AfroBytes 2018

In case you missed it, there was a big gathering devoted to African technology and business held in Paris at the Afrobytes marketplace. The conference was a chance for African developers to pitch ideas for new technology, apps and startups to a global audience of investors and the International tech ecosystems as well. Kenya was represented by Grant Brooke, Twiga Foods’ CEO and Njoki Gichinga, Safaricom’s Senior Strategic Partnership and Business Development Specialist and Joshua Mwaniki, Country Director Andela Kenya among other tech leaders who spoke on various panels.

A lot of optimism was being shared around:

We can’t wait for what Safaricom’s innovation hub (Alpha) is cooking…

Andela was present too:

Some of the featured startups that graced the event included – Zayride, an Ethiopian taxi app founded by Tadesse Hamtabu who left the US and moved back to Ethiopia. The app allows you to hail a cab, set up deliveries and you can even quickly organise an ambulance.

Sunubus app also got featured. The bus app helps passengers in Dakar navigate public transport lines by finding their bus and exactly when they’ll reach their destination.

Ethiopian Government set to privatise state-run telecom, Ethio Telcom and open it to foreign investors

The government has until now been strict about keeping the industries in-house, but there are signs it’s opening up to the world since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s rise to power earlier this year. This is a huge deal since the country of 100 million people has remained the most populated country without a competitive telecom market. Majority stakes will still be held by the state.

Vodafone Zambia’s CEO Retires

There were no reasons given for Stork’s departure but the company did thank him for his service and wished him the best in his future endeavours. The telco is one of Zambia’s fastest growing ISPs and was recently granted authority by the Regulator ZICTA to start providing VoLTE services in the country.

First Blockchain based platform unveiled in Rwanda

Unlike many other blockchain technology platforms, SPENN uses a different model whereby it removes the need for cash by digitalising national currencies.

Africa and Social Media

Our neighbours in Uganda will start being taxed while for their use of social media. The law comes into effect as of July 1st, but it’s not clear how the government will monitor its citizens or collect the tax. It will consist of a daily fee of about 200 Ugandan shillings. This move had been highly criticized as ‘diversionary, deceptive, injurious to individual freedoms and burdensome’ by human rights defenders and opposition leaders. Although the government has said the tax is to raise revenue, the widely held opinion is that the new law is simply a medium to stifle free speech and expression of citizens.

Egypt’s authorities are also evaluating a proposed draft bill to regulate social media. The draft law cites “state security” as the main reason for a law to be adopted to govern the use of social media in Egypt. The draft law comes at a time when Egypt’s parliament has just passed the Anti-Cyber and Information Technology Crimes law on 5 June 2018. Similar to Kenya’s Computer and Cyber Crime Act.

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