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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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 Women in Technology Conference 2019

“Speaking with representatives of various tech organizations from all over Africa, the conference presented a great opportunity for women to be better versions of themselves. Speaking at the event, Laura Chite the CEO CIO East Africa noted, “This is an opportunity to be a better version of oneself not just in the technology careers but holistically. It is worth seizing.””

Source: https://bit.ly/2YakZSP

Two things are true: The leadership of women is critical to our survival. And technology has the potential to solve many social and economic problems that are pervasive on the continent. Looking forward to seeing many more similar events both at home and abroad.

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Why You Should Care That Nigeria Is In Silicon Valley

“To establish bilateral economic relationships between Silicon Valley, Nigeria and emerging countries in Africa, [the Silicon Valley – Nigerian Economic Development Inc.] identifies Silicon Valley Tech companies interested and able to hire Nigerian engineering, computer science and technology graduates utilizing H1-b Visa program… It introduces seasoned and emerging tech firms to Nigeria’s federal government to facilitate the creation of technology, manufacturing plants, and call centers to increase employment for Nigerian college graduates as skilled labor workforce.”

Source: https://bit.ly/32GUhod

The future is technology and Nigeria knows it. And what better way to become competitive globally than to create relationships with tech companies in Silicon Valley. And, as the world’s 27th largest economy, Nigeria has a lot to offer. If the future is tech, where do we fit in?

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Building mutual prosperity between African-Americans and Africa

“We propose strategies focused on three themes: tourism in Africa; trade and investment in and with Africa; and knowledge, innovation, and technology sharing to improve U.S.-Africa relations.”

Source: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/africa-in-focus/2019/02/14/from-wakanda-to-reality-building-stronger-relations-between-african-americans-and-africa/

Technology has not only made the world a smaller place, it has enabled the average American to learn more about business investment in African nations. Although this article discusses three themes, I imagine that there are myriad more opportunities out there. What’s the next step?

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