a young population, increasing smartphone adoption and a burgeoning interest in mobile games.

Africa is the final frontier for the video game …

Umoja Cable digital infrastructure
  • Google is rolling out Umoja cable, the first-ever fibre optic link directly connecting Africa with Australia, aiming to enhance global digital infrastructure and foster economic growth.
  • The Umoja project, developed in collaboration with Liquid Technologies, will improve connectivity and drive digital inclusion across Africa.
  • This initiative is part of Google’s long-term commitment to Africa’s digital transformation, with investments in infrastructure, cybersecurity, and AI innovation to support growth.

In a deal set to revolutionize digital connectivity across continents, tech heavyweight Google has announced the launch of Umoja, the first-ever fibre optic link directly connecting Africa with Australia. This project is poised to enhance global digital infrastructure, foster economic growth, and drive digital inclusion on a new level scale.

The Umoja cable, anchored in Kenya, will traverse a diverse array of African countries, including Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, before crossing the Indian Ocean …

Artificial intelligence in healthcare
  • Artificial intelligence can help healthcare workers do more with limited resources.
  • Artificial Intelligence platforms, increasingly utilised in public health, use complicated data systems as a crucial component for health emergency readiness.
  • AI-powered diagnostic solutions in Rwanda and Ghana are enhancing medical imaging analysis, contributing to the early detection of diseases like cancer and tuberculosis.

Artificial intelligence in healthcare is the art of integrating human ability into machines programmed to impersonate human actions. AI’s application in healthcare primarily helps medical practitioners in many aspects of patient care, including administrative procedures.

As of 2020, the application of Artificial intelligence in healthcare in the USA and Canada slashed healthcare expenses by around 25 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively, giving healthcare providers time to give more of their limited resources to patient care issues. AI deep learning procedures have also saved many lives globally by decreasing the diagnosis-treatment-recovery cycle for patients, Africa …

Generative AI
  • Generative AI can create original content such as text, images, and videos. 
  • As an emerging technology, generative AI does hold transformative potential not only in marketing and the creative arts but also in healthcare, banking, and finance amongst other sectors.

Generative AI has made notable footprints in recent years, beaconing as one of the most recognisable advancements, AI can create original content such as text, images, and videos. 

AI fundamentally refers to systems capable of producing entirely new and original content, distinguishing it from other AI applications that primarily analyse existing data for decision-making. These models can generate original written articles, images, audio samples, or video footage based on training from extensive datasets.

Leading models like Gemini, GPT-4, Claude, and Bing AI are renowned for creating remarkably human-like text from given prompts. In contrast, others like Stable Diffusion, Firefly, and DALL-E are known for generating vivid images from text descriptions.

business payments startup Xente
  • Xente, co-founded by Francis Nkurunungi, is a fintech platform that streamlines business payments, collections, and financial operations.
  • Targeting medium to large enterprises, Xente offers a digital wallet and integrates with systems like VISA to facilitate secure, efficient transactions and manage financial documents in one place.
  • Currently, the startup has onboarded over 500 businesses in Uganda and plans to expand rapidly into Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Ghana.

When you think about the next big thing in fintech, your mind might drift to Silicon Valley or China. But Francis Nkurunungi, the COO and Co-Founder of Uganda-based fintech Xente, wants to change that perspective. He believes that Africa is the next frontier for technological innovation and investment.

At the sidelines of the 13th edition of the AIM Congress 2024 in Abu Dhabi, Francis shared Xente’s entrepreneurial journey, the opportunities and challenges they face, and their ambitious plans for the future. This is …

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