Pan-African software services and edtech platform Gebeya, has launched its developers marketplace in London, UK in a move expected to increase the accessibility of software developers in Europe at competitive market rates, being the first African-based platform to do so ahead of its US-based Nigerian founded competitor Andela.
The Addis Ababa-based firm launched a year ago, to train , hire, and incubate the best of African tech talent. Today, Gebeya has more than tripled in size and tripled in presence by expanding to Nairobi (Kenya), Silicon Valley (U.S.) and launching in London (UK).
‘We are excited with our success so far but our growth reflects the increased demand for digital talent in the global market. On this regard, we have created a-self-sustainable ecosystem that trains, hires, and incubates the best of African talent so as to produce world class software developers and mitigate the global demand of digital talent,’’ says Amadou Daffe, Co-Founder and CEO at Gebeya.
The developers marketplace will match customers with highly skilled, certified and multilingual software developers to develop innovative technological solutions, improve development efficiency, scalability and mobile success. In-order to maintain quality, software developers will have to undergo an intensive 6 months hands-on practical training that focuses on cutting edge technologies that are running the global digital industry today. Only upon graduation will they be placed on the platform which currently has a pool of software developers who have worked on widely successful projects across Africa, Europe and USA.
According to Accenture, the UK needs 745,000 more workers with digital skills this year alone costing the economy around $63bn. IT staff job postings are on the rise, a 10% year-on-year growth, says a separate study by IT body COMPTIA. The digital skills gap has become one of the more pressing problems facing UK businesses and entrepreneurs. The developers marketplace aims to satiate this ever growing demand for qualified digital talent across Europe by enabling organizations, SME’s and entrepreneurs hire top software developers on demand.
Alibaba Group’s Alipay has launched its “Smile to Pay,” facial-recognition payments technology for commercial use in China allowing Alipay users to authenticate their payments through a facial scan and their mobile phone number in seconds.
, Ant Financial Services Group said Friday.
Ant Financial, the firm that runs Alipa, said the service debuted at a KFC in Hangzhou ending the decade long use of cash, card and ewallets in the payments sector. Alipay said the Smile to Pay option will only be at the KFC KPRO restaurant for pilot and a later expansion to other merchants with time.
According to the firm, Smile to Pay is a multistep process that takes one to two seconds to do a facial scan via a 3D camera over a “live-ness detection algorithm” to identify a user. The firm added that the algorithm can detect shadows and other features thereby blocking hijackers who might use live photos or video. The phone-number check increases user security and the firm also offers loss in the event of theft of a customer’s Smile to Pay account.
In June, South Africa’s Peach Payments partnered with Alipay and ACI Worldwide to bring Alipay acceptance to Africa for the first time. There are possibilities of Alipay expanding across Africa. With its launch in Africa, Alipay’s Smile to Pay will easily triumph over Safaricom’s M-Pesa which is requires PIN and is takes several steps for user to pay hence ruining the entire user experience at merchant stores.
Cape Town’s Feastfox, an eating out app has raised $175,000 (R2.3 million) angel fundraising round from Silicon Valley’s Co-Creation Capital; Dorm Room Fund and prominent angel investors such as Larry Kubal to focus on its spontaneous eating out with its “book now, eat now” concept.
According to co-founder, Cape Town local, Stuart Murless, “By raising angel funding from exceptional, California-based venture capital firms and angel investors, we proved that it is possible to get early-stage, Silicon Valley financing for a mobile startup in South Africa”.
“We are excited about this successful fundraising as this will further facilitate our growth in Cape Town. These funds will be used for business development and marketing, adding more high-quality merchants while attracting thousands of foodies to the platform.” added Stuart.
Feastfox is following a philosophy that they call “South Africa first”. By proving a new mobile concept in Cape Town first, the venture aims to showcase that South Africa is a perfect first market for new mobile companies that want to validate their idea before starting a global expansion.
Stuart says that Cape Town is very similar to some of the most developed cities globally and by entering South Africa first, we aim to prove to other international startups that Cape Town is an ideal first market for mobile companies with global aspirations.”
Ushahidi.com was launched by a group of volunteers to map post election violence after Kenya’s disputed general election in December 2007. Ten years later, Resquebnb has launched to connect stranded Kenyans to food and shelter after election-related violence claimed over 20 lives leaving several injured and stranded in the capital Nairobi and Kisumu town in western Kenya.
Resquebnb, coined from rescue and bed and breakfast or bnb as made popular by Airbnb, the global short accommodation marketplace is a collaborative initiative by social media enthusiasts and humanitarian volunteers led by Kenyan developer Tevin Otieno. and Twitter user @MissNyawira. The site, now in its raw form, is being used to raise cash and food donations as well as connect stranded Kenyans to temporary accommodation from willing but vetted volunteers for both sexes.
“We are a community seeking to map, match and connect those in need of help with willing volunteer hosts following the just concluded #ElectionsKE2017,” the team posted on its website allowing users to either host or ask for shelter.
The site has partnered with Kenya’s on-demand B2B courier firm Sendy to help get donations to those in need for free. Food donations can be dropped off at any Uchumi outlet while cash donations can be channeled through mobile crowdfunding platform M-Changa though its Lipa Na Mpesa PayBill number 891300 and account number 13923 or via Airtel Money though Paybill Business Name: MCHANGA and reference 13923.
By the end of Sunday, the M-Changa donations had surpassed the volunteers target of Ksh. 150,000.
The platform might not help everyone affected in the violence as most of the victims are low income slum dwellers who might not afford the data to be online now but it’s a positive contribution to save lives as Police and pro-government militia slam violence to opposition demonstrators who feel their victory was stolen. The opposition led by Raila Odinga claimed the post-election protests have claimed over 100 lives while the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights said just 24 people have been killed. However, Police spokesman George Kinoti said the the force had only recorded six deaths. Kenyans have been infuriated by news of a ten-year old girl who was shot and killed by a stray bullet at her parents house in Mathare slums.
There have been reports of police and the goons breaking into peoples homes to quell the opposition demonstrators.
Headquartered in Singapore, Malaysia, with operational offices in India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China and Dubai, Belfrics Global has launched its Bitcoin Exchange in Kenya to allow traders and Bitcoin users to trade more efficiently and at a much lower cost. The cost of transactions while using Belfrics will be only 5 percent.
Belfrics will join BitPesa and BitSoko, the two Nairobi-based bitcoin exchanges.
According to the company CEO and Chairman, Praveenkumar Vijayakumar, the company has received very positive support in the last couple months it has been testing its services in Kenya. This has necessitated its official launch to further expand its growth in the country and the region.
Praveenkumar, Belfrics intends to reach and offer its services to between 100, 000 to 1, 000, 000 people in the next one to one and half years.
Belfrics Global is also offering its initial coin offering (ICO) as an investment vehicle. The launch will be on September 8th, 2017 when it launches the Belfrics Blockchain. Unlike other cryptocurrency coins, which are difficult to identify users, Belfrics Blockchain will allow users to be identified, thereby enabling the tracking of transactions on the platform.
Blockchain offers a big opportunity for money transfer services by bringing the costs down to only a fraction of the current costs. Belfrics Global intends to leverage this huge gap in the coming months. The company also intends to expand its operations to Nigeria and Ghana.
With a GDP of $69.97 billion, Kenya is the 72nd largest economy in the world and Eastern and Central Africa’s hub for financial services with an increased interest in the cryptocurrency. This is seen from the volume of trading which has seen a substantial increase in 2016, compared to the slow growth in trading volumes seen from 2013 to 2015.
There are currently only three bitcoin exchanges in Kenya. To cater to the growing demand for bitcoin trading, Belfrics has launched its services in Kenya.
With the increasing awareness and acceptance of bitcoins, its value has been reaching new heights. Belfrics aims to be at the forefront of this growing industry. A unified currency for the world that brings transparency and efficiency to the financial system is what Belfrics is working towards.
Belfrics provides a bitcoin wallet that meets the highest standards of security. Equipped with automatic deep freeze technology and two factor authentication process, you can be assured that your funds are safe at all times. Apart from a secure wallet, Befrics also provides a POS system and payment gateway for merchants to accept bitcoins as payment, enhancing their scope of business.
As a part of the inaugural offer, Belfrics is giving free bitcoins (10,000 Satoshis) for signing up. Make a profitable choice and trade with Belfrics.
The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) and United Bank for Africa (UBA), Go Places and E-Gift Africa today launched the first Magical Kenya Prepaid Travel Card to promote travel to Kenya by travelers across the African continent.
The debit cum loyalty card is targeted at West African nationals who travel for corporate, education, medical as well as leisure purposes within Africa and will be distributed across the UBA Bank’s footprint in Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal.
“The Magical Kenya Prepaid Travel Card will be available to International and domestic travelers in Kenya. This will enable all users, whether customers of UBA or not – to have unparalleled access to its built-in benefits available across all platforms. This will further enhance the Magical Kenya’s footprint in the continent” Kenya Tourism Board Chair, Jimi Kariuki.
Through selective criteria of age, deposit balance, number of types of accounts held by customer or corporate accounts the target list of customers will be engaged and enticed through registration campaigns as well as convenience for everyday use both in home market and when travelling to Kenya. This will create an appeal for the card as well as the realization, eventually that this may be the only card needed in the wallet.
“The West African market is potential to us and this is the beginning of our efforts to tap into the market that has high spenders with willingness to spend. The Magical Kenya Prepaid Travel Card is therefore a great incentive as it avails to current and potential travellers exciting a value adds in terms of bonus points, discounts or gift,” KTB Chair, Jimi Kariuki added.
By Amrote Abdella, Regional Director Microsoft 4Afrika,
Four years ago, the Africa Rising narrative was a hot topic among journalists, economists and investors discussing Africa. Some celebrated the refreshed outlook on the continent. Others, including some Africans, were more sceptical on the trickledown effect of the projected growth. Some felt there was too much focus on GDP projections and the urban middle class, and not enough on inclusive growth that reached every underserved village, where challenges around healthcare and education remained unsolved.
It was within this context, in 2013, that Microsoft launched its 4Afrika Initiative. As a technology company, we wanted to contribute not only to Africa’s economic growth, but to its economic development through the adoption of innovation – fast-tracked by affordable access and enabled by a skilled workforce.
We believed that by empowering Africans to create and consume locally relevant technology, we could foster the kind of inclusive transformation that Africa wanted to see. Four years later, we still believe in this vision. Our commitment to fast-tracking relevant technology adoption remains unchanged.
Technology is transforming people’s lives for the better
Start-ups and SMEs are celebrated and looked to for driving economic growth and job creation. But we have also seen them play a key role in driving social development. Armed with mobile and cloud technologies, these young innovators are helping communities access previously unavailable services – advancing healthcare, education and general living standards.
In Ethiopia, for example, Microsoft 4Afrika has supported the Tulane Health project, which has helped 3,000 healthcare clinics in 10 regions to digitally transform. With Windows devices, Tulane collects relevant health data and now stores over 150 million digital records. Using Power BI, Tulane then analyses this data and produces real-time insights, empowering the federal ministry to make data-driven decisions. For the average patient, this means more informed consultations, a more accountable government and overall better quality healthcare. In addition, 2,500 new Ethiopians have also been trained and upskilled as health information technologists, to run and maintain the system locally.
Similarly, in Botswana, through our work with Vista Life Sciences and the Botswana Innovation Hub, we’re using TV white spaces technology to deliver telemedicine services to over 3,000 patients in remote clinics in Lobatse, Francistown and Maun. A patient no longer needs to walk miles to get specialised care. Screenings and diagnoses can be done remotely, helping to quickly and accurately detect diseases and improve maternal care.
Since 2013, 4Afrika has helped 82 start-ups – and brought over 500,000 SMEs online – to drive this kind of economic development using mobile and cloud technology.
Towards an environment for success
However – the democratising of mobile and cloud technology in itself is not sufficient. The innovation ecosystem still needs more enabling policies if more of these start-ups and technologies are to succeed and benefit every person in Africa. We have spent four years working with hubs, accelerators and government entities to develop regulations that allow new business models to flourish, encourage trade between borders and develop climates that promote investment into local businesses.
Lessons from investing in Africa
The good news is that the continent is on the right path. Investments into local tech start-ups increased by 17% in 2016. And governments in Africa have been very adaptive to and serious about embracing the cloud to positively influence their investment climates, cut costs and efficiently serve their citizens. Together, we have incubated 11 cloud-based solutions, including BioSIM in Kenya, which collects school data in local counties to help governments benchmark quality and take informed actions around education. Where there are security concerns around gathering such data, we’re working with the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) to accelerate trusted cloud infrastructure through enabling policies in the areas of cyber-security, data privacy and data protection.
Equally important to creating new technologies is developing the skills for the meaningful consumption of them. Across our 15 TV white spaces connectivity pilots we have running in last-mile communities in Africa, for example, we’re not only introducing people to the internet for the first time, but also helping them use it as a tool to seek employment and register with government.
We believe technology has been – and will increasingly be – a game-changer for Africa. With the right foundations in place, it is the tool that will help Africa rise in the inclusive and sustainable way Africans want to see it rise. The tool that gives every African the power to actively shape transformation that works for all its citizens, by creating infrastructure and services where there are none, trading and consuming local products, and holding their governments to account.
Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative remains a partner in this journey. In the last four years, we have experienced successes, setbacks and shouldered new risks. But our focus, belief in and commitment to invest in affordable access, skills and innovation for economic development in Africa remains unchanged. We have seen the transformation that has already taken place – and this gives us hope in the work still to be done. We will continue to empower local partners, start-ups, SMEs and government entities through technology to enable growth and development in Africa – creating shared value that truly benefits us all.
What it takes show had a one on one interview with OLX Kenya Country and Sub-Saharan Expansion Manager, Peter Ndiang’ui about his career journey from a humble beginning in a farm in Nyeri to the top of one of the fastest growing companies in Africa.
What it takes show had a one on one interview with OLX country and Sub-Saharan Expansion Manager, Peter Ndiang’ui about his career journey from a humble beginning in a farm in Nyeri to the top of one of the fastest growing companies in Africa.