The Trump administration countered Chinese investment in African tech. Will Biden continue?

“In January 2020, Nigerian healthcare startup LifeBank became the first company to receive investment under a new maternal care initiative introduced by the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). LifeBank’s 24/7 blood supply business met three criteria for a DFC-funded company; it is a revenue-generating enterprise filling a developmental gap in an emerging market. Using these investment criteria, the DFC has gone on to invest in multiple sectors across Africa. In addition to LifeBank, DFC’s Africa portfolio includes Twiga FoodsCopia (both Kenyan startups), and investments in Angola, Botswana, Chad, Egypt, Gabon, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda. The DFC has a $75 billion investment target for people in less developed economies, through loans and direct equity funding into startups, funding VC funds, and providing technical support.  That alone makes its presence in Africa remarkable. Startups working on power generation, healthcare, agriculture, technology, and financial services could access really large tickets for massive scale. But America is changing hands to an ideologically different leadership. How will this influence the DFC’s future approach and impact in Africa?”

Article by Alexander O. Onukwue

Source: https://techcabal.com/2021/01/20/biden-trump-china-investment-africa/

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Bez is building a hub for music-tech startups with CcHub

My Life In Tech is putting human faces to some of the innovative startups, investments, and policy formations driving the technology sector across Africa. This week, award-winning musician, Bez Idakula is our subject and we explore his life as an independent artist and his journey to establishing a space for music and tech in Africa.

Sometimes the things we love find us early. Music found Bez during the bonfire nights that occurred frequently when he was a boy in Jos. While wood burned he would sit by his father and learn to play the guitar.  Many years later, Bez Idakula, an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, played to crowds of thousands across the world.  But before the fame, as a student at Covenant University, Bez studied Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and while this seemed the best time to be bitten by the tech bug, life had other plans for him.”

Article by Edwin Madu

Source: https://techcabal.com/2021/01/13/bez-wants-to-build-african-tech-for-african-music/

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How Facial Recognition Technology Is Different In Africa

There’s a reason many Africans are wary of the identification technology: It doesn’t work as well for people with dark skin. That’s where Charlette N’Guessan, a young Ivorian researcher, comes in...

She’s not ashamed to say it: The coronavirus pandemic has been “a very good thing” for Charlette N’Guessan. The same goes for Africa’s forward-looking tech entrepreneurs in general. “With the challenges posed by COVID-19, the continent is waking up,” the young Ivorian says. “People are thinking innovation, ideas, change. This crisis gives credibility to what we are doing.” It must be said that N’Guessan’s chosen field — facial recognition — is largely unexplored in Africa. It also arouses a fair amount of suspicion, and for good reason: Existing algorithms, including the best out there, are less accurate at identifying individuals of color, as tests conducted in the United States have revealed an error rate five to 10 times higher for these populations.

Article by Marie de Vergès

Source: https://worldcrunch.com/tech-science/how-facial-recognition-technology-is-different-in-africa#

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Africa’s Fourth Industrial Revolution Must be STEAM-Driven

“It is widely agreed that science, technology, and innovation are indispensable for African development. Universities are generally expected to play a critical role in the development of national and regional STI capabilities. The challenge is in the meaning of these axiomatic assumptions and aspirations, the modalities of synergising them into a virtuous cycle of continuous reinforcement to create knowledge, capacities, opportunities, and mentalities for innovative, integrated, inclusive and sustainable economies, societies, and polities.”

Source: https://www.theelephant.info/long-reads/2020/12/18/africas-fourth-industrial-revolution-must-be-steam-driven/

#afrofuturism #blackmusic #blackjesus #blackentrepreneur #blackfuturist #xnubiaphi #afrophysicist #afronaut #afroscientist #afrochemist #afrobotanist #afrotechnology #afroexplorer #afrohorticulturist #blackgenius #blackengineers #NSBE #afroengineers #blacktothefuture #darkmatter #darkscience #theblackvote #afropoliticians #blacksciencefiction #blackspeculativearts #blackownedbanks #blackblueprint #afrofuturistagenda #afrofuturistnews

Africanfuturism Defined

“I am an Africanfuturist and an Africanjujuist. Africanfuturism is a sub-category of science fiction. Africanjujuism is a subcategory of fantasy that respectfully acknowledges the seamless blend of true existing African spiritualities and cosmologies with the imaginative.

Reminder: Africa is not a country, it’s a diverse continent. I’m also aware that it’s a construct (and an ethereal thing who travels across space and time); I’m just rolling with it.”

Source: https://nnedi.blogspot.com/2019/10/africanfuturism-defined.html?view=classic

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Lagos 2050: Shanty megastructures?

Improvised shanty-megastructures” drawn by Nigerian architect Olalekan Jeyifous.

“The sci-fi world has started to take notice of Lagos. The Nigerian city even had a starring role in the newest Captain America movie, sparking the tongue-in-cheek trending hashtag #CaptainAmericaInNigeria. Brooklyn-based Nigerian artist Olalekan Jeyifous has his own futuristic twist on the city. In a series dubbed Shanty Megastructures, he’s recreated a Lagos in 2050 where massive tin shacks tower over the city’s luxury real estate areas. Jeyifous used a series of digital software to create his 3D visuals which he then later rendered into digital photographs. He says it’s to represent the country’s marginalized poor.”

Source: https://www.cnn.com/style/article/lagos-shanty-megastructures/index.html

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Afrofuturist Comic Book Iwájú To Become Disney+ TV Show

“It’s not just She-Hulk, it’s Iwájú as well. You may have read about Kugali, a digital platform for African comics set up by Fikayo Adeola, Hamid Ibrahim, and Tolu Olowofoyeku, on Bleeding Cool before. We also featured Kugali Anthology Vol 1: An African Comic Anthology by Jasonas Lamy, Etubi Onucheyo, Bill Masuku, Shobo Coker, Shofela Coker, Juni Ba, Yinfaowei Harrison, and Claudio Grassi in our 35 Race-Related Graphic Novels That Should Top Amazon Chart article earlier this year, which included stories such as Mumu Juju, a comedy series set in a fantastical world inspired by Nigerian folklore that follows two friends that lose a bet and have to embark on a dangerous mission to settle their debt yet keep getting in each other’s way, Under a Jovian Sun, a coming of age story about a group of Moroccan street kinds in the year 2125, and Razor Man, a political Superhero story about a young vigilante determined to fight back against the corruption and crime that has infested his country.”

Source: https://bleedingcool.com/comics/afrofuturist-comic-book-iwaju-to-become-disney-tv-show/

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Can Cloud-Based Technologies Help Address Food Insecurity In Africa?

“For us in the technology space, we are noticing some silver lining in application of technology to partly address the challenges [of food insecurity] above. Already, AI is beginning to transform agriculture in important ways. Many farmers have for instance started utilizing innovative technologies like self-driving tractors that use GPS, satellite imagery, and AI to plant more efficiently. Others are using sensors and machine learning to make decisions like when to irrigate and how much fertilizer to apply.”

Source: https://www.cio.co.ke/can-cloud-based-technologies-help-address-food-insecurity-in-africa/

#afrofuturism #blackmusic #blackjesus #blackentrepreneur #blackfuturist #xnubiaphi #afrophysicist #afronaut #afroscientist #afrochemist #afrobotanist #afrotechnology #afroexplorer #afrohorticulturist #blackgenius #blackengineers #NSBE #afroengineers #blacktothefuture #darkmatter #darkscience #theblackvote #afropoliticians #blacksciencefiction #blackspeculativearts #blackownedbanks #blackblueprint #afrofuturistagenda #afrofuturistnews

Kenya: 60 Students Join Fight for a Piece of Digital Billions

“As the digital economy continues to generate billions of dollars across the world, Kenya is gambling on its youth to lead the African tech charge. In a world dominated by trade wars between the US and China, many third world governments have embraced technology to create employment for the youth and lift millions out of poverty. However, training remains a huge challenge, particularly on a continent still grappling with basic needs. In this vein, Kenya’s partnership with the Chinese technology company Huawei offers the youth a chance to acquire skills for the digital economy. “

Source: https://allafrica.com/stories/202009180020.html

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African Union turns to biosurveillance tech to curb COVID-19

“African leaders have taken decisive, early actions to curb the spread of COVID-19. In fact, the Africa Centers for Disease Control (ACDC) created its COVID-19 task force on February 5, before the continent had a single case. Today, Africa is currently the least impacted region in the world, with 1,293,048 confirmed COVID-19 cases so far and a remarkable 1,031,905 recoveries, according to the Africa CDCP. The continent has less than 5 percent of reported cases and less than 1 percent of all deaths. Now, as African countries — led by the African Union —  ease COVID-19 restrictions and prepare to reopen their economies and borders, many governments are employing innovative technologies. A need for a unified, pan-African technology that can track the spread and connect COVID-19 testing centers across the continent has led to the use of PanaBIOS, an African Union-backed biosurveillance technology. “

Source: https://globalvoices.org/2020/09/14/african-union-turns-to-biosurveillance-tech-to-curb-covid-19/

#afrofuturism #blackmusic #blackjesus #blackentrepreneur #blackfuturist #xnubiaphi #afrophysicist #afronaut #afroscientist #afrochemist #afrobotanist #afrotechnology #afroexplorer #afrohorticulturist #blackgenius #blackengineers #NSBE #afroengineers #blacktothefuture #darkmatter #darkscience #theblackvote #afropoliticians #blacksciencefiction #blackspeculativearts #blackownedbanks #blackblueprint #afrofuturistagenda #afrofuturistnews