African Tech Roundup

May 14 2020 34 mins 452

The African Tech Roundup podcast delivers independent Africa-focused technology, digital and innovation insight and analysis. The show is produced by broadcaster and entrepreneur, Andile Masuku (www.andilemasuku.com), and co-hosted by founder and writer of The Subtext (www.thesubtext.io), Osarumen Osamuyi.






Contemplating COVID-19's Impact on Africa's Economic Outlook with Landry Signé & Iginio Gagliardone
Apr 28 2020 92 mins  
Professor and Founding Co-Director of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Globalization 4.0 at Thunderbird School of Global Management Landry Signé joins Andile Masuku and guest co-host Iginio Gagliardone for a heartfelt discussion about how the COVID-19 crisis might alter Africa's economic growth trajectory. Landry is a Senior Fellow in the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution and his passionate perspectives about the merits of democracy feature heavily in this episode. His views are coloured, in part, by the live policy-making exposure he's gleaned during advisory assignments such as serving on the Global Network on Digital Technologies for Sustainable Urbanization at the appointment of a United Nations Under Secretary-General. Using Landry's new book "Unlocking Africa's Business Potential: Trends, Opportunities, Risks, and Strategies" as a springboard for the conversation, the trio interrogates some of the speculation influencing Africa's collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Listen in to learn why, despite what's going on right now, Landry is standing by the bullish notions outlined in his book— views which, for the most part, Iginio buys into given the positive progress points the continent was posting before the whole COVID-19 nightmare set in. Questions discussed in this episode include: 1) What immediately pops into Landry, Iginio and Andile's heads when they hear ‘Covid-19 and Africa?' [08:34] 2) In light of what is happening in his native Italy, what does Iginio view as key learning points for South Africa, where he is currently based? [18:45] 3) How should 'expert' projections shape Africa's political and economic response to Covid-19? [22:36] 4) Landry unpacks insights from his new book, Unlocking Africa’s Business Potential: Trends, opportunities, risks and strategies. [42:11] 5) Why would anybody consider Africa's population growth trajectory as anything but a good thing? [43:52] 6) How might Africa position to become more competitive in the global economy? [45:30] 7) Is Landry as bullish on Africa’s potential now as he was before the COVID-19 pandemic hit? [49:10] 8) Why might Africans do well to be cautiously optimistic about the continent's recovery prospects? [51:00] 9) What does Landry see as Africa's top unique selling propositions? [58:59] 10) Apart from the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, what other evidence might there be of increased regional trade cooperation in Africa? [1:08:05] Image credit: Nick Romanov


Ozow's Mitchan Adams On COVID-19: Well-positioned South African payments players are coining it
Mar 30 2020 92 mins  
Ozow Co-founder & Head of R&D, Mitchan Adams, joins Andile Masuku and guest co-host & Lettuce Co-founder Simon Dingle for this beefy flagship episode to discuss the current state-of-play in South Africa's digital payments processing scene. Mitch reveals why Ozow is actively recruiting and onboarding new hires right now and explains why the startup is seeing a sharp spike in revenue even as the global COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold. Listen in for actionable insight about South Africa's competitive financial services landscape, and learn why both Mitch and Simon hope that the country and some of its neighbours in the region will adopt open banking regulation a la Europe's PSD2 dispensation sooner rather than later. Mitch is a software engineer who, prior to co-founding Ozow (formerly i-Pay) in 2014, worked at a stockbroking firm— developing and maintaining software which interfaced with Johannesburg Stock Exchange's futures, stocks and bond markets. He also served a stint at Setcom, where his knack for online and card-based payment streams properly took root. To skip all the introductory niceties, head straight to [12:52]. Questions discussed in this episode include: 1) How is Ozow coping with the mandatory national COVID-19 shutdown ordered by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa? [12:52] 2) How might payments processors like Ozow position for long-term success in what is a highly-competitive and increasingly-commoditised digital payments landscape? [23:47] 3) Can open banking-led fintech innovation offer the kind of platform integrity, financial inclusion and system efficiency decentralised cryptocurrency proponents insist blockchain-based platforms like Bitcoin are best positioned to deliver on? [30:57] 4) Is the obsession with building and maintaining walled gardens a prevalent dynamic within the South African banking industry? [44:30] 5) How are mobile telcos shaping fintech innovation in South Africa? [47:28] 6) What unique challenges and opportunities are presented by open banking regulatory frameworks? [53:04] 7) Is fintech startup success possible in South Africa without subscribing to VC-backed hyper-scale, hyper-growth strategy? [1:08:44] 8) In what ways do Mitch and Simon anticipate the world will never be the same again once we recover from COVID-19 crisis? [1:21:05] Resources referenced in this episode: Coronavirus Stimulus Offered By House Financial Services Committee Creates New Digital Dollar by Jason Brett for Forbes Image credit: Ruxipen

Is The Super-Platform Hype Surrounding Africa's Mobile Gaming Industry Real? feat. Lucy Hoffman
Mar 10 2020 74 mins  
In this instalment of the African Tech Roundup podcast, Andile Masuku and Osarumen Osamuyi are joined by Lucy Hoffman, co-founder and head of operations at the Cape Town-based, American mobile content development startup Carry1st. Listen in to learn why, as glitzy ecosystem trends like fintech and mobility continue to dominate headlines, Lucy and the rest of her team at Carry1st are quietly bullish on the mobile gaming industry’s low-key commercial case and “super-app/super-platform” potential. Lucy is an experienced American business operations specialist who, prior to joining Carry1st, spearheaded operations at impact investment facilitation startup Nexii and the African Leadership Academy. Before that, she interned for the global diversity and inclusion team at Credit Suisse and spent three and a half years embedded at Morgan & Stanley, where she worked on M&A and capital markets transactions for global power and utility companies. To skip all the introductory niceties, head straight to [11:52]. Questions discussed in this episode include: 1. What three words come to mind for Andile, Lucy and Osarumen when they hear the words “super-app” or “super-platform” and why? [11:52] 2. Is the hype behind mobile gaming’s super-app potential worth buying into? [16:42] 3. How are mobile gaming startups navigating the power dynamics of Africa’s mobile telco-controlled landscape in order to monetise? [21:32] 4. How much time and effort do mobile gaming startups like Carry1st need to spend on solving for infrastructural and capacity-building frictions as opposed to working on actual product development? [39:50] 5. Why might African mobile telcos do well to take on Google Play in seeking to own a meaningful share of the mobile gaming market? [49:00] 6. What are the exit aspirations of a mobile gaming startup like Carry1st? [51:08] 7. What is the difference between mobile gaming and mobile gambling? [58:23] 8. Are African markets ready to jump on the global e-sports wave? [1:08:47] Resources referenced in this episode: The Mobile Economy: Sub-Saharan Africa 2019 by GSMA Intelligence Image credit: Angelo Moleele



Shift The Power: Challenging Development Cooperation Power Dynamics Between The Global North & South
Jan 09 2020 19 mins  
This brief firelighter conversation was taped live on-stage at SPARK’s 7th Annual IGNITE Conference in Amsterdam (https://spark.ngo/ignite-conference-2019/). It was a discussion provocatively themed “Shift The Power” – for which Andile Masuku (moderator) was joined by the Dutch Ambassador for Youth, Education and Work in the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tijmen Rooseboom, Evelijne Bruning, who is the Netherlands Country Director of The Hunger Project and the Executive Director of INJAZ Lebanon, Samar Dani. Tijmen is a recently-appointed Dutch policymaker whose mandate is to ensure that The Netherlands is optimising the use of public funds earmarked for advancing youth education and employment. Evelijne Bruning is a self-proclaimed “dragon and driver of change” whose high-profile #ShiftThePower activism efforts within Dutch NGO circles often puts her at odds with policymakers and even fellow practitioners in the space. And prior to inhabiting a senior role at one of Lebanon's most well-respected youth-focused NGO’s, Samar Dani led a storied career in her country’s consumer and retail industry. Listen in as the panel addresses growing calls to change power dynamics within development cooperation between the Global North and the Global South – this, in order to deliver on effective, market-relevant educational and entrepreneurship interventions. Editorial Disclaimer: While SPARK (https://spark.ngo) is the presenting sponsor of this series, African Tech Roundup maintains complete editorial oversight. Opinions expressed by the host, Andile Masuku, and his guests, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the presenting sponsor, SPARK. Image credit: SPARK

Unpacking Arab Identity & Socio-economic Dynamics with Arab Economies Researcher Salam Said
Jan 09 2020 41 mins  
In this podcast, Andile Masuku chats with Dr Salam Said, a seasoned Middle Eastern economics researcher who specialises in Arab economies, Arab trade policies and the political economy of Syria. Andile taps Dr Said's extensive professional and lived experience as he attempts to wrap his mind around some of the ways Arab identity and geopolitical dynamics (past and present) inform the socio-economic policies of nations that tend to dominate the global news cycle for all kinds of complex reasons. Listen in to hear Dr Said factor in candidly on how to properly gauge the economic empowerment of everyday citizens, particularly women, of Arab nations. Editorial Disclaimer: This podcast is part of a seven-part podcast miniseries interrogating the progress being made in advancing entrepreneurship and job creation in some of the world’s most fragile regions. The series was taped at the fringes of SPARK’s 7th Annual IGNITE Conference in Amsterdam (https://spark.ngo/ignite-conference-2019)— a premier gathering of refugees, entrepreneurs, educators, private sector actors, government leaders, academics and NGOs. While SPARK (https://spark.ngo) is the presenting sponsor of the series, African Tech Roundup maintains complete editorial oversight. Opinions expressed by the host, Andile Masuku, and his guests, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the presenting sponsor, SPARK. Image credit: Florian Wehde

South Sudan: Micro-finance Diaries with Yengi Lokule of Rural Finance Initiative (RUFI)
Jan 08 2020 50 mins  
African Tech Roundup and SPARK (https://spark.ngo) have partnered to produce a seven-part podcast miniseries interrogating the progress being made in advancing entrepreneurship and job creation in some of the world’s most fragile regions. The series uncovers pragmatic first-hand insights about the challenges of deploying market-relevant approaches to entrepreneurship, economic policy design and implementation, education interventions and the provision of business support. The first episode of the series features a relaxed diary session with Yengi Lokule, Co-founder and CEO of Rural Finance Initiative (RUFI), a South Sudanese microfinance and cross-border remittance firm which serves South Sudanese refugees in Uganda as well as rural and peri-urban residents in his fragile home country. Yengi holds degrees in Agriculture and Development Studies specializing in Micro-finance and has over 20 years’ of professional experience gained in post-conflict environments. This thoughtful conversation casually addresses some of the oversimplifications related to promoting financial inclusion in post-conflict environments while offering useful insight into displaced people are defiantly building futures for themselves and others in South Sudan and neighbouring Uganda. Editorial Disclaimer: This podcast was taped at the fringes of SPARK’s 7th annual IGNITE Conference in Amsterdam (https://spark.ngo/ignite-conference-2019) and is an independent African Tech Roundup production. The opinions expressed by the host, Andile Masuku, and his guest, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the presenting sponsor, SPARK. Image credit: SPARK

African Fintech Signal Check 2019: What Can Africa Learn From India? (Part 2) feat. Arunjay Katakam
Dec 20 2019 73 mins  
So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have noticed that a 'brick' several hundred million dollars heavy has descended on the continent in an unprecedented period of time, most of it venture capital earmarked for fintech startups in Nigeria. On this episode, Indian tech founder Arunjay Katakam joins Andile Masuku and Osarumen Osamuyi to extend our conversation about the implications of all the hype surrounding Africa's fintech scene and what the broader implications might be for the continent's tech ecosystem at large. We’re still vibing off of our last show, dubbed African Fintech Signal Check 2019: Nigeria's Killing It! (Part 1). That show, which guest featured Wiza Jalakasi, unpacked some of the most pertinent happenings in Africa’s emerging fintech landscape and in the legacy financial services arena over the last couple of months or so. If you haven't listened to that show (Episode 134), do that before you dig into this one. Arunjay Katakam is a former EY consultant who has co-founded three startups, exiting two— one of which eventually sold to Twitter. Today Arunjay is co-founder and CEO of a London-based cross-border remittance startup called Yooz and advises founders at DFS Lab. His extensive tech entrepreneurship experience spans work in developing markets in Asia and Africa, as well as developed markets in the Global North. To by-pass the pleasantries, head straight to the main discussion: [18:50]. Topics discussed in this episode include: 1) Arunjay suggests that there are three major cost factors/points of friction preventing mobile money from enjoying WhatsApp-level ubiquity and mainstream adoption. [18:50] 2) Can ECOWAS's (Economic Community of West African States) Eco currency plans lay the groundwork for smoother regional money flows? [26:25] 3) Might the recent $20 million investment close by "credit-as-a-service" startup Migo (formerly Mines.io)— mostly designated for taking on the Brazilian market, spark a new trend towards African/Africa-focussed startups taking on key markets outside the continent? [31:54] 4) In what ways might the dynamics of engineering fintech startup success in India be comparable with the same in African key markets? [35:53] 5) Does "a rising tide raise all boats", or will large fintech startups like OPay and PalmPay stifle innovation by smaller players? [51:42] 6) How might African mobile network operators (MNOs) respond to the prospect of wholesale disruption as "OTT (Over-the-top) Application 2.0" takes hold, and what learnings might they draw from the Chinese and Indian ecosystem experiences to inform their strategies? [57:54] Bonus Topics: Can successful startups be built without having to tell lies, even apparently "harmless" ones? + Is RxAll Africa's very own Theranos in the making? [9:13] To view resources referenced in this episode, visit https://www.africantechroundup.com/fintech-signal-check-2019-part-2/ Image credit: Babatunde Olajide


African Fintech Signal Check 2019: Nigeria's Killing It! (Part 1) feat. Wiza Jalakasi
Dec 12 2019 75 mins  
The last couple of months or so have been rather eventful for Africa's fintech scene— particularly in Nigeria where Interswitch notably attained unicorn status in November following Visa acquiring 20% of the company for a reported $200 million. Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey's much-publicised visit to Africa last month also did much to put a global spotlight on the continent’s fintech arena, and the subsequent capital raises by OPay (backed by Opera) and PalmPay (backed by Transsion) drew attention to the on-going race for platform dominance in the space. In this instalment of the African Tech Roundup podcast, Andile Masuku and The Subtext’s Osarumen Osamuyi are joined by Malawian mobile tech entrepreneur, Wiza Jalakasi, to unpack some of the more pertinent fintech industry signals and discuss their implications for the continent’s tech and innovation ecosystem at large. (To skip the introductory niceties, head straight to [11:58].) Wiza is a passionate USSD proponent who formerly headed up business development and international expansion at Africa’s Talking. He is currently the head of strategy and business development at Hover. Questions discussed in this episode include: 1) Is the hype around Jack Dorsey’s recent Africa visit well-deserved? [12:38] 2) Why might PalmPay’s $40 million seed round be the most significant China-related fintech startup play of late? [25:47] 3) Are aspiring ‘banks’ like Google and Facebook well-positioned to dominate Africa’s fintech industry? [28:52] 4) Is there credence to Jack Dorsey’s citing of Bitcoin as a key part of the future of African fintech? [37:55] 5) How significant is the trend towards digital-first and digital-only banks? [50:46] 6) Could the Zimbabwean mobile telco NetOne spark a continental trend by making mobile money transactions free? [1:01:57] 7) How will Google’s new Play Store lending term restrictions for financial services apps impact microlenders on the continent? [1:07:34] To view resources referenced in this episode, visit https://www.africantechroundup.com/fintech-signal-check-2019-part-1/ Image credit: Namnso Ukpanah

Is The Africa-China/China-Africa Tech & Innovation Dynamic Win-win? feat. Iginio Gagliardone
Nov 08 2019 74 mins  
In this episode of the African Tech Roundup podcast, Andile Masuku and The Subtext’s Osarumen Osamuyi are joined by Iginio Gagliardone for a candid introductory chat about the budding Africa-China/China-Africa tech collaboration dynamic. Iginio is an Associate Professor in Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand and an Associate Research Fellow in New Media and Human Rights in the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP) at the University of Oxford. He is also the author of a new book called China, Africa and the Future of the Internet, which has taken him the better part of ten years to write. This context-setting conversation covers a lot of ground. Some of the questions discussed include: 1) Where big-money moves in tech and innovation sector are concerned, is there an Africa-China or China-Africa dynamic at play? [12:17] 2) How committed is China to promoting mutual commercial beneficiation in Africa? [15:51] 3) Is there substance to stereotype of “Everyone has a plan for Africa, except Africa”? [20:13] 4) Are there any “good guys” left, and if so, is China one of them? [25:02] 5) Is China’s influence in African “technopolitical” circles inducing a neo-Third World psyche? [30:23] The episode is chock-full of fascinating real-world anecdotes, provocative ideas for how things can and should be and even a lively lightning round near the end of the show which elicited reflex takes on Africa-China tech stories that have trended over the last short while. To view resources referenced in this episode, visit https://www.africantechroundup.com/africa-china-tech-dynamics/ Image credit: Kayla Kozlowski

Dr Shingi Munyeza & Allon Raiz on Entrepreneurial Strategy and Zimbabwe's Commercial Potential
Oct 07 2019 62 mins  
After hosting of a live panel session at #Leaderex2019 in Sandton, Johannesburg themed, "Accelerating Zimbabwean Entrepreneurial Ventures", Andile Masuku, sat down with Zimbabwean businessman and presidential advisor Dr Shingi Munyeza and South African entrepreneur Allon Raiz for a relaxed podcast taping. Before making his mark as an entrepreneur, Dr Munyeza built a storied corporate career that saw him grow from being a clerk at Ernst & Young to a heavy-hitting advertising industry executive, and later, and perhaps most famously, to being the CEO of African Sun, one of Zimbabwe’s leading hospitality groups. Dr Munyeza has since evolved into one of his country's most respected serial entrepreneurs and, on this podcast, he shares his motivation for joining forces with Allon Raiz to launch a business incubator in Zimbabwe. Allon Raiz has come to be regarded globally as a pioneer and maverick in the business-incubation industry. An industry which is, for the most part, notorious for being anything but pragmatic and profitable. He is the CEO of Raizcorp, a business which, has provocatively been dubbed by The Economist as “the only genuine incubator in Africa”. Listen in for exclusive insight regarding these Dr Shingi and Allon's decidedly different entrepreneurial approaches and for practical wisdom on backing early-stage entrepreneurial progress in Zimbabwe a la Raizcorp Zimbabwe.


Will Facebook's Digital Currency Libra Be Good For Africa? feat. Michael Kimani & Simon Dingle
Jul 19 2019 61 mins  
In this in-studio taping of the African Tech Roundup podcast, Andile Masuku is joined by the Kenyan digital money analyst Michael Kimani and the South African crypto entrepreneur Simon Dingle to discuss how Libra and the proposed Calibra network stacks up against existing cryptocurrency concepts like Bitcoin, and to establish whether or not Facebook's digital currency might be good for Africa. It's safe to say that the world hasn't been quite the same since Facebook and its high-powered corporate collaborators - Visa, MasterCard, Uber, Spotify, South Africa's PayU and several others - revealed plans to re-imagine global finance using a digital coin called Libra— an idea that, according to the Libra whitepaper, is set to be backed by a reserve of actual currencies and assets. This show was taped prior to US President Donald Trump forcefully panning cryptocurrencies in a public statement earlier this week. His provocative sentiments came in the wake of lawmakers in the US and Europe demanding that The Libra Association's plans be placed on hold pending formal investigations. Meanwhile, in Africa, policymakers will also need to grapple with many of the concerns being raised about Libra abroad. In this episode, Andile, Simon and Michael delve into issues that African lawmakers would do well to apply their minds to. Listen in to hear the trio unpack why Libra is potentially an ingenious innovation that - if permitted by regulators - could do much to advance financial inclusion on the continent, but, equally, a potentially hazardous vehicle which could enable Facebook & Co. to wield unprecedented economic control over Africa's future. Image credit: Maksim Shutov







London Village Diaries With Dayo Akinrinade of Africlick Part 2 - Pan-African dating solutions
Apr 08 2019 74 mins  
This is the second instalment of a 2-part conversation with Africlick founder Dayo Akinrinade, which was taped at the fringes of the London stop of Afrobytes' 2018/19 International Event Series. Africlick is a new dating and networking app that aims to connect people of African and Caribbean heritage through their culture, and in this episode, Dayo sketches the magnitude of the business opportunity she is looking to convert and unpacks her company’s growth focus. Dayo holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science from the University of Manchester and a Masters in Technology Entrepreneurship from University College London, and has spent over ten years working in IT Management Consulting— delivering analytics and financial transformation programmes at Accenture and Deloitte. While embedded at those firms, she designed solutions and led global teams at the likes of the London Stock Exchange, Lloyds Banking Group and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria. Dayo formerly served as a Director at YSYS Consultancy Ltd, where she worked with Capital Enterprise and the JP Morgan Chase Foundation on the OneTech programme, which aims to raise a total of £15.1 million of investment for diverse, female founders. While inhabiting that role, she also delivered "diversity in technology advisory" to Space Camp, Startupbootcamp and Techstars. Currently, alongside running Africlick, Dayo advises two African fintech startups, Akkiba and DTL Cafe. Image credit: Justin Follis

London Village Diaries With Dayo Akinrinade of Africlick Part 1 - Working in tech while black
Apr 02 2019 32 mins  
Dayo Akinrinade is the Founder of Africlick, "a new dating/networking app for professionals and creatives of African and Caribbean heritage". Dayo holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science from the University of Manchester and a Masters in Technology Entrepreneurship from University College London and has spent over ten years working in IT Management Consulting— delivering analytics and financial transformation programmes at Accenture and Deloitte. While embedded at those firms, she designed solutions and led global teams at the likes of the London Stock Exchange, Lloyds Banking Group and the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria. Dayo formerly served as a Director at YSYS Consultancy Ltd, where she worked with Capital Enterprise and the JP Morgan Chase Foundation on the OneTech programme, which aims to raise a total of £15.1 million of investment for diverse, female founders. While inhabiting that role, she also delivered "diversity in technology advisory" to Space Camp, Startupbootcamp and Techstars. Currently, alongside running Africlick, Dayo advises two African fintech startups, Akkiba and DTL Cafe. This podcast is the first of a two-part London Village Diaries-themed conversation, which was taped at the fringes of the London stop of Afrobytes' 2018/19 International Event Series. Listen in to hear Andile Masuku catch up with Dayo to gauge the temperature of London's growing community of African Diasporan tech innovators and to learn how Africlick is using unique user profile data to help people connect on the basis of shared culture. Image credit: Supplied

Conservation Meets Conscious Capitalism With The Desert Date Company's Lauren Servin
Mar 22 2019 25 mins  
This bonus podcast miniseries episode features Lauren Servin, the American Founder and "Chief Tree Officer" of the Desert Date Company. The Desert Date Company is a natural ingredient supplier and skincare brand based on the banks of the Nile River in Northern Uganda. Lauren was previously SPARK’s South Sudan Country Manager – a role she inhabited for four years. In that role, she implemented an agribusiness entrepreneurship development programme focused on value chain development. In this conversation with Andile Masuku, Lauren explains how she and her team are looking to merge the conservation of threatened desert date trees (Balanites aegyptiaca)— which combat climate change, and a focus on creating meaningful wealth for women in an economically-challenged region of East Africa, with ambitious capitalist ambitions involving the mainstream commercialisation of desert date oil. Editorial Disclaimer: SPARK is the presenting sponsor of this podcast, which is part of an African Tech Roundup miniseries focused on inclusive economic progress being made in vulnerable states. African Tech Roundup retains full editorial control over all published content. Opinions expressed by the host, Andile Masuku, and his guests, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the presenting sponsor, SPARK. This podcast series was taped at the fringes of SPARK’s 6th annual IGNITE Conference - a premier gathering of refugees, entrepreneurs, educators, private sector actors, government leaders, academics and NGOs. Image credit: Kelly Sikkema






The Joy of Missing Out - Should African Founders Reject Hypergrowth VC Doctrine?
Feb 06 2019 78 mins  
Co-founder and Co-MD of Secha Capital Rushil Vallabh joins Andile Masuku and Musa Kalenga for the very first in-studio taping of 2019. Andile, Musa and Rushil chat through some notable signals and trends they've observed in Africa’s digital, tech and innovation ecosystem over the last month or so, then unpack issues raised by a New York Times (NYT) article entitled, More Start-Ups Have an Unfamiliar Message for Venture Capitalists: Get Lost - penned by Erin Griffith - which caused quite a stir on social media. The NYT piece raises some contentious issues currently being debated within Africa's early-stage startup investment scene— some of which were tackled on episode 124 entitled, Is Venture Capital a Ponzi Scheme? feat. Grant Phillips of PhilTech Consulting, which, incidentally, featured Rushil as guest host. Listen to hear why African startup founders might do well to embrace the "joy of missing out" aka JOMO by rejecting investment doctrine that prioritises raising ever increasing rounds of capital and pursuing growth at all costs over building sustainable/profitable ventures. To skip straight to that discussion, head to [55:12]. Topics discussed in this episode: AMA.ZING, part of the Zing Group, withdraws from Zimbabwe [4:52] The Econet Group is beasting right now [12:46] Econet Group Chairman Strive Masiyiwa vs Minority Shareholders [16:25] Vodacom's #PleaseCallMe PR Nightmare [20:51] Naspers now controls Russia’s largest classified advertising platform [30:50] Andela closes $100 million funding round [34:52] Cairo Angels claims to have invested $2.3 million in 24 startups [36:36] Egyptian bus-sharing startup Swvl is expanding to Kenya [38:37] Xiaomi plans to establish a formal presence in Africa [48:27] Facebook and Google compromise Apple's privacy regime [49:47] Image credit: Erwan Hesry


Development Finance Diaries with Musa Sillah and Mohamed Alhadi of the Islamic Development Bank
Jan 18 2019 34 mins  
This podcast features two separate conversations Andile Masuku had with senior executives working for the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB). Both exchanges yielded intriguing insight into the values, investment outlook and business MO of the world’s preeminent provider of sharia-compliant development finance. The first part of this episode features a brief chat with Musa Sillah, the Director of the Africa and Latin America Department at the IsDB. Sillah explains what distinguishes the IsDB from other leading development institutions like the World Bank and the African Development Bank, and offers insight into some of the work they are doing to promote sustainable economic development within the organisation’s 57 member states. The second half of the episode features a conversation with the Lead Fragility and Resilience Specialist at the IsDB, Mohamed Alhadi. Alhadi sheds light on how the IsDB frames the notion of "fragility" and how that informs the development and implementation of constructive policies that deliver real value to the IsDB's membership. Editorial Disclaimer: SPARK is the presenting sponsor of this podcast, which is part of an African Tech Roundup miniseries focused on inclusive economic progress being made in vulnerable states. African Tech Roundup retains full editorial control over all published content. Opinions expressed by the host, Andile Masuku, and his guests, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the presenting sponsor, SPARK. This podcast series was taped at the fringes of SPARK’s 6th annual IGNITE Conference - a premier gathering of refugees, entrepreneurs, educators, private sector actors, government leaders, academics and NGOs. Image credit: Hala Alghanim


Shaqodoon's Mustafa Othman on the State of Somalia & Somaliland's Entrepreneurship Support Ecosystem
Dec 19 2018 25 mins  
In this podcast, Andile Masuku chats with Mustafa Othman. Mustafa is the Somali Co-founder and Communications and Technology Manager of an organisation called Shaqodoon which operates in Somalia and Somaliland. Shaqodoon, which translated to English means “job seeker”, was born out of a USAID funded youth empowerment project called the Somali Youth Livelihoods Program, which was supported by the Education Development Center (EDC). Shaqodoon serves up programmes designed to help unemployed and out-of-school youth aged between 15 and 24 years acquire marketable work and life skills. Many of these initiatives are delivered thanks to strong partnerships the organisation has struck with local communities, government, international NGOs and the indigenous private sector. Mustafa studied for a Computer Science degree at the University of Westminster and has gained a wealth of hands-on management experience while working in the youth employment, entrepreneurship and education space in Somalia and Somaliland. Listen in for insight into the state of the region’s growing entrepreneurship support ecosystem and to get a sense of what interventions are working and why. Editorial Disclaimer: SPARK (spark-online.org) is the presenting sponsor of this podcast, which is part of an African Tech Roundup miniseries (bit.ly/FragileStatesMiniseries) focused on inclusive economic progress being made in vulnerable states. African Tech Roundup retains full editorial control over all published content. Opinions expressed by the host, Andile Masuku, and his guests, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the presenting sponsor, SPARK. This podcast series was taped at the fringes of SPARK’s 6th annual IGNITE Conference (bit.ly/IGNITE2018Roundup) - a premier gathering of refugees, entrepreneurs, educators, private sector actors, government leaders, academics and NGOs. Image credit: Shaqodoon

Gutsy Entrepreneurial Moves With Morris Dougba of Green Gold Liberia and Ayham Maksoud of Al-Maksoud
Dec 12 2018 45 mins  
This candid conversation - led by Andile Masuku - features two remarkable entrepreneurs. The first is Morris Dougba, a second-generation Liberian cocoa farmer and University of Liberia accounting graduate who fled his homeland to live in the US to escape civil war. Morris has since returned to his country to found a company called Green Gold Liberia, which produces charcoal briquettes using organic waste. Green Gold is determined to end Liberia’s ecologically damaging reliance on charcoal production activities, which destroy the country’s ancient rain forests. Also on the show is Ayham Maksoud, a Syrian civil engineer born to an entrepreneurial family. After completing an engineering Masters degree at the University of Aleppo, he founded a steel structure manufacturing business called Al-Maksoud for Steel Constructions in Syria in 2011, before being forced to abandon it a year later when war broke out in Syria. Ayham then emigrated to Libya where he re-established his business, but alas, he was forced to desert the second factory he built and migrate to Turkey when Libya was gripped by violent conflict in 2014. He has since incorporated Al-Maksoud for the third time in Turkey and is currently cultivating a solid business reputation with Turkish customers and many others all over the world. Listen in for fascinating first-hand insights about what it takes to realise entrepreneurial success in difficult places, and to learn why the world needs more true-to-life stories like the ones you’re about to hear. Editorial Disclaimer: SPARK (http://spark-online.org) is the presenting sponsor of this podcast, which is part of an African Tech Roundup miniseries (http://bit.ly/FragileStatesMiniseries) focused on inclusive economic progress being made in vulnerable states. African Tech Roundup retains full editorial control over all published content. Opinions expressed by the host, Andile Masuku, and his guests, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the presenting sponsor, SPARK. This podcast series was taped at the fringes of SPARK’s 6th annual IGNITE Conference (http://bit.ly/IGNITE2018Roundup) - a premier gathering of refugees, entrepreneurs, educators, private sector actors, government leaders, academics and NGOs. Image credit: Magnus S



University of Oxford's Alexander Betts & SPARK's Yannick Du Pont on Innovative Foreign Aid Strategy
Dec 05 2018 48 mins  
In this relaxed three-way conversation, Alexander Betts, Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs and William Golding Senior Fellow in Politics at the University of Oxford's Brasenose College, and Yannick Du Pont, the Co-founder and Director of the Dutch NGO SPARK, join Andile Masuku to discuss the awkward state-of-play within the global foreign aid industry, reference instructive live case studies and attempt to define what “winning” at helping turbulent regions of the world navigate towards sustainable economic growth should look and feel like. Alexander is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader whose research at the University of Oxford centres on refugee assistance, with a focus on East Africa. He has authored ten books and co-authored Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System (Penguin Allen Lane and Oxford University Press, 2017) with Paul Collier— a book named by The Economist as one of the 'Best Books of 2017'. Alexander previously worked for the UNHCR and currently serves as a Councillor on the World Refugee Council while leading the IKEA Foundation-funded Refugee Economies Programme. Yannick has worked in the fields of higher education and economic development in post-conflict countries since 1994. He previously worked for the Netherlands Minister of Development Cooperation, the Dutch PAX, the Evert Vermeer Foundation and the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael. At SPARK, Yannick leads teams which run programmes that promote SME-growth and facilitate youth job creation in 15 fragile states, primarily in North and Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. In addition to his work at SPARK, Yannick also serves on the boards of the Max van der Stoel Foundation and the LittleBitz Foundation, the advisory board of the Center of Theory of Change and the steering board of the Knowledge Platform on Security and Rule of Law. Editorial Disclaimer: SPARK (http://spark-online.org) is the presenting sponsor of this podcast, which is part of an African Tech Roundup miniseries focused on inclusive economic progress being made in vulnerable states. African Tech Roundup retains full editorial control over all published content. Opinions expressed by the host, Andile Masuku, and his guests, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the presenting sponsor, SPARK. This podcast series was taped at the fringes of SPARK’s 6th annual IGNITE Conference (http://bit.ly/IGNITEConference2018) – a premier gathering of refugees, entrepreneurs, educators, private sector actors, government leaders, academics and NGOs. Image credit: Bill Wegener

The African Fintech 2018 Retrospective with Viola Llewellyn of Ovamba Part 2
Dec 03 2018 65 mins  
2018's last in-studio taping of the African Tech Roundup podcast is a two-part affair which guest features the force of nature that is Viola Llewellyn. Viola is the UK-born, Cameroonian Co-founder and President of an award-winning fintech platform called Ovamba. Ovamba relies on proprietary technologies to connect African SMEs to sources of short‐term capital to fund their growth. Viola has spent over 15 years working in the management consulting, technology and alternative finance sectors at firms like of IBM, Unisys, KPMG and Preston Gates Ellis. She currently serves on the Boards of Directors of ActivSpaces, AH Partners, the European Women in Payment Network and the International Women’s Think Tank. In this, the second part of Episode 125, Viola joins Andile Masuku and Musa Kalenga to factor in on a “hype vs. reality” themed conversation about the development of Africa’s fintech landscape in 2018. To skip straight to that discussion, head to [40:09] and listen in to hear why Viola is sick and tired with the on-going continent-wide obsession of fintech startups looking to build "last-mile" solutions. Topics discussed in this episode: France's EDF signs deal for USD1.37 billion hydro project in Cameroon [1:26] Cameroonian health-tech entrepreneur Melissa Bime wins the Anzisha Prize [5:04] Benin repeals social media tax [10:57] Novastar Ventures closes USD72.5 million fund for West African Investments [13:17] Ethos announces USD69.8 million AI Fund [14:24} The African Digital Asset Framework (ADAF) is launched [19:35] Econet Group posts great results despite Kwese's poor performance [28:44] Econet and Safaricom not content to stay in their lanes [33:38] African Fintech 2018 Retrospective Discussion [40:09] Resources referenced in this episode: Breaking New Ground In Fintech: A Primer On Revenue Models That Create Value and Build Trust | Omidyar Network and Oliver Wyman (http://bit.ly/OmidyarNetworkFintechReport) Image credit: Tito Pixel

The African Fintech 2018 Retrospective with Viola Llewellyn of Ovamba Part 1
Nov 27 2018 59 mins  
2018's last in-studio taping of the African Tech Roundup podcast is a two-part affair which guest features the force of nature that is Viola Llewellyn. Viola is the UK-born, Cameroonian Co-founder and President of an award-winning fintech platform called Ovamba. Ovamba relies on proprietary technologies to connect African SMEs to sources of short‐term capital to fund their growth. Viola has spent over 15 years working in the management consulting, technology and alternative finance sectors at firms like of IBM, Unisys, KPMG and Preston Gates Ellis. She currently serves on the Boards of Directors of ActivSpaces, AH Partners, the European Women in Payment Network and the International Women’s Think Tank. In this, the first part of Episode 125, Viola joins Andile Masuku and Musa Kalenga as they start to factor in on a “hype vs. reality” themed conversation about the development of Africa’s fintech landscape in 2018. Listen in to hear Viola's candid take on the unfortunate current state-of-play in Cameroon’s Anglophone region. Topics discussed in this episode: Nigeria plans to build an additional 18,000km of fibre infrastructure [41:33] Ashish Thakkar of Mara Group announces plans to launch a smartphone brand called Maraphone [46:50] Tanzania vs. journalists [51:29] Anglophone Cameroon crisis update [53:29] Resources referenced in this episode: Nigeria's National Broadband Plan 2013-2018 | Nigerian Presidential Committee on Broadband (http://bit.ly/NigeriaBroadbandPlan2013) A new model of microfinance for Africa, and beyond | TED Institute (http://bit.ly/ViolaLlewellynTEDTalk) The Democratisation of Financial Services | SLUSH (http://bit.ly/ViolaLlewellynSLUSH) 26 Women of Colour Diversifying Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley, Media and Beyond | Vanity Fair (http://bit.ly/BlackWomenVanityFair)

TransUnion Africa's Lee Naik on embracing collaboration and harnessing democratised technologies
Nov 23 2018 38 mins  
Lee Naik is the CEO of TransUnion Africa, a subsidiary of the giant American consumer credit reporting agency, TransUnion, that’s listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Prior to joining TransUnion Africa, Lee spent 18 years at Accenture, where he served as Managing Director of Accenture Digital in Sub-Saharan Africa. Since signing up to lead TransUnion Africa in January 2017, he’s been tasked with shaping the company’s continental growth strategy— a process that’s so far necessitated the recruitment of key senior talent, the orchestration of major tech platform updates, and the expansion of the firm’s range of information solutions. In this conversation with Andile Masuku - which forms part African Tech Roundup’s podcast miniseries on digital assets (http://bit.ly/atrudigitalassets) - Lee offers insight into how data-led legacy corporates like TransUnion Africa are grappling with the prospect of a future led by democratised technologies and open source collaboration. Editorial Disclaimer: Raise (https://getraise.io) is the presenting sponsor of this podcast, which is part of an African Tech Roundup miniseries focused on digital assets. Raise is a founding member of the African Digital Asset Framework - ADAF (http://adaf.io). African Tech Roundup retains full editorial control over all published content. Opinions expressed by the host, Andile Masuku, and his guests, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the presenting sponsor, Raise.

Ovamba's Viola Llewellyn on encoding African IP and the need for Pan-African digital standards
Nov 20 2018 40 mins  
The third and last episode of African Tech Roundup's (https://africantechroundup.com) miniseries (http://bit.ly/atrudigitalassets) on digital assets features Viola Llewellyn, the UK-born, Cameroonian Co-founder and President of an award-winning fintech platform called Ovamba. Ovamba leverages proprietary technologies to connect African SMEs to sources of short‐term capital to fund their growth. Viola has spent over 15 years working in the management consulting, technology and alternative finance sectors at firms like of IBM, Unisys, KPMG and Preston Gates Ellis. She currently serves on the Boards of Directors of ActivSpaces, AH Partners, the European Women in Payment Network and the International Women’s Think Tank. In this conversation with Andile Masuku, Viola speaks on the importance of finding smart ways to ensure that Africa secures its unique and invaluable IP, touches on the overlooked advantages of adopting Pan-African digital standards for the establishment and trade of assets in various sectors, and sketches the role that Africa’s financial services industry needs to play in helping us all thrive in an increasingly digital world. Editorial Disclaimer: Raise (https://getraise.io) is the presenting sponsor of this podcast, which is part of an African Tech Roundup miniseries focused on digital assets. Raise is a founding member of the African Digital Asset Framework (http://adaf.io). African Tech Roundup retains full editorial control over all published content. Opinions expressed by the host, Andile Masuku, and his guests, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the presenting sponsor, Raise.


EOS Nairobi's Felix Macharia and Raise's Marvin Coleby unpack the African Digital Asset Framework
Nov 13 2018 79 mins  
In this podcast - the second episode in African Tech Roundup's (https://africantechroundup.com) three-part miniseries on digital assets (http://bit.ly/atrudigitalassets) - Andile Masuku chats with two gifted distributed ledger proponents who are co-architects of the African Digital Assets Framework - ADAF (http://adaf.io). ADAF is the first open-source software platform to create transnational standards for digital assets and distributed ledger technologies— in line with pan-African development objectives. ADAF intends to complement the African Union’s Single Africa Digital Market initiative, which seeks to leverage technology to stimulate digitised pan-African economic integration. Andile's first podcast guest is Felix Macharia, a Kenyan senior medical student who is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of EOS Nairobi— where he leads product development and decentralised protocol research. Felix is also an affiliate scholar with the Institute for Blockchain Studies in New York. Also on the show is the Bahamian technology and securities lawyer-turned-founder and CEO of Raise, Marvin Coleby. Marvin is a published researcher specialising in regional trade financing and international investment arbitration, and also serves as an advisor to the Africa Blockchain Alliance and the Agentic Group, alongside advising partners such as Coindesk, MIT and IBM. Listen in to broaden your understanding of what constitutes a digital asset and learn why adopting a pragmatic Pan-African framework for dealing with digital assets might well be in the world's best interests. Editorial Disclaimer: Raise (https://getraise.io) is the presenting sponsor of this podcast, which is part of an African Tech Roundup miniseries focused on digital assets. Raise is a founding member of the African Digital Asset Framework (http://adaf.io). African Tech Roundup retains full editorial control over all published content. Opinions expressed by the host, Andile Masuku, and his guests, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the presenting sponsor, Raise.



African IP diaries with UCT's Prof Caroline Ncube and Thomson Reuters' Saidah Nash Carter
Nov 05 2018 59 mins  
This podcast is the first instalment of a three-part miniseries (http://bit.ly/atrudigitalassets) produced by African Tech Roundup (https://africantechroundup.com) to spark a broader debate about the nature and value of African digital assets within the context of the world’s emerging digital economy. Joining Andile Masuku for this conversation are two distinguished Cape Town-based innovators. First, the Zimbabwean-born Professor of Intellectual Property at the University of Cape Town’s Faculty of Law and co-editor of the South African Intellectual Property Law Journal, Caroline Ncube. Caroline has authored a book called Intellectual Property Policy, Law and Administration in Africa: Exploring continental and sub-regional co-operation and co-edited another called Indigenous Knowledge and Intellectual Property. She is also a fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society, a Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund scholar, an associate member of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society at the University of Ottawa and a co-leader of the Open African Innovation Research Partnership. Also featured in this episode is Saidah Nash Carter, the African-American intrapraneur who serves as Head of Innovation at Thomson Reuters Africa. While at Reuters NewMedia, early on in her career, Saidah helped to build and launch some of the first online news services for early internet sensations like Yahoo! and AOL. Today, however, she heads up one of the seven innovation labs Thomson now runs globally (now branded Refinitiv Labs)— the only one so far based in an emerging market. Some notable successes in her current role include overseeing Thomson Reuters’ Africa Startup Challenge and getting her team’s agrotech financial inclusion initiative, dubbed Bankable Farmer, off the ground. Listen in to gain a better appreciation of the historical approaches to dealing with intellectual property, in particular, as Africa undertakes to construct legal frameworks and set standards for the use of digital assets— that is, to figure out how to go about administering their creation, registering their ownership, determining their value, and regulating their exchange. Editorial Disclaimer: Raise (https://getraise.io) is the presenting sponsor of this podcast, which is part of an African Tech Roundup miniseries focused on digital assets. Raise is a founding member of the African Digital Asset Framework aka ADAF (https://adaf.io). African Tech Roundup retains full editorial control over all published content. Opinions expressed by the host, Andile Masuku, and his guests, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the presenting sponsor, Raise.

Is Venture Capital a Ponzi Scheme? feat. Grant Phillips of PhilTech Consulting
Nov 02 2018 89 mins  
Joining Andile Masuku and guest co-host Rushil Vallabh of Secha Capital on this African Tech Roundup podcast is Grant Phillips. Grant is the Founder and CEO of PhilTech Consulting and has partnered with both Convergence Partners and Stockdale Street (the Oppenheimer Family’s South African private equity outfit) to "build out technology ecosystems across Africa". He was previously the CEO and Chairman of the Nairobi-based credit reference bureau and debt management outsource organisation CRB Africa as well as CEO of TransUnion’s Pan-African business. Listen in to hear Andile, Rushil and Grant unpack the provocative assertion that venture capital is a Ponzi scheme, recently made by the American-Sri Lankan Founder and CEO of Social Capital Chamath Palihapitiya. Head to [1:18:12] if you'd like to skip straight to that conversation. Chamath - a bona fide billionaire - was an early senior executive at Facebook. Following that, Chamath founded Social Capital which he claims, its first 8 years, made double what Berkshire Hathaway made in its first 8 years of business. But now, apparently, he's done with the limited partnership VC model and with running a successful hedge fund. Hence, he's decided to reorganise Social Capital into a holding company that will pick investments on the basis of both solid business fundamentals and "value to humanity"— and offer investees all the finance and growth support they need to thrive. Given media reports regarding Rocket Internet's puzzling plans to exit their investment in the struggling online shopping platform Jumia via a stock exchange listing in the US, Africa's early-stage investment ecosystem might do well to soberly reflect on Chamath's controversial aversion to the VC model largely popularised by Silicon Valley. Topics discussed in this episode: Somalia’s Premier Bank announces a USD1 million fund to invest in Somali startups [14:45] Kenya earmarks just under USD10 million for local phone manufacturing [15:55] Airtel Africa raises USD1.25 billion [18:14] Update on MTN Nigeria's regulatory woes [21:36] Rocket Internet set to list Jumia in the US [24.09] The International Finance Corporation (IFC) could invest USD3 million in Kobo360 [30:26] South Africa is getting Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centres [43:42] Naspers is agressively reorganising its portfolio [48:03] Angola Cables' South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) is live [52:06] Zambia's Central Bank warns against trading cryptocurrencies [54:05] Liquid Telecom completes acquisition of CEC Liquid Telecom (Zambia) [59:04] Nexxus Ventures backs South African equity crowdfunding startup Uprise.Africa [1:00:57] Education fintech Prodigy lands a billion dollar line of credit [1:03:32] Standard Bank South Africa set to launch a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) [1:07:28] Malawi plans to force businesses to accept digital payments [1:09:02] Andela pays coders at least 50% less than Silicon Valley coders earn [1:09:40] Facebook continues to lose top executives + Facebook data breach [1:10:55] Apple & Amazon accused of having servers compromised by spyware-laden chips [1:12:32] Apple and Samsung fined by Italy for planned obsolescence [1:13:17] Uber keen to buy Careem [1:14:36] Airbnb wants to share equity with home sharing listees [1:15:00] Discussion: Is VC a Ponzi Scheme? [1:18:12] Resources referenced in this episode: The Africa Innovation Paradigm Whitepaper: http://bit.ly/AfricanInnovationParadigmReport Chamath Palihapitiya This Week In Startups Interview: http://bit.ly/ChamathInterview Social Capital 2018 Annual Letter: http://bit.ly/SocialCapital2018AnnualLetter



Masakhe Foundation's Mpilo Ngcukana & Thulani Fesi on why KwaLanga Cape Town needs a youth tech hub
Oct 12 2018 24 mins  
On this podcast, Andile Masuku chats with two exceptional, Cape Townian entrepreneurs who are both actively involved in a youth-focused tech hub initiative called the Masakhe Techville Creative Technology Center in KwaLanga township, where they both grew up. The project is an initiative of the Masakhe Foundation. Mpilo Ngcukana co-founded the Simon Deporres men’s clothing brand in 2007 - while studying Finance and Economics at the University of Cape Town, and is currently working to launch an art gallery in Langa. And Thulani Fesi is a street art curator and hospitality and entertainment innovator who was previously part of the independent record label, 021 Records, alongside notable stablemates DJ Fosta and Skullman. In this conversation, Mpilo and Thulani let us into the grassroots struggle to bring disadvantaged youth in KwaLanga up to speed with advances in tech, in order to set them up for success in today’s increasingly digital world. Editorial Disclaimer: Airbnb (https://airbnb.com) is the presenting sponsor of this podcast, which is part of an African Tech Roundup (https://africantechroundup.com) miniseries focused on inclusive travel and tourism— recorded at the Africa Travel Summit 2018 (https://africatravelsummit.com). African Tech Roundup retains full editorial control over all published content. Opinions expressed by the host, Andile Masuku, and his guests, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the presenting sponsor, Airbnb. Image credit: Phi Hùng Nguyễn (https://unsplash.com/@hungnp92)

Gig economy diaries with SweepSouth's Aisha Pandor and LULA's Velani Mboweni
Oct 11 2018 45 mins  
This podcast features two South African startup founders working the trenches of the emerging gig economy. Human geneticist-turned-entrepreneur Aisha Pandor is the Co-founder and CEO of SweepSouth, an on-demand booking platform for home cleaning services. SweepSouth is quite notably the first South African start-up to be accepted into the 500 Startups Accelerator in Silicon Valley. Velani Mboweni is the Co-founder and CEO of the ride-sharing service, LULA. This Global Fellow of the San Francisco-based Kairos Society and alumnus of the South Africa-Washington International Program is currently spearheading a mission to transform the way people commute by leveraging on the shared economy and mobile technology. Aisha and Velani were both born into families with a rich political history and have inherited considerable privilege as a result. Aisha is the daughter of South Africa’s current Minister of Higher Education, Dr Naledi Pandor, and Velani is the nephew of former South African Reserve Bank governor, Tito Mboweni— who was just recently appointed Minister of Finance by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Listen in to learn what motivated these founders to forgo cushy professional paths in favour of becoming entrepreneurs, and to find out what it’s like to launch and run startups servicing two highly politicised industries. Editorial Disclaimer: Airbnb (https://airbnb.com) is the presenting sponsor of this podcast, which is part of an African Tech Roundup (https://africantechroundup.com) miniseries focused on inclusive travel and tourism— recorded at the Africa Travel Summit 2018 (https://africatravelsummit.com). African Tech Roundup retains full editorial control over all published content. Opinions expressed by the host, Andile Masuku, and his guests, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the presenting sponsor, Airbnb.





Travelstart's Stephan Ekbergh on startup success in Africa's online travel booking industry
Oct 01 2018 22 mins  
Stephan Ekbergh is the Founder and CEO of Travelstart. He is a Swedish entrepreneur who is probably best known for growing Travelstart from a provocative online travel startup in Scandinavia to one of the world’s largest online travel agencies servicing emerging markets in Africa and the Middle East. Prior to founding Travelstart, Stephan was a touring DJ and entertainment entrepreneur who performed at events all over Europe. After founding Travelstart in 1999 and steering the business to profitability, he moved to Cape Town, South Africa in 2004 to expand the firm into Africa. In 2010, he decided to sell Travelstart's European division to focus on growth into the Middle East, and in 2016, Travelstart took on $40 million dollars of investment in a round led by Amadeus. Listen in to learn how Stephan succeeded in bringing his African startup dream to fruition and to hear why he's bullish about the business potential of Africa's travel and tourism industry. Editorial Disclaimer: Airbnb (https://airbnb.com) is the presenting sponsor of this podcast, which is part of an African Tech Roundup (https://africantechroundup.com) miniseries focused on inclusive travel and tourism— recorded at the Africa Travel Summit 2018 (https://africatravelsummit.com). African Tech Roundup retains full editorial control over all published content. Opinions expressed by the host, Andile Masuku, and his guest/s do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the presenting sponsor, Airbnb.

The Sunday Times' Pearl Boshomane Tsotetsi on lifestyle journalism politics & travelling while black
Sep 27 2018 37 mins  
Pearl Boshomane Tsotetsi is the Lifestyle Editor at the Sunday Times (South Africa). Pearl was voted one of Mail and Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans in 2015 and assumed her current role in 2017. She previously served as Editor of Daily Planet, an intersectional pop culture and social commentary website covering the arts, feminism, racism, social media and digital consumer trends. In addition to working at the Sunday Times, the self-proclaimed "Blonde Bombshell" writes and curates for her blog, FeministMakoti.co.za— a platform for black female voices to convey perspectives on love, sex, marriage, relationships and everything in between. In this conversation with Andile Masuku - taped at Africa Travel Summit 2018 (http://africatravelsummit.com) - Pearl unpacks her aspirational editorial approach to crafting an “intelligent lifestyle product” that is both representative and market-relevant. Listen in for some straight-talk about the sociopolitical and economic importance of profiling black excellence in top-tier lifestyle reporting, and for candid views on the highlights and hazards of travelling while black. Editorial Disclaimer: Airbnb (https://airbnb.com) is the presenting sponsor of this podcast, which is part of an African Tech Roundup (https://africantechroundup.com) miniseries focused on inclusive travel and tourism— recorded at the Africa Travel Summit 2018. African Tech Roundup retains full editorial control over all published content. Opinions expressed by the host, Andile Masuku, and his guest/s do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the presenting sponsor, Airbnb.

Airbnb's Chris Lehane on growing the sharing economy and democratising travel and tourism
Sep 26 2018 47 mins  
Chris Lehane is Airbnb’s Head of Global Policy, Public Affairs and Communications. Chris engages with policymakers around the world to safeguard the rights of people who have bought into the travel industry giant's home sharing proposition. He also frequently contributes to public discourse around the societal hazards, economic benefits and democratisation potential of the new "experience economy" Airbnb is propagating. In the 1990's, Chris served in various positions in the Clinton Administration, including Press Secretary to Vice-President Al Gore and Special Assistant Counsel to President Bill Clinton. Today, he is easily one of the world’s most high profile sharing economy proponents and in this conversation with Andile Masuku - taped at Africa Travel Summit 2018 (http://africatravelsummit.com) - Chris unpacks some of the idealistic values influencing Airbnb’s strategy and fuelling their growth. He also tackles some of the very real challenges that society will need to confront as the world navigates towards a more inclusive future of global travel and tourism. Editorial Disclaimer: Airbnb (https://airbnb.com) is the presenting sponsor of this podcast, which is part of an African Tech Roundup (https://africantechroundup.com) miniseries focused on inclusive travel and tourism— recorded at the Africa Travel Summit 2018. African Tech Roundup retains full editorial control over all published content.

Pesapal's Mark Mwongela talks fintech's impact on Africa's travel and tourism industry
Sep 24 2018 40 mins  
Mark Mwongela is the Co-founder and CEO of Pesapal, a leading Kenyan mobile, online and point-of-sale (POS) payment platform operating in seven African countries including Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Kenya. Previously, Mark served as Technical Director at Pesapal— overseeing the firm's product development efforts, and prior to that, he was Managing Director of Variant Technology Management Consultancy. In this conversation with Andile Masuku - taped at Africa Travel Summit 2018 (http://africatravelsummit.com) - Mark shares the rationale for Pesapal's Pan-African hospitality business focus and factors in on how home-grown fintech innovation is contributing to the growth of the continent's travel and tourism industry at large. Listen in to hear how a travel blog targeting Kenyans living abroad led to the development of what is now one of Kenya’s leading mobile, online and point of sale platforms servicing hundreds of hotels, tour companies and travel operators. Editorial Disclaimer: Airbnb (https://airbnb.com) is the presenting sponsor of this podcast, which is part of an African Tech Roundup (https://africantechroundup.com) miniseries focused on inclusive travel and tourism— recorded at the Africa Travel Summit 2018. African Tech Roundup retains full editorial control over all published content. Opinions expressed by the host, Andile Masuku, and his guest/s do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the presenting sponsor, Airbnb.

Hacking Remittances and Other Stories feat. Herbert Banhire of AMA.ZING (Zing Holdings)
Sep 17 2018 89 mins  
According to a recent World Bank report, it's more costly to send money to Africa than to anywhere else in the world. On average, a 12% remittance fee is charged for every USD200 sent to the continent. Just last year (2017), African Diasporans reportedly sent home USD38 billion, and doubtless, a solid chunk of that sum served to line the pockets of financial incumbents who are only too happy to promote the status quo. In this episode of the African Tech Roundup, Herbert Banhire, AMA.ZING's Head of Zimbabwean Diaspora SA, joins Andile Masuku and guest co-host, Tapsnapp Founder, Vije Vijendranath, to chat about some leading tech and innovation ecosystem trends and to talk about the Zing Holdings' (http://ama.zing.world) ambitions to disrupt Africa's remittance industry via their first B2C virtual coin-based remittance offering, AMA.ZING. The Mauritius-registered Zing Holdings was founded by South Africans Jason Perthel (CEO) and Warren Venter. AMA.ZING is poised to help Zimbabweans living in South Africa - banked or not - conduct free mobile transactions and access basic insurance services. Listen in to hear Andile, Vije and Herbert unpack Zing's Sure Remit-esque platform aspirations against the backdrop of the unprecedented early-stage investment goldrush currently happening within Africa's fintech scene. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Image Credit: https://rawpixel.com

Tonjé Bakang of African Leadership Academy on Afrostream's demise and failing forward
Sep 07 2018 48 mins  
You might recall that in September 2017 the Cameroonian former Founder & CEO of Afrostream and current Chief Brand Officer of African Leadership Academy's Anzisha Prize, Tonjé Bakang, published a heavily-publicised Medium post in French announcing that his VOD streaming service was shutting down. Here is Tonjé's letter in English— translated by Audrey Lang: http://bit.ly/tonjéokayafrica. Our very own Andile Masuku even wrote a syndicated op-ed for Business Report South Africa (http://bit.ly/tonjeoped) celebrating Tonjé's decision to chronicle how and why his company failed. By founding Afrostream, Tonjé set out to capture the loyalty of an underserved customer segment that lay within the confines of a super-competitive streaming market. We’re talking a well-defended industry dominated by international rivals like Netflix, and by increasingly confident African startups like IROKO— the former reportedly spending something like €33 million on marketing alone in the first year they launched in France (Afrostream’s most important foreign geographic market). That tidbit should put into proper perspective, how very little the $4 million Afrostream managed to raise to fund its mission over four years actually is. In this conversation with Andile Masuku and Tayo Akinyemi - taped at Afrobytes Tech Conference 2018 - Tonjé details the ordeal of watching his entrepreneurial dream die and shares profound lessons about staying true to oneself, failing forward and engineering personal reinvention. Apply for the Anzisha Prize: http://www.anzishaprize.org/apply/





Thomson Reuters' Sneha Shah on delivering market-relevant data, insight & tech business solutions
Aug 07 2018 34 mins  
As Managing Director of Thomson Reuters Africa, Kenyan-born Sneha Shah oversees the firm's Financial, Risk, Tax and Legal businesses across the continent. Initially founded as a news agency in 1851, today Thomson Reuters is frequently cited by media watchdogs as an "invisible information giant" worth monitoring closely as it delivers unprecedented amounts of data, along with automation and digitisation solutions to financial institutions, governments and corporates around the globe. Sneha holds a BA (Hons) degree in Politics with International Studies from the University of Warwick in the UK and prior to joining Thomson Reuters in 2001, she was a Commodities Trader for Cargill in South Africa and traded money markets and foreign exchange at CFC Bank in Kenya. Sneha is a member of the Board of the US Chamber of Commerce US-Africa Business Center, the One Young World (PYW) Africa Local Organising Committee, the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and the African Leadership Network (ALN). She is also a Steering Committee member for 30% Southern Africa and actively involved in the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa's Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI). In this conversation with Andile Masuku - taped at a corporate-backed gender equality event called Voices of Change hosted in Sandton recently - Sneha demystifies Thomson's operations by explaining the firm's business model and unpacking their Africa growth strategy. Listen in to hear how Sneha and her team are working to keep Thomson relevant and profitable at a time when very few large data, insights and technology-focused corporations seem content to stay in their lane. Also, Sneha's elucidation of the "firewall" between Thomson's news and consulting businesses is well worth a listen.








#VillageDiariesAmsterdam Pt 1 - A fireside chat with HYBR Founder & CEO Charles Ojei
Jun 22 2018 54 mins  
On Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 the international African Tech Roundup LIVE Tour launched with a live event in The Netherlands dubbed #VillageDiariesAmsterdam. For the first part of the evening's programme, hosts Andile Masuku and Musa Kalenga were joined by headline guest, Nigerian Partner and CEO of HYBR, Charles Ojei. Prior to founding HYBR, Charles was Director of Enterprise Business at Samsung Electronics West Africa and earned nearly two decades of sales, business development, strategy and technology professional experience while embedded at Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Samsung, and DuPont. He implemented projects in Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe across multiple industries such as retail, healthcare, food, agriculture, technology, education, hospitality and financial services. Charles has completed the Executive Leadership Program at THNK School of Creative Leadership in Amsterdam and holds a B.Sc in Industrial Relations & Personnel Management from the University of Lagos, as well as a Masters in Social Entrepreneurship (with Distinction) from Hult International Business School in San Francisco and Boston. He currently serves as a faculty member at the Enterprise Development Centre at the Pan-African University in Lagos, Nigeria. In this candid chat with Andile, Musa and the #VillageDiariesAmsterdam live audience (which has been edited for listenability), Charles shares practical insights into the necessary mindset and relevant approaches required to do business in Africa.






























The 2017 Year-end Rundown + African Venture Capital Done Right feat. Rushil Vallabh
Dec 13 2017 86 mins  
By this time last year, Africa's tech and innovation media community had started to go into hibernation for the Festive Season. But this year’s different… Bitcoin is doing the thing, America’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is poised to put net neutrality out of its misery, Uber is bracing for a severe regulatory backlash after trying to conceal a 2016 data breach affecting 57 million users, and complex corruption allegations continue to dog the JSE-listed IT service management giant, EOH, as well as Naspers (who now indirectly own a piece of Spotify thanks to the streaming service’s recent mini-merger with Tencent Music). The tail-end of Q4 2018 has also featured some encouraging local tech ecosystem developments— like several promising African startups landing much needed early-stage funding and key ecosystem stakeholders (founders, investors, policy makers and innovation hub runners) participating in vigorous public debates about maximising the creation and exchange of solid business value within Africa’s emerging tech industry. Joining Andile Masuku and Musa Kalenga on this African Tech Roundup podcast (the last full show of 2017) to chat through some of the more interesting digital, tech and innovation highlights to emerge during the past couple of weeks is Bain consultant-turned-venture capitalist, Rushil Vallabh of Secha Capital. Rushil also explains how the founding team at Secha Capital arrived at their investment thesis, why he believes their “hybrid” model gives them the edge, and factors in on the pros and cons of some of the angel investment and VC approaches we’ve discussed on the show recently. We would just like to thank you - the listener - for your part in making the African Tech Roundup community rock in 2017. Our next full episode drops in mid-Jan 2018, but don’t worry, we’ve got your back this Festive Season because every week this holiday, we’ll be publishing previously unreleased Quick (Tech) Chats podcast episodes taped at Afrobytes Tech Conference 2017 and the African Angel Investor Summit 2017. So, go ahead and turn on your notification settings wherever you listen to us, or simply check back into AfricanTechRoundup.com for all the freshest content drops. Happy Holidays! Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

























Investor Bias Debate 2.0 + Should Africa Embrace Uberisation? feat. Vije Vijendranath
Jul 31 2017 82 mins  
A couple of weeks ago, a think piece by Andile Masuku entitled "We simply must not allow investor bias to persist" - featured in African Independent and Business Report - caused a bit of a stir on Twitter. The hubbub surrounded the article's tackling of the sensitive issue of investor bias that appears to be prevalent in Africa's startup finance scene. Cited in Andile's piece are research findings published in a recent Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded report by the American VC outfit, Village Capital. According to the report, more than 90% of the funding that's gone into East African fintech startups over the past year or two has benefitted firms with expatriate founders. This has lead to some local founders complaining that their ventures aren't being fairly appraised for investibility in terms of their potential and financial viability. In this episode of the African Tech Round-up, Andile Masuku and Musa Kalenga are joined by Tapsnapp founder and CEO, Vije Vijendranath, to unpack some of the impassioned response to the investor bias debate that's recently surfaced from certain quarters within our tech community and to chat about some possible solutions to the situation. Then, being that Tapsnapp is surfing the "Uberisation of everything" trend, and given the current push-back Uber is experiencing in South Africa from various stakeholders, Andile, Musa and Vije decided to try and answer the question: how enthusiastically should Africans embrace on-demand marketplace platforms? Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0












Malawi Secures $72.4 Million Credit Line From The World Bank To Advance National Digitisation
Jun 23 2017 45 mins  
The Sub-Saharan Africa heads of the likes of Huawei, Oracle, Cisco, IBM and perhaps even Amazon, Facebook and Google, have no doubt already booked first class tickets to Lilongwe to advise the Malawian government on what to do with the $72.4 million line of credit the country has secured from the World Bank to "help Malawi build the digital foundations needed to help the country connect to the global digital economy". This development comes in the wake of the World Bank resuming "budget support financing" for Malawi in May 2017 after a four-year hiatus. In this African Tech Round-up, Musa Kalenga and Andile Masuku discuss some of the things that Malawian policy-makers ought to prioritise as they engage with potential technology partners. News like this helps contextualise some of the sentiments expressed by David Meads, Cisco's Africa business head, in a recent IoT-focussed chat he had with Andile, in which he highlighted his organisation's commitment to assisting African governments with their digital transformation efforts. Heads up... This episode was taped before Uber announced that Travis Kalanick would be stepping down as the company's CEO, so Andile and Musa didn't take that more recent piece of news into account when discussing Uber's travails. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0











Allard Luchsinger of Velocity Capital Private Equity talks making sound bets on African startups
Apr 18 2017 30 mins  
Allard Luchsinger is the Director for Private Equity at the Dutch VC firm Velocity Capital Private Equity. Allard supports all of Velocity’s portfolio companies as an active board member for TradeKing, an innovative US online brokerage firm; 8 Securities, Asia’s next-generation online broker based in Hong Kong; Five Degrees, a progressive banking software provider from The Netherlands; as well as Cellulant, a leading mobile commerce and payment technology provider from Kenya. He joined Velocity Capital in 2011, after co-founding and serving as the COO of the groundbreaking San Francisco-based online brokerage firm Zecco. At Zecco, Allard drove all operations, growing the firm’s client base to more than 250,000 accounts. In 2012, Zecco merged with competing brokerage firm TradeKing in 2012 to create the industry’s sixth largest online broker, TradeKing Group Inc. Previously, Allard served as associate partner at the Dutch strategy-consulting firm Boer & Croon, as well as co-founder and CEO of TradingCars.com, an online B2B marketplace for the trading of new passenger cars. He also co-founded Wannahaves.nl, an online lifestyle platform in the Netherlands. Allard started his career at Gemini Consulting as a strategy consultant. In this conversation, Allard chats to Andile Masuku about what motivated the team at Velocity to land their very first African investment and he comments on some of the challenges he's encountered in terms of seeking out investible prospects to fund.






Talking Access To Higher Education With Bola Lawal Of ScholarX
Mar 22 2017 22 mins  
It's been barely a week since we hosted the African Tech Round-up LIVE: State of the Startup event in Johannesburg, and believe it or not, next week will mark the 100th podcast we'll have published in consecutive weeks. We've done our best to deliver the biggest digital, tech and innovation headlines from Africa and beyond while offering candid analysis and commentary, as well as useful insights gleaned from some of the Africa's leading entrepreneurs, executives, investors and technical talent. The conversation we're sharing on this week's show brings things full-circle in that the show's host, Andile Masuku, finally got to meet the Texas-based Nigerian, Bola Lawal, in person at our recent event-- after they interacted online, brought together by the podcast. It's humbling to realise how this little podcast has grown into a lively international community of people-- Africans and otherwise, who are actively involved and/or care deeply about the continent's growing tech ecosystem. Bola is one of the co-founders of ScholarX, an app designed to help African students access scholarships abroad. In this chat, he talks about how ScholarX is committed to helping Africans access the very best education possible through scholarships, and he gives his take on the emergence of MOOC's and eLearning in general. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution











Business Angels, Blackberry and Tech Bubbles
Feb 21 2017 43 mins  
We're often asked what informs our opinionated take on the biggest tech and innovation headlines each week. Our secret is having five to ten times as many conversations per week than most people. From established tech entrepreneurs and high-flying C-suite types to striving startup founders, career tech-heads, VC’s, business angels and everyday Africans who are leveraging tech to make a better life for themselves, we talk to everybody. On this week's African Tech Round-up we've decided to let you in on some typical offline chatter that tends to colour our worldview. Listen in to hear Chris Campbell, co-founder of the African Business Angels Network (ABAN) catch up briefly with Candace Johnson at the World Business Angels Investment Forum that recently went down in Turkey. Candace is the co-chair of the Global Business Angels Network, and Chris got her to react to the presence of an African delegation at the event. Chris also tapped Nigerian Angel Investor, Tomi Davies for his thoughts on how the world is coming to the realisation that Africa is a serious tech investment destination. Finally, Andile Masuku taped a relaxed conversation with one of our most treasured listeners in Uganda-- blogger and tech entrepreneur, Nicholas Kyanda. Among the many things they discussed is the question of whether Africa's tech scene might be heading for a bubble burst. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution








Internet Blackout Persists In Anglophone Cameroon
Feb 06 2017 41 mins  
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon are probably still celebrating their win against The Pharaohs of Egypt in the AFCON final. How ironic that roughly 20% of the Central African country’s population was unable to celebrate their national team’s win on social media thanks to the government’s ongoing broadband blackout following anti-government protests in the north-west and south-west regions of that country. No doubt some Cameroonians-- particularly the tech heads who make up the nation’s “Silicon Mountain” community, might even now gladly give up the country's recently won AFCON trophy if it meant getting their internet back. Increasingly, many African governments cannot be trusted not to tamper with public access to the web. With disturbing frequency, citizens across the continent are cut off without notice whenever their governments' interests are threatened. The unfortunate truth is that for the average African, the concept of internet access as a human right is a myth. As for the concept of net neutrality, a moment of silence, please... This week’s African Tech Round-up features a chat with Lionel Chmilewsky. Lionel is the CEO of Cambridge Broadband Networks (CBNL), a UK-based privately-held multipoint microwave tech firm which has an impressive client list that includes seven of the world’s top ten mobile operators-- among them, African biggies like MTN and Vodacom. Lionel shares insights on the state of play on the continent’s wireless network scene, and explains why recent advances in multipoint microwave tech are potentially game-changing. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution















Zebra Cabs Raises $21.6 Million To Take On Uber And Taxify In South Africa
Dec 06 2016 29 mins  
SA Taxi-owned Zebra Cabs has raised just over $21.6 million from Futuregrowth Asset Management to expand their owner-driver scheme in Johannesburg, and to take on Uber and Taxify. Their big hairy audacious goal is to have 3 000 cabs on the road by 2020. This development has got us wondering how many players Africa’s ride-sharing market can sustain. There must be easier ways to make a buck, but it seems the prospect of carving out a decent chunk of a potentially multi-billion dollar industry is clearly too much to pass up for VC's like Futuregrowth. The FOMO is real! It’s going to be interesting to see how quickly Zebra Cabs burns through their newly-found cash. Will they withstand the fierce price war that's almost guaranteed to ensue? How long will their financiers be willing to wait before they turn a profit? And will more funds be forthcoming when Zebra Cabs needs to extend their runway further down the line? Only time will tell. In this week’s African Tech Round-up we publish snippets from two conversations Andile Masuku taped at SAP’s Executive Digital Exchange, which happened in Camps Bay, Cape Town last week. First, he spoke with SAP’s global Digital Transformation Officer, Dr Chakib Bouhdary who shared some of the most common misconceptions regarding digital transformation he's encountered while interacting with executives around the world. Chakib also explained the strategic mindset driving the trend towards large enterprises keenly making big plays outside their traditional businesses. Then, Andile then spoke with SAP Africa MD, Brett Parker, who revealed some of the most critical strategic decisions SAP’s global leadership made back in 2010 that helped them to maintain their dominant position in an increasingly competitive global market. Listen in to hear Brett highlight some of the fascinating greenfield opportunities SAP is pursuing on the continent. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution


Senegal Launches A New Electronic Currency
Nov 29 2016 43 mins  
Senegal is now the second African country after Tunisia to adopt an electronic currency. eCFA is equivalent in value to the country’s physical tender and will be available on all mobile money and e-wallet platforms. This development has led to e-money proponents speculating which African country might be next to adopt electronic money. Zimbabwe, perhaps? It’s popularly been argued that given the persistent economic troubles that have dogged the country, Zimbabwe might very well be the continent’s best use case for the adoption of virtual currency. But for the time being, Zimbabweans will have to be content with the country’s newest currency-- bond notes, which the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe started rolling out on Monday, December 28th, 2016. This week’s African Tech Round-up features a lively chat Andile Masuku had with Dr Vukosi Marivate, a Data Scientist and Senior Researcher at South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). They speak about the trend towards countries around the world passing laws that require the personal information of their citizens to be hosted on servers within their borders. We reached out to Vukosi after having some insightful engagement with him on Twitter last week; following our coverage of Russia blocking LinkedIn for flouting data security regulations. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution


Kenyan Agritech Startup WeFarm Secures $1.6 Million In Funding
Nov 21 2016 38 mins  
How much of an over-achiever is Elon Musk fixing to become, though? In the last week, he’s added providing global internet coverage via a massive satellite network to his audacious To-do List. In this week’s African Tech Round-up Andile Masuku reflects on how Musk’s latest ambition might upset net neutrality watchdogs around the world who might not trust SpaceX to responsibly execute on something they don’t trust the likes of Google and Facebook to do. Also in this week’s show is more about perhaps the most publicised tech investment news of the past week, the $1.6 million investment haul made by the Kenyan agritech startup WeFarm. It’s exciting to see agritech startups start to excite the global VC community. It's absurd how millions of people on the continent go hungry every year despite how well-endowed Africa is in terms of natural resources. It’s about time we harness tech to work smarter, improve our yields, and get food to hungry people not just on the continent, but wherever it’s needed around the world. Finally, listen in to hear Andile Masuku's conversation with Milena Taieb, Head of Video for France, Africa and the Middle East at Believe Digital Studios— the world’s leading multi-channel network (MCN) specialising in multi-platform distribution, audience development and content monetisation. Milena reveals how Believe has upended the traditional music and video production business, and how despite the plethora of self-publication platforms available to creators today, success is predicated on executing a killer digital strategy. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution

Vodacom South Africa To Launch An SVOD Platform Called Vodacom On Demand
Nov 15 2016 16 mins  
Trace TV is fixing to launch arguably the most hotly anticipated SVOD offering of the year, Trace Play. Their ambitious roll-out will involve making Trace Play available in English and French in 100 countries around the world. Trace’s Co-founder and CEO Olivier Laouchez is clearly serious about making sure that Trace TV remains the #1 urban network outside of the US. This past week, Vodacom South Africa announced the planned launch of an SVOD of their own called Vodacom On Demand. They plan to go live in 2017 with DSTV’s ShowMax onboard in a very cosy arrangement that’s left us wondering if their partnership could grow into something more substantial, like a deal to rival AT&T’s recent acquisition of Time Warner, for instance. Vodacom has said that they’re happy to partner with as many serious content players as might want to play with them, revealing that a future partnership with Netflix will happen in due course. We're fairly certain that a deal of AT&T-Time Warner proportions between a telco and big content player is inevitable as the continent’s VOD market matures. Some commentators have suggested that the AT&T-Time Warner deal was driven by the notion that distribution rather than sheer size, or even access to quality content is vital for success in executing big media plays in the digital age. There’s no doubt that on some level the deal represents a lifeboat for Time Warner, given how all of its cable channels are losing subscribers at an alarming rate. AT&T’s extensive wireless footprint and a significant share of America’s direct video businesses, DirecTV and U-verse could help turn that around. Traditional media players on the continent could very well see similar saviour potential in a mobile network like Vodacom, and be hoping that the mobile telco comes knocking to propose acquisition. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution




Highlights From DISCOP Johannesburg and Digital Lab Africa (featuring Jason Njoku of iROKO)
Nov 07 2016 30 mins  
Andile Masuku and Brian Lupiya spent three days last week at DISCOP Johannesburg— Africa’s biggest multi-screen, multi-platform marketplace, assessing trends within the continent’s digital content scene. They spent most of our time collecting insights at the fringe of Digital Lab Africa (DLA)— a DISCOP partner initiative that aims to be a springboard for African multimedia talent looking to launch worthy projects and business ideas within digital music, web creation, virtual reality and video game development. So this week, in place of the bringing you the week’s highlights in terms of digital, tech and innovation news from across Africa, Brian joins Andile on the show to help present cool snippets from four of the many great conversations they taped both at DLA and in DISCOP’s main exhibition area. The aim is to give you a sense of the vibe, as well as point to where the future of digital content production and platforms on the continent might be headed. Look out for audio featuring Harlem Mufoncol, one of the co-founders of Baziks Pulse— a music streaming platform from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwean hip-hop artist-turned-entrepreneur, Nonkululeko Kasongo Vundla a.k.a Black Bird, Ivorian video game developer and co-founder of POINTS by Work’d— Kaba Diakité Amadou, and the inimitable Jason Njoku of Nigeria, who is founder and CEO of the internet and entertainment group, iROKO. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution

The Kenya Revenue Authority Says Uber Will Not Be Subject To Value-Added Tax
Oct 31 2016 36 mins  
In this week’s African Tech Round-up, we ask the question, “Should Uber’s wings be clipped before they change the world as we know it?” Lawmakers on the continent appear torn between adopting the pragmatic approach of embracing technological innovation and actively resisting the very real threat of change bringing with it the decimation of the traditional livelihoods of thousands of people who are simply not prepared or willing to adapt. In the past week, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has declared that for tax purposes, it will treat Uber as a technology company, rather than a transport company (meaning Uber needn't pay Value-added Tax), while in South Africa, the Competition Commission has dismissed complaints brought against Uber by the SA Meter Taxi Association who accused the ride-hailing service of anti-competitive behaviour. But in Nigeria on the other hand, Lagos State politicians are reportedly putting pressure on Uber to operate based on the old taxi franchise system in a bid to protect incumbents within the existing taxi business from disruption. Who’s got it right, do you think? Also in this week’s podcast, Nick Saunders of email security firm, Mimecast, joins Andile Masuku to discuss the recent hacking allegations at Kenya Commercial Bank that we covered in last week’s show, as well as to unpack the diabolical DDoS attack that ground Twitter, Spotify, Amazon, Netflix and others to a halt in the US last week. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

80: Kenya Commercial Bank Gets Hacked?
Oct 25 2016 19 mins  
So, Episode 80 of the African Tech Round-up, aka the episode that nearly never happened, is finally out. In an interview Andile Masuku just taped for the upcoming season of the African Tech Conversations series, Co-founder and Chief Credit Officer of M-KOPA Solar, Chad Larson, shared words he lives by that epitomise why I’m glad the team didn’t give up on publishing the podcast this week— despite the ridiculousness that made it nearly impossible to do so. “Done is always better than perfect,” he said. So, here it is. There’s no doubt that this has so far been a bumper year for the world’s hacking community. Last week, one of Kenya’s biggest banks, the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), spent a fair amount of energy trying to convince its customers that their personal data remains uncompromised-- this, following claims by a certain programmer who goes by @IrakChris on Twitter claiming to have accessed KCB's client data through vulnerabilities found in the bank's mobile app. Meanwhile, Twitter, Spotify, Amazon, Reddit, Yelp, Netflix, and The New York Times suffered easily one of the world's biggest coordinated distributed denial of service (aka DDoS) attacks last Friday which led to the sites either slowing to a snail's pace or being knocked out altogether. For all the details on these stories and more, tuck into this week's show, and be sure to tell us what you make of the week's headlines on Twitter @africanroundup, or via email using [email protected] Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Podcast photo credit: jjackowski via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA







Kenyan Solar Company D.Light Lands $22.5 Million To Fund Growth
Sep 26 2016 44 mins  
In a week which saw Yahoo announce that it had suffered the worst cyber-breach in history, and all three of Egypt’s incumbent mobile telcos opting not to bid for the 4G licenses being floated by the Egyptian government, Kenyan solar company, D.Light, shone brightly by announcing that they had raised $22.5 million in funding from leading VC’s, debt financiers and non-profit organisations. The money will be used to grow D.Light’s PayGo business globally— a pay-as-you-go offering which enables low-income customers to buy solar products on credit. D.Light has already made its mark by delivering affordable solar-powered solutions in Africa, China, South Asia and the United States. The company has so far sold more than twelve million solar light and power products in 62 countries, and aims to light up the lives of 100 million people by 2020. In this week’s episode of the African Tech Round-up, Nicholus, one of our US-based listeners, shares insights he gleaned at Intercommunity— the Internet Society’s annual global membership meeting which took place across various live locations around the world last week. Nicholus attended one of the sessions held in Washington DC, and emailed us a report via audio note which touched on why some US lawmakers are continuing to challenge the merits of allowing internet governance to shift from the United States to the international body, ICANN. Also in this week’s show is a conversation Andile Masuku had with the four co-founders of a promising South African start-up called Airbuy— a business which plans to help people convert airtime into “airbucks” that they can use to purchase goods and services online. The chaps are still celebrating their recent win at an MIT Global Startup Labs competition hosted at Wits University, and they let me take a peek under the hood of their passionate entrepreneurial hustle. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Barclays Africa's Blockchain Transaction A World First
Sep 19 2016 56 mins  
It’s been a busy week for the continent’s fintech scene. The past week saw MTN South Africa announce that it would be discontinuing its mobile money service due to “a lack of commercial viability”. This revelation comes months after Vodacom South Africa ended it’s catastrophic attempt at copying and pasting Kenya’s M-Pesa magic. Meanwhile, Madagascar became only the second African country after Tanzania to to roll out mobile money interoperability across the country's mobile networks. But easily one of the catchiest headline stories of the past week was about Barclays Africa’s involvement in what’s being celebrated as the very first blockchain verified financial transaction in the world by a major banking institution. The pilot deal between The Seychelles Trading Company Ltd. and Ornua saw the two companies harness a blockchain platform developed by Wave to trade a letter of credit. This transaction has to be Barclays’ most overt show of confidence in the potential of blockchain technology to deliver improved efficiencies in international trade. Also in this week’s African Tech Round-up, is a discussion Andile Masuku had with the Kenyan journalist, Eric Mugendi. Eric is Editor-at-large at iAfrikan.com, and also writes for his Tumbler called Kenyan Longreads. Eric joined Andile on the show to discuss the controversy that unfolded on Twitter around the African Tech Summit happening in London on September 29th. The event’s conspicuously mostly male non-black/non-African speaker list included folks many people in the Twitterverse did not feel were representative of Africa’s tech ecosystem, and also managed to leave out many worthy participants. Andile and Eric unpacked the issues at play. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0






Afrimarket Lands €10 Million To Deploy E-commerce Platform Across Francophone Africa
Sep 12 2016 39 mins  
The French e-commerce startup, Afrimarket, has raised €10 million from the Global Innovation Fund and the private sector arm of the French Development Agency (AFD), Proparco, as well from as a handful of individual investors such as the co-founder of PriceMinister, Olivier Mathiot, who’s been granted a seat on Afrimarket’s board. At a glance, the company seems to have it made-- except that growth within the e-commerce sector across the continent has consistently failed to meet expectations, and foreign-owned, foreigner-run e-commerce copy-cat plays backed by the likes of Rocket Internet continue to have precious little to show in terms of solid success. The bottom line is that this is Africa, and Afrimarket’s founder and CEO, Rania Belkahia, better have a few good tricks up her sleeve, including a tonne of patience and access to a lot more cash, if her company is to achieve its ambitious aspiration of dominating the French-speaking West African e-commerce market. In this week’s episode of the African Tech Round-up, we share a conversation Andile Masuku had with Ernesto Spruyt, the founder of Tunga, an online market network that provides international clients access to African coding talent. He also happens to serve as Chief Mentor for Telegraph Media Group’s DigitalX accelerator program in Amsterdam. Ernesto explains what prompted him to come to Africa looking for coding talent, and shares a few key things African coders who aspire to having international careers ought to be keeping top of mind. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


Mark Zuckerberg Goes On A Charm Offensive In Nigeria And Kenya
Sep 05 2016 47 mins  
Mark Zuckerberg’s much-publicised trip to the continent spawned dozens of think-pieces in the blogosphere this past week. Many pundits clearly view Mark’s 'surprise' visit to Nigeria and Kenya as an affirmation of the continent’s importance as a valuable source of under-utilised tech talent, and as a hot-bed of home-grown innovation. Others read it as a pre-cursor to a massive wave of foreign investment that's expected to wash over the continent’s technology industry. We, on the other hand, can’t help sensing the calculated profit motive wrapped up in Mark’s impeccably orchestrated African safari. 'Connecting Africa’ is no doubt a huge priority for Facebook, given the growth of the continent’s increasingly affluent middle class, the availability of relatively cheap labour, and the hundreds of millions of impoverished Africans who are prime for education— read monetisation. Now, on some level Mark Zuckerberg must care about humanity and all, but it is curious how readily many of us have fallen for the man's trademark charm and humility without questioning his obvious self-interest. In this week’s African Tech Round-up episode, Andile Masuku shares more insights gleaned from DEMO Africa 2016. Look out for snippets of conversations he had with the Publisher of CIO East Africa magazine and CEO of DEMO Africa, Harry Hare, the Principal Investment Officer for Africa at Singularity Investments, Lexi Novistke, as well as two promising startup founders who made it to the final pitching phase of this year’s competition (but didn’t win a spot in the top five), Ismael Rachdaoui of nextwi (Morocco), and Brian Ondari of AirKlip (Kenya). Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0





Naspers Wilting In The Heat + DEMO Africa 2016 Highlights
Aug 29 2016 51 mins  
The gravy train may well be over at Africa’s largest tech company (by market value)— Naspers. Naspers CEO, Koos Bekker, told investors late last week that the coming year is going to be a trying one for the company. At this point, Naspers has only one card up its sleeve, and it’s called Tencent Holdings. After all, Naspers’ 33 percent stake in the Chinese technology company currently accounts for almost half its revenue, and its internet and pay-tv businesses are stalling at a time when they desperately need growth to keep competitors like Google, Facebook and Amazon at bay. Bekker’s cautionary statements led to a 0.3 percent decline in the firm’s share price-- which seems like a tame reaction by the market considering that S&P Global Ratings had already changed its outlook on Naspers' credit rating to BBB-, which is only one step up from junk status. In short, it’s rough in these streets. Last week saw DEMO Africa hosted in Southern Africa for the first time in its five year history. DEMO Africa 2016 went down in Sandton, Johannesburg, and we're pleased to say that it exceeded our expectations in almost every way. The conference brought together 27 startups from across Africa, angel investors, venture capitalists, enterprise representatives and public officials all under one roof to engage in dialogue and witness adjudicated pitching sessions. What was most impressive, though, was the Pan-African crowd and the quality of the engagement that took place. In this episode of the African Tech Round-up, Andile Masuku shares snippets of great conversations he had with power players who are intricately involved with the continent’s tech ecosystem. Tune in for insights from Investor and Founding President of the African Business Angels Network, Tomi Davies, Microsoft’s Director for Venture Capital & Start-ups, Africa Initiatives (Microsoft 4Afrika), Amrote Abdella, the City of Joburg’s Director of Economic Development Facilitation, Tsholo Mogotsi, Angel Investor, Farouk Jivani, and Managing Partner of the Lions @frica initiative, Stephen Ozoigbo. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


Econet Wireless Set To Roll Out Shine's Ad Blocking Service
Aug 22 2016 37 mins  
Econet Wireless has recently announced that all ±40 million of their subscribers in Africa will benefit from Shine’s ad blocking service— starting with those in Zimbabwe. This deal represents Shine’s first deployment on the continent, following partnerships they’ve struck with the likes of the Caribbean mobile operator, Digicel, and Three Group in the UK and Italy. There’s no doubt about it, life is about to get a little tougher for online media platforms that rely on ad revenue to survive, as well as for web marketers that peddle online real estate. However, Econet’s subscribers are likely to relish the prospect of enjoying quicker loading times, and cleaner web pages free from unsolicited advertisements. In this week’s African Tech Round-up, Andile Masuku chatted with Scott Lyons of the Ford Motor Company. Scott leads Ford’s SYNC AppLink European Business and the Partner Development Initiative within the Ford Connected Vehicle and Services Organisation. Their conversation touched on Ford’s plans to produce a fully autonomous vehicle by 2021, as per the company's announcement to that effect made last week. Scott shared what he makes of the disruptive influence of tech firms like Google and Uber on the traditional car manufacturing business, and Andile got him to explain the strategic thinking that went into choosing Morocco as the place to sponsor Ford’s latest Mobility Challenge aimed at promoting innovation in the country’s ride sharing scene. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Not-so-little Trademark Faux Pas Leaves Safaricom and Craft Silicon Red-faced
Aug 15 2016 36 mins  
Safaricom and Craft Silicon both took an “L” this past week. As it turns out, they neglected to trademark the Little Cabs brand name before launching their ride-sharing service some weeks ago. And now, they’ve had to drop the word “Cab” from their brand after the “Little Cab” trademark-holder went to court to defend his right to use that name. From now on, they are to be known as Little. The whole situation is more than a little embarrassing to say the least, and reminds me of the wisdom MiPhone Founder and CEO, Alpesh Patel shared on the show some months ago, about how important it is to “dot the i’s and cross the t’s” when it comes to securing one’s commercial intellectual property. Nevertheless, I’m sure the folks at Safaricom and Craft Silicon have learned their lesson. This week’s African Tech Round-up also features a chat Andile Masuku had with Brendan Horan. Brendan is an executive vice president of MiX Telematics— a fleet and mobile asset management solutions business that’s listed on both the Johannesburg and the New York Stock Exchanges, as well as the Managing Director of MiX Telematics’ African business. Listen in to hear how Brendan’s company goes about applying a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model to deliver solutions to customers in more than 120 countries around the world, how the global AI and machine learning trend is impacting their corporate’s strategy, and how Brendan deals with the challenge of growing the firm’s African business in hugely varied markets across the continent. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


MTN Group Reports Losses In Mid-Year Results For 2016
Aug 08 2016 23 mins  
MTN Group’s warning that their interim financial results for the period ending June 30th 2016 would be unpleasant did a lot to absorb the shock when reality struck last Friday— the day the report eventually dropped. Despite revenue for the interim period improving by ±US$5.7 billion, MTN reported an after tax loss attributable to equity holders of just over US$401 thousand. That translates to a headline loss per share of nearly US$0.20. Compare that with 2015’s headline earnings of just under US$0.48 per share, and it’s sobering to see how humbling this must be Africa’s largest mobile service provider. As expected, the mobile telco has put forward a long list of explanations for what went wrong. One of the more interesting items on that list is what they are calling “short-term losses” they’ve sustained thanks to their significant investments in Middle East Internet Holdings and of course, the recently rebranded Africa Internet Group— which now goes by Jumia. We would love to know what’s going through the mind of MTN Group’s President and CEO-in-waiting, Rob Shuter, who will no doubt have his work cut out for him when he takes up the reins from Phuthuma Nhleko come July 2017. Also in this week’s African Tech Round-up features a chat Andile Masuku shares had with the Cape Town-based Zimbabwean digital all-rounder, Babusi Nyoni. Babusi is the Digital Creative Group Head at South Africa’s #1 ranked through-the-line agency, M&C SAATCHI Abel. Andile caught up with Babusi to discuss an AI-enabled campaign he recently masterminded and executed for a global FMCG brand, and to chat about the rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence in general. Tune in to hear him factor in on what the world might look and feel like when those technologies become common-place Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


Telkom South Africa In The Lead With Game Changing Mobile Packages
Jul 25 2016 33 mins  
Data costs need to come down significantly if Africa is ever going to realise the dream of making access to the internet available to every single person living on the continent. As things stand, according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, an estimated 590 million Africans still do not have access to electricity, to say nothing of reliable web access. However, South Africa’s largest telecoms operator, the government-owned Telkom, has announced some game-changing 4G/LTE data-led mobile packages that may signal the beginning of the end of exorbitantly high data prices in that country. Aside from throwing down the gauntlet towards its rivals, Telkom seems to be committing to a business model that seeks to sign up the masses and incentivise them to consume ever increasing amounts of data, as opposed to attempting to profiteer in the short to medium term. What’s not to love about that? Also in this week’s African Tech Round-up, I speak to Frank Schutte, the former Retail Product & Marketing Managing Director of South Africa’s largest life insurer— Liberty, to found a startup called MobiLife, which is “Africa’s first 100% mobile insurance offering” that aims to transform micro-insurance in South Africa. Listen in to find out what would possess Frank to take on the well-heeled incumbents who currently control South Africa’s highly-competitive multi-billion dollar life insurance industry. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0




Will Facebook's OpenCellular Crush BRCK?
Jul 11 2016 26 mins  
Last week, the global digital behemoth that is Facebook announced that they’ll be rolling out the OpenCellular system worldwide. OpenCellular is said to be an inexpensive, weather-resistant and fully customisable platform that will be able to serve as a wireless access point for connecting devices using 2G, LTE or even Wi-Fi. While this move by Facebook is no doubt just a footnote in the company’s playbook for achieving complete digital dominance, one wonders if this could signal the beginning of the end for the likes of Kenya’s BRCK— a home-grown system designed to do exactly what OpenCellular promises to do, perhaps less reliably. One wonders if there is any chance that a minnow like BRCK can stand up to the fire and might of a beast like Facebook? It seems unlikely that BRCK has captured enough of the affordable WiFi deployment market to develop a legitimate first-mover advantage, and it’s equally unlikely that anyone over at Facebook is losing any sleep worrying about their plans being disrupted by smaller players. Also in this week’s show, we share a snippet from a conversation Andile Masuku had with Gareth Cliff— the controversial South African Radio DJ, Idols South Africa judge, and Co-founder & President of Africa’s largest podcast producer, CliffCentral.com. Listen in to hear Gareth’s candid take on why he quit one of South Africa’s most lucrative radio gigs to found a platform that now boasts over 40 podcast titles and garners over 140,000 downloads per week. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

African Spirit American Spin
Jul 04 2016 57 mins  
It’s the 4th of July, and in honour of the fact that our biggest audience outside of Africa is based in the USA, this week’s African Tech Round-up episode has a decidedly American spin. Playing guest-host in this instalment is very good friend of the show, aka “The American Homie”, Trevor Wolfe— Co-founder and CEO of Delvv.io. Trevor is fresh off a plane from Europe and the States where he’s successfully closed a round of funding for his crowdsourced research startup. In addition to factoring in on the week’s headlines, Trevor shares some interesting insights on what it takes to launch and operate a tech startup on the continent, while maintaining a global outlook. But that’s not all, folks… This week’s show also features two Stateside-based personalities who are extremely active on Africa’s tech scene— namely, Maya Horgan Famodu, Founder and CEO of Ingressive, and Toro Orero, Co-founder and Managing Partner, at DraperDarkFlow. Listen in to hear Maya share some of what she’s observed while leading high profile investment tours to Africa, and explaining what operating in Silicon Valley is like on the day-to-day. Then tune in to listen to Toro share what he and Tim Draper look for in startups they hope to invest in, as well as dish on the pros and cons of running an Africa-focussed VC firm that’s headquartered in Silicon Valley. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


Uber Domination
Jun 20 2016 21 mins  
Despite the considerable push-back Uber has experienced in certain African markets, the firm’s march towards utter and complete world domination continued last week as they launched in Tanzania’s capital city, Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam is the 3rd African city Uber has taken to in as many weeks (following Luanda, Uganda and Accra, Ghana) and their 475th location worldwide. Since launching in Johannesburg in 2012, Uber has quietly gone about silencing many of the doubts that sceptics have had about the viability of their business model in African markets that typically show little regard to hype-driven startups that roll in from the West expecting an easy ride. (No pun intended.) Basically, what might have appeared to some as being a casual African safari is gradually developing into a case study on lean, mean execution. Only time will tell if a home-grown platform like Little Cabs— the ride-hailing service Safaricom is set to launch, will be able to rain on Uber’s parade. Be sure to listen into this week’s episode of the African Tech Round-up to hear Andile Masuku chat with Matthew Lee— a plumber turned corporate executive who now heads up African operations at the German open source software firm, Suse. Matthew shares insights on how well Africa is keeping up with the rest of the world in terms of producing world-class software applications, and points out key growth areas that could benefit from the increased roll-out of OSS solutions. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


Is MTN Nigeria's Nightmare Over? (feat. Charles Murray)
Jun 13 2016 38 mins  
On Friday, June 10th 2016 MTN’s stock price on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange jumped by 20%. This happened in the wake of the news that the firm’s nine-month Nigerian nightmare might finally be coming to an end. MTN has reportedly struck a deal with the Nigerian government, and is set to pay the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) $1.7 billion over three years— significantly less than the $5.2 billion they were initially fined for flouting SIM card registration regulations months ago. While MTN’s shareholders are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief, the company is not out of the woods yet, as according to the NCC, one of the conditions linked to the monetary settlement is the requirement that MTN list its Nigerian subsidiary on the Nigerian Stock Exchange “as soon as is commercially and legally possible”. While the jury’s still out on whether this is the last we’ll hear of this story, one thing is certain, this case sets one heck of a precedent, and that can only bode well for corporate Africa. Also in this week's African Tech Round-up, we feature part of a conversation Andile Masuku had with Charles Murray-- who is a director of the messaging and internet calling app, ttrumpet. Listen in to hear Charles talking about why he reckons ttrumpet isn’t just another mobile app, and sharing some of the pressures and perks of growing a startup that is a subsidiary of relatively successful tech group (Fastcomm) backed by one of the continent’s wealthiest entrepreneurs, Patrice Motsepe. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


Ghana's Police Threaten Social Media Blackout
May 30 2016 26 mins  
Turns out Ghana’s top cop— Inspector General of Police John Kudalor thinks that blocking social media access across the country might be necessary to ensure Ghana’s national security on election day in November 2016. Mr Kudalor reckons that Ghana might do well to learn from the example set by other countries on the continent and around the world that have take similar steps in the recent past— Uganda no doubt being top of mind. It's likely that the Inspector General’s comments might have been made to test public sentiment on the issue ahead of the polls. However, if the chill we're picking up on Twitter is anything to go by, Ghanaians don’t seem to be terribly concerned at the prospect of having to survive 24 hours or so without access to Facebook and Twitter come November 7th. Ah, well… Meanwhile, in place of our discussion segment on the African Tech Round-up this week, we feature part of a recent in-depth conversation Andile Masuku had with Stephen van Coller, who is the Chief Executive for Corporate and Investment Banking at Barclays Africa. Listen in to hear Stephen tell Andile how Barclays Plc’s imminent plans to shed its investments in Africa will impact the business he runs, and why he is confident that fintech startups on the continent will never completely disrupt incumbents within the financial services industry. Bonus: Look out for a comment made by Nigeria’s leading podcaster, Andre Blaze Henshaw, on why he reckons that podcasting as a medium is going to be huge in the media scene of the future. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0




Vodacom Admits That M-Pesa Roll-out In South Africa Flopped (feat. Dominique Collett)
May 16 2016 42 mins  
Vodacom is finally pulling the plug on their disastrous six-year attempt to roll out M-Pesa in South Africa. (The service will be shut down on June 30th 2016.) Funny thing is, Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub has blamed his company’s diabolical failure to meet their target of enlisting at least 10 million active users on South Africa’s relatively well-established banking industry. (By the end of 2015 they had only managed to onboard a paltry 76,000 active users.) However, Joosub’s assertion does not sit well with our guest on this week’s episode of the African Tech Round-up— the brilliant and insightful, Dominique Collett. Dominique knows a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t in terms of mobile money innovation on the continent. Following a successful exit at the incredibly successful fintech startup she co-founded-- Tyme (acquired by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for a rumoured ±USD30 million), Dominique has gone on to become a financial services investor and innovation architect who is now a Senior Investment Executive at Rand Merchant Insurance Holdings (RMI), as well as the Head of Alpha Code, RMI’s nippy financial services incubator/accelerator. Listen in to this week's discussion to hear Tefo Mohapi, Andile Masuku and Dominique ponder what lies ahead for Africa’s mobile money scene. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

What's The Big Deal With WiFi? (feat. Riaan Graham)
May 09 2016 28 mins  
Following our coverage last week of the partnership between VAST Networks and Ruckus Wireless to deliver on Africa’s largest single deployment of WiFi infrastructure at the recently opened Mall of Africa in Midrand, South Africa— we thought it might be a good idea to invite a certified WiFi-freak to help us understand why WiFi may indeed be “the next big thing” in terms of ushering in seamless connectedness on the continent. Joining me on the African Tech Round-up this week is Riaan Graham, Ruckus Wireless’ Director for Sub-Saharan Africa. In this week’s discussion, Riaan argues that the perfect wireless ecosystem requires the harmonious interplay between fixed line telecoms operators and mobile telcos, with WiFi playing a complimentary role. However, as fixed line operators and mobile telcos continue to grapple with diminishing voice revenues, and opt to back technologies like LTE and LTE-U over WiFi, that idyllic scenario is undoubtedly a long way off. Meanwhile, the growing demand for free internet access delivered via open public WiFi infrastructure further complicates matters for legacy commercial interests who are desperately trying to work out sustainable business models to ensure they survive into the future. Hat-tip to the likes of Project Isizwe in Tshwane, South Africa. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0




Celebrating The African Tech Round-Up's First Birthday!
Apr 11 2016 55 mins  
The African Tech Round-up turns one today, and it’s difficult not be sentimental. It’s been an incredibly rewarding year! We set out to provide some much-needed coverage of the biggest digital, tech and innovation news stories from the African continent— minus all the PR-soaked click-bait and consumer-driven tech chatter one tends to find all over the web. We’ve certainly done our best to deliver on that mandate. In producing the show over the last 52 weeks, we hope that like us, you’ve come to better understand the intricacies of Africa’s emerging tech and innovation scene, and that you’ve found the discussions and debates we’ve engaged in as interesting and enlightening as we did. To celebrate our anniversary, on this week’s episode, Tefo Mohapi and I will be sharing audio highlights from the past year. Do join us in revisiting great chats we’ve had with some of the more memorable guests we’ve had on the show-- folks like Rebecca Enonchong, Emeka Okoye, Dominique Collett-Antolik, Mbwana Alliy, and others. We’d like to thank you for supporting this podcast by listening in every week, sharing it with other people, and engaging with us on social media, via email and by sending us audio voice notes that we shared on past episodes of the show. We’re excited to witness the community that is forming around this platform. Let’s keep talking! Finally, we’d like to dedicate everything we’ve so far achieved, and everything we purpose to do going forward to you, and all the other incredible people of the Motherland who continue to work tirelessly in trenches of leading firms and emerging startups alike, to make Africa great. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0











Will These FinTech Startups Disrupt Incumbents?
Mar 21 2016 53 mins  
Last week, the Standard Bank Incubator in Johannesburg played host to Nest.vc’s forum on finance and technology. The gathering formed part Nest’s monthly entrepreneurship speaker series and showcase dubbed #WhatsNext. It is the very first #WhatsNext event that Nest has hosted in Southern Africa— doing so in partnership with Standard Bank South Africa, and with support provided by iAfrikan and the African Tech Round Up. In this week’s discussion, Zimbabwean tech entrepreneur and Business Analyst Team Leader at Digital Planet, Nzwisisa Chidembo joins Andile Masuku to unpack some of the weightier insights shared by the panelists who spoke at #WhatsNext #FinTech— namely, Dare Okoudjou of MFS Africa, Gerry Mitchley of Visa, Sechaba Ngwenya of Creditable and Lungisa Matshoba of Yoco. Africa is seeing the unprecedented adoption of cutting edge financial technologies that some are hoping will accelerate financial inclusion on the continent. Incumbents within the financial services sector are being forced to rethink their business models in order to remain relevant and profitable in a rapidly-changing landscape. Meanwhile, innovative fintech disruptors are keenly carving out niches for themselves, and would only be too happy to render large institutions relics of the past. Only one thing is certain for Africa’s financial industry— the future will happen. The question is, will legacy players gear up for continued domination, or will disruptive upstarts end up hosting the party? Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0




















Dominique Collett-Antolik & Brandon Doyle Talk 2015 African Fintech & Telecoms Trends
Dec 13 2015 43 mins  
Over the next four weeks the we are taking a much-needed break. Cue peaceful ocean sounds But we’ve made sure that over the next four weeks, in place of our regular programming, we’ll be sharing exclusive content from the Annual Round-up 2015 event we hosted at the Wanderers Club, Johannesburg on November 26th 2015. The Event was powered by the good people at Opera Africa, who are totally all about helping us “do more” (on the web). This week, we kick things off by sharing a stimulating panel discussion around tech in enterprise facilitated by Tefo Mohapi— featuring Senior Investment Executive, RMI Holdings and former co-founder of the hugely successful fintech startup Tyme, Dominique Collett-Antolik and CEO & Founding Partner, Convergence Partners, Brandon Doyle. Another great reason to listen in is to find out if you’re one of the two lucky people who’ve won a Google Cardboard virtual reality viewer in last week’s competition, sponsored by Google. This week, we kick things off by sharing a stimulating panel discussion around tech in enterprise facilitated by Tefo Mohapi— featuring Senior Investment Executive, RMI Holdings and former co-founder of the hugely successful fintech startup Tyme, Dominique Collett-Antolik and CEO & Founding Partner, Convergence Partners, Brandon Doyle. Another great reason to listen in is to find out if you’re one of the two lucky people who’ve won a Google Cardboard virtual reality viewer in last week’s competition, sponsored by Google. Additional Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Mbwana Alliy Talks About Startup Governance & Funding Tech Startups In Africa
Dec 07 2015 112 mins  
We attended Afrikoin Johannesburg on 3 December 2015. At the event, Andile Masuku posed a question that led to a very lively debate about whether improved “access” to seamless, more affordable financial services does in fact equal “inclusion” for Africa’s poorest— especially given how centralised the world’s computing power is, and how huge stashes of Bitcoin are held by a relatively few well-resourced interests. We also caught up with Savannah Fund founder, Mbwana Alliy for a chat after the event. In this week’s episode of the African Tech Round-Up (the last full-length episode of 2015), you can not only look forward to listening to Andile and Tefo's impromptu chat with Mbwana in its entirety (including him sharing his thoughts on the Angani debacle), but you can also look forward to hearing two leading Zimbabwean startup founders explain why Zimbabwe might be the perfect use-case for disruptive fintech innovations. Then heads up, folks! For the next four weeks starting next week, in place of our regular podcast programming we’ll be sharing exclusive content from the Annual Round-up 2015 event we hosted at the Wanderers Club, Johannesburg 2 weeks ago. We’ll kick things off next week by sharing a conversation we had with Senior Investment Executive, RMI Holdings, Dominique Collett-Antolik and CEO & Founding Partner, Convergence Partners, Brandon Doyle around tech in enterprise. Don’t miss it! Additional Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Safaricom Becomes The Latest Mobile Service Provider To Be Sued
Nov 29 2015 13 mins  
We're still buzzing from the great time we had at the Annual Round-up 2015, that Tefo Mohapi and Andile Masuku hosted at The Wanderers Club in Johannesburg last week. Many thanks to those of you who made it out on Thursday morning, and a big thank you to our incredibly generous and insightful guest panelists and speakers. Also, big up to our event partners, Opera Africa, Stuff magazine, and iAfrikan.com. It was an chilled morning of intelligent, retrospective conversations-- which took stock of the state of Africa’s tech scene. The programme featured three keynote talks and three lively interactive panel discussions covering enterprise, startups and gadgets and apps. The good news is that we’ll be sharing the conversations we had at the Annual Round-up in place of the African Tech Round-up podcast starting on Monday, December 14th— to hold you down till the show returns in mid-January 2016. There’ll also be plenty of cool extras we’ll be sharing exclusively on our Soundcloud account and via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so do follow us, do. In the meantime, enjoy Episode 33 of the African Tech Round-up. And listen in to find out why two Kenyan mobile money service providers are suing Safaricom. This is definitely on trend. The last quarter of 2015 is proving to be quite trying time for Africa’s mobile operators. Additional Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0





MTN Nigeria Stunned By Unprecedented $5.2 Billion Fine
Nov 02 2015 31 mins  
It’s been a truly awful week for the MTN Group— what with a $5.2 billion fine imposed on MTN Nigeria (the group’s largest and most profitable subsidiary) by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for failing to disconnect unregistered SIM cards timeously, the news of which led to considerable market panic and a subsequent 16% drop in MTN’s share price. This week, MTN also started fielding allegations of engaging in highly sophisticated tax evasion practices such as using transfer pricing to ship profits off to distant tax havens via their off-shore ‘businesses’, namely MTN Dubai and MTN International in Mauritius. Meanwhile, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange has confirmed that they will be investigating MTN for possible insider trading that may have occurred around the whole handling of information regarding the NCC debacle. And so far, the MTN Group’s CEO’s efforts to engage with the Nigerian authorities concerning the unprecedented fine have yet to yield any form of relief. Given all this, it’s unsurprising that MTN would feature in this week’s discussion on the African Tech Round-up. However, Tefo Mohapi and Andile Masuku couldn’t agree on an angle to frame their chat this week. Tefo wanted us to unpack the regulatory challenges large telcos in Africa are facing in trying to innovate and grow their businesses across continent, while Andile was keen to debate the question of whether or not mobile operators like MTN might be obsolete in a few decades if they don’t refresh their legacy business models. So, they decided to let you in on their dignified little skirmish and let you decide whose topic suggestion wins the day. Also in this week’s show, all the biggest digital, tech and innovation news from across the continent— including a progress update on Nigeria’s efforts to meet its 2017 analogue to digital migration deadline, and details on how much Kenya has lost to cybercrime in the last year. Additional Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0



Everything Is Difficult & Other Nuggets Of Wisdom From Nic Harry's Tech4Africa Talk
Oct 12 2015 26 mins  
Tefo Mohapi was invited to speak at Tech4Africa 2015 last week. He shared on the important work that he and his team at iAfrikan are continuing to do in spearheading the ground-breaking Report Xenophobia campaign. While at the event, Tefo was lucky enough to sit in on a talk by Nic Haralambous, who opened his talk with this outlandish statement, "I believe everyone who starts a business is a bit broken." Nic is the founder of Nic Harry— a successful Cape Town-based “luxury men’s sock company” he built from scratch. Nic’s thought-provoking views on the realities of startup life and what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur sparked a great conversation that Tefo and Andile Masuku had on this week’s show. Along with all the week's most important digital, tech and innovation news, do listen in for the low-low on all the cool stuff members of the team at the African Tech Round-up will be getting up to in the final quarter of 2015. Here's what trending this week: -- South African tech firm Altron spills how much they made and mostly lost on the doomed Altech Node video-on-demand device, -- Facebook and Eutelsat set to share the entire broadband payload on Spacecom’s future AMOS-6 satellite, -- Zimbabwean mobile network operator Econet continues a legal bid to overturn the directive by the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) for mobile companies to lower voice tariffs, and -- South African telecoms giant Telkom Telkom is being criticised for exposing customer personal data. Additional Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Volkswagen Up In Smoke As The South African Government Investigates
Oct 04 2015 20 mins  
In what is arguably the largest cybercrime scandal affecting cars to date, Volkswagen has admitted to installing software in some of their diesel-powered cars to give out false emission data results during tests. This scandal affects their other brands like Audi, Skoda and SEAT and has seen the South African government, through the departments of Environmental Affairs and Transport as well as the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications, state that it is investigating into Volkswagen South Africa after the parent company admitted to deceiving USA regulators with the software. Apart from this raising concerns around the environment and carbon emissions from cars, we also wonder what this large scale software fraud by Volkswagen means for the future of cars given the move to electric vehicles. As you might be aware, electric vehicles are more reliant on software than cars that have an engine and more so driverless cars. Do we have to worry about cars getting hacked? Can we trust electric vehicle manufacturers too with their specifications since they'll mostly be software based? We also have a special guest on this week's African Tech Round-up, Vije Vijendranath. An engineer, startup founder and a co-founder of two children. Vije gives us his thoughts on the Volkswagen cybercrime scandal as well as on the week's big stories. Be sure to catch all the week's biggest digital, tech and innovation news from across Africa in this week's episode too. Additional Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

What's The Big Fuss About Apple Ad Blockers?
Sep 27 2015 32 mins  
As avid consumers of new media, it’s hard not to love the ad blocking features Apple has worked into iOS9, and the clever ad blocking apps that are selling like hotcakes on mobile app stores everywhere. But content publishers are claiming that ad blocking is tantamount to taking the bread out of their mouths, and warn that ultimately you and I will suffer as great content— traditionally funded through ad revenue, will no longer be viable to produce. Meanwhile, it doesn’t help that fake media traffic schemes— powered by bots, are eroding the confidence we all have in the internet’s ability to deliver an efficient and integrous way for advertisers to display ads to targeted audiences. In this week’s discussion, Tefo Mohapi and Andile Masuku weigh the pros and cons of ad blocking, and discuss how this might shape the future of advertising on the web. Publishers will no doubt need to tweak their business models if they are keep the lights on. It will be interesting to see whether these developments lead brands and publishers to look to native advertising to save the day. Also in this week's African Tech Round-up, all the week's biggest news from across Africa: -- South African JSE-listed tech firm, Altron is poised to sell its Autopage subscriber base for an estimated $108 million, -- Ethiopia rings in the New Year with the launch of Chinese-built light-rail system, -- Groupon is to withdraw from Morocco as part of its global rightsizing efforts, -- MultiChoice throws disgruntled Kenyan DSTV subscribers a bone by adding more channels to its "Compact" offering, -- Kenyan ISP Zuku is keen to woo customers to subscribe for its video-streaming service, -- A major survey reveals that there is a growing cyberbullying epidemic among South African teens, and -- Infamous South African Twitter personality, @PigSpotter's identity has been revealed. Additional Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

How To Build Products For Africa And Avoid Failing Like The Altech Node
Sep 21 2015 24 mins  
Citing “increased competition” and “unfavourable market conditions” Altron is puling the plug on the Altech Node console and will discontinue its video-on-demand offering come the end of October 2015. The news comes in the wake of Naspers’ recent launch of the Netflix-clone, ShowMax, which the tech giant is clearly not sparing any expense in promoting. (By the way, you may as well take advantage of ShowMax’s free seven-day trial offer to check out what all the fuss is about.) The Node’s spectacular failure to appeal to consumers has led Tefo Mohapi and Andile Masuku to ponder the question, “What is the best way to build new tech products for Africa?” Perhaps there are lessons that big tech and startups on the continent would do well to learn from Altron’s costly misfire regarding how to effectively build and roll-out relevant and commercially successful products and services. Also in this week’s African Tech Round-up, all the week’s most important digital, tech and innovation news: -- Visa has choses to test ground-breaking biometrics technology, for use at ATM’s, in South Africa, -- Apple is preparing to shut down the transit app, Hopstop— which it bought from its Nigerian founder, Chinedu Echeruo for $1 billion in 2013, -- WeChat and Nigerian online tech publication, Tech Cabal are set to host conferences in Nigeria, aimed at empowering developers to make use of WeChat’s API, and -- Mobile phone manufacturer, Mi-Fone, accuses its Chinese rival, Xiaomi, of intentionally using similar sounding names for mobile devices they have recently launched in Africa. Additional Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Cashflow Rules Everything Around Me Alludes iROKOtv's Jason Njoku
Sep 13 2015 30 mins  
Launching a start-up in Africa is not for the faint-hearted. Very few promising ventures-- even those that achieve solid traction, can expect to land Silicon Valley-type investment offers that might allow a founder the liberty to concentrate solely on growth, versus say, survival. This week's discussion is inspired in part by a recent blog post by iROKOtv Founder and MD, Jason Njoku, written in response to a question posted on a popular Nigerian tech message board by someone who was curious to know how many Nigerian startups are in fact profitable. Tefo Mohapi and Andile Masuku weren't quite sure of what to make of both the question and and Jason's subsequent response to it, so they decided to bounce some ideas around to try and determine which of these three: 1) Growth, 2) Profitability, or 3) Being cashflow positive, African startup founders should focus on in order to succeed. Consider this just the start of a very long conversation that will definitely continue. We are joined by Jovago.com Founder and MD, Marek "Chinedu" Zmyslowski on this week's African Tech Round-up while he was in Johannesburg on business. It was very kind of him to let us hijack him for a couple of hours, and include his two cents on this week's news and discussion topic. Be sure to catch all the week's biggest digital, tech and innovation news: -- Kenya and South Sudan are set to start work on a multi-million dollar high-speed fibre optic cable within the next two years, -- The Consumer Federation of Kenya is leading a boycott of DSTV over high cable subscription rates, -- Nigerian e-commerce platform Yudala is keen to pull an 'Amazon' as it plans to roll out a traffic-beating drone-delivery service, -- South Africa’s largest online news platform, News24, has finally opted to disable public comments to articles posted on their website, -- Facebook 2nd Quarter African User numbers reveal some fascinating trends, -- Singtel, Orange, Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica are joining forces to launch a VC initiative spanning Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, and -- A quick reminder to anyone living in South Africa that public comments on the proposed new Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill are to be submitted to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on or before November 30th.


Evolution Of Mobile Phones, What's Next?
Sep 07 2015 17 mins  
You probably remember how popular Nokia's 3310 device was when it launched back in 2000. Affectionately known as “Die Hard” by ardent fans, it was for many the possession that would make them truly feel a part of 21st Century civilisation. It’s pretty incredible how far mobile telephony has come in the 15 years since Nokia launched the record-breaking 3310 handset. Who could have guessed that in 2015, Nokia would be a faltering giant, Africa would be at the forefront of the world’s mobile-first/mobile-only revolution, and that much of the continent’s “connected” population would be almost exclusively reliant on mobile devices to access the world-wide-web? In this week’s discussion, Tefo Mohapi and Andile Masuku chat about some of what’s changed (or hasn’t) in the mobile phone technology space over the last decade and a half, and ponder what innovations we should expect to see emerge as we sail into a future which promises ever more technological advancement. Also in this week's African Tech Round-up, all the week's biggest digital tech and innovation news: -- Suspects nabbed in illegal South African government order scam, -- A University of Pretoria post-graduate student wins a prize for a clever asthma attack predictor, and -- Nigeria plans to deploy aerial drones in effort to combat oil theft at its ports. This episode was brought to you by e-magination.co.za, an information management and business intellegence solutions company. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

What Defines An African Startup? + The Week's Biggest News
Aug 31 2015 15 mins  
Back in Episode 3 of the African Tech Round-up we asked the question: “What is a startup?” A lively discussion ensued— inspired by an eloquent piece written by David Adamo Jr, a Nigerian Computer Science PhD student at the University of North Texas. Since then, the highly-opinionated founder of Hotels.ng, Mark Essien, and Project Isizwe CEO, Alan Knott-Craig Jr, have both since penned articles (When Startups In Nigeria Suddenly Got Serious and Venture Capital In Africa Is Hard) which contribute to answering a more pointed question we’re asking in this week’s show: “What defines an African startup?” Can African tech startups be defined in the same terms as those currently being born and raised in Silicon Valley? Are there certain universal standards (i.e. minimum levels of traction in the form user on-boarding, cashflow, etc) that must be met in order for a business owner to claim the coveted title of “startup founder”? Tefo Mohapi and Andile Masuku's discussion this week adds to a debate that we hope everyone in Africa’s tech eco-system will continue to jump in on. Also, catch up on all the week’s biggest tech, digital and innovation news from across Africa: -- Safaricom poised to start charging banks for bank-to M-Pesa transfers, -- Google Transit launches in Kenya and attempts to aid users of public transport, -- Nest VC establishes a presence in South Africa through a partnership with Cape Town Garage, -- Android One’s Infinix Hot 2 smartphone selling like hotcakes in Nigeria, -- Google announces that they have reached a 10 million user milestone in Nigeria, -- South African mobile network, Cell C, discontinues free WhatsApp promotion, and -- South African airline FlySafair server crash following slash price ticket campaign. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Does Africa Need More Cheap Smartphones? + The Week's Biggest News
Aug 23 2015 21 mins  
For many recently married couples, the diamond engagement ring is one of their biggest assets— albeit an emotional asset, symbolising love and lifelong commitment. In financial terms it isn’t an asset at all, considering the fact that it loses at least 50% of it’s retail value the moment you leave the jewellery store. Rough, isn’t it? And yet still we feel compelled to buy diamonds for our loved ones, and continue to fuel a global billion-dollar industry. One has to admire the ingenious marketing strategy drafted and executed by the N.W. Ayer ad agency in the early 1900s for their client, De Beers, which resulted in the world attaching value to a commodity that’s not nearly as rare (or as necessary) as we were led to believe. In this week’s African Tech Round-up, Tefo Mohapi and Andile Masuku discuss the the implications of low-cost smartphone penetration on the continent. The increase in internet use via mobile devices has undoubtedly delivered certain advantages. But when you consider how issues like the prevalence of preventable diseases, hunger and limited access to basic education continue to be a daily reality faced by many Africans, the importance of whether or not you have a smartphone might be in question. So, just how important and necessary is this so-called “mass exodus” from feature phones to smartphones, and could the Android-brigade (led by Google and its mobile device manufacturing homies) be stimulating the demand for the smartphone the way De Beers did for diamonds near the turn of the century? Also in this week's episode, all the week's biggest digital, tech and innovation news: -- Vodacom South Africa rolls out voice-over-WiFi calling, -- The Nigerian Communications Commission poised to deactivate 10.7 million mobile lines over various networks, -- Kenyan banks are finally getting in on the mobile money craze in a big way, -- Uber Kenya sees their user numbers triple following the introduction of Uber Cash, -- The embattled Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa is reeling following a train crash, -- Thousands of South Africans reportedly implicated in the Ashley Madison data dump, and -- Google rolls out its Android One programme is Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Egypt, and Morocco. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Scary Software Upgrades + The Week's Biggest News
Aug 17 2015 21 mins  
Microsoft certainly got millions of people excited a while ago when they announced that their latest version of Windows would be free. However, Windows users in most of Africa have begun to balk at the "not-so-free" implications of this recent innovation-- which by the way, is essentially a compulsory upgrade. Internet access is still relatively limited in most parts of the continent, and there's plenty of data showing that most people primarily connect to the web via mobile networks which deliver data at a premium. In this week's discussion, Tefo Mohapi and Andile Masuku talk about how it appears tech companies like Microsoft seem unmoved by how forced software upgrades will negatively impact African consumers who must pay dearly for the privilege of staying up to date. Also in this episode of the African Tech Round-up-- all the week's biggest digital, tech and innovation news: -- Find out why two of Vodafone's biggest subsidiaries in Africa are in hot water for two very different reasons, -- Discover how the Hacking Team security breach has inspired advocacy group Paradigm Initiative Nigeria to write a strong letter to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, -- Learn how South African JSE-listed giant Naspers is plotting to pre-empt Netflix's imminent entry into the South African market with a video on demand service of its own, -- Get the low-low on which South African travel crowdfunding startup is calling it a day, and -- Hear all about how the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Africa project is desperately seeking data scientists. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Importance Of Accurate Data For Africa + The Week's Biggest News
Aug 10 2015 21 mins  
There is no doubt that "wherever there is chaos, there is opportunity". A popular conspiracy theory suggests that the lack of quality data on the African continent suits devious corporate and government interests who are looking to maintain the status quo which enables them to continue making hay in the proverbial darkness. In this week's African Tech Round-up, we share the exciting news of the launch of a platform called Accur8Africa-- which aims to improve the accuracy of data on the continent, and provide global policy-makers with reliable data leading up to the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New York at the 70th United Nation General Assembly next month. Tefo Mohapi and Andile Masuku discuss the irksome consequences of Africa's current dearth of credible data, and why competent data analysis must accompany data cleaning efforts in order for Africa to reap any meaningful benefit from data accuracy initiatives such at Accur8Africa. Also in this week's show-- all the biggest digital, tech and innovation news from across the African continent: -- Discover which African country is now officially the world's fastest growing telecoms market, -- Hear how hip-hop musician turned philanthropist, Akon and his business partners intend to harness the traction they are making through their Akon Lighting Up Africa initiative to promote education on the continent, -- Get the latest on Safaricom's readiness to allow "selected partners and developers" to use M-Pesa's API, -- Find out what impressive innovation at Facebook has been described by our content producer, Peter Peele, as Internet.org on steroids, -- Learn more about the seven-day ultimatum the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has served that country's network providers to deactivate all pre-registered SIM cards, and -- Get to grips with why the embarrassing .Africa dispute is likely far from over. Music Credits: Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Additional Music by Brian Lupiya. Used with Permission.


What Are You Going To Do When They Come For You? + The Week's Biggest News
Jul 26 2015 23 mins  
Think back to high school. Remember how the new dude always got all the girls whispering, or how the new girl got all the boys trying to walk her home? Now, if the newbie rolled into town with discernible signs of affluence (i.e. dope clothes, or an expensive scent), the singles market would get particularly frenzied. And when the newbie possessed a hint of exoticism (i.e. a foreign accent, or an unusual taste in music), even the kids involved in some of the most stable couplings might start feeling the pressure to reevaluate their options. In this week's African Tech Roundup, Tefo Mohapi and I discuss the pressure African tech startups are feeling in the face of local markets being invaded by experienced and well-resourced foreign-based interests. Local incumbents in many sectors of tech now find themselves fielding competition from abroad. In everything from venture capital investment to mobile money solutions, media streaming platforms and e-commerce solutions, the race to dominate is well and truly on. In the light of all this, we pose a simple question, "What are you going to do when they come for you?" This week's episode will feature some insights from Nubi Kayode that may help us all find confident answers to that question. Nubi is a Nigerian Business Analyst at Accenture Ireland, and Managing Partner at DevShackAlpha.co. He co-founded EasyAppetite.com-- Nigeria's first online takeaway site in 2012, and managed to survive railroading attempts by foreign-backed competition, and set himself up to make a successful exit in 2014 when his company was acquired by CityChops. Be sure to catch all the week's most important digital, tech and innovation news from across the African continent: -- Find out about a Zimbabwean high school dropout who's built an electric powered vehicle and a hybrid helicopter, -- Discover which two foreign money transfer firms have teamed up and become the latest to launch into Africa, -- Learn more about Kenya's admirable obsession with building their own laptops, -- Hear what you can do to extend the runway for struggling Cameroonian startup, KwiiziBox, and -- Get the low-low on a South African-based video-on-demand platform that is calling it a day. Music Credits: All Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Are Kenya And Ethiopia Violating Citizens' Privacy? + The Week's Biggest News
Jul 19 2015 28 mins  
Many people are conflicted about the need for “cyber mercenaries” like Hacking Team to exist. Blind idealism might contend that it is simply not right for corporatised hacking syndicates with dodgy ethical standards to secretly assist government intelligence agencies (and well-heeled private clients) to snoop on targets. However, living in a world where the modern wonders of the internet and mobile devices are harnessed to conduct criminal activities in increasingly devious ways may demand that we hold a far more pragmatic attitude towards the need for “hackers for hire” firms to stay in business. This week, iAfrikan Startups Editor and Content Producer for the African Tech Round-up, Peter Peele joins me to discuss how Kenya and Ethiopia have been implicated in Hacking Team’s recent embarrassing hacking incident, and explain how the alleged incompetence of those countries’ intelligence officials-- as evidenced in leaked documents archived on WikiLeaks, could mean that companies like Hacking Team will not be short of clients any time soon. As always, be sure to catch up on all the weeks biggest digital, tech and innovation news from across the African continent: -- Get an update on the headcount at PRASA in the wake of the company's multi-million dollar locomotive procurement scandal, -- Find out which three big international players have announced major plays for Africa's growing money remittance and online payments market, -- Discover which recent infrastructural development at SEACOM has led to their claim of being Africa's leading "telecom enabler and network provider", and what has given rise to Liquid Telecoms promising its clients "near 100 percent server uptime at much faster speeds than any other ISP in Africa", -- Learn more about the Nigerian government's new SIM card registration rules-- aimed at curbing fraud, and -- Get the low-low on which African countries Vodafone services never ask them to intercept communications either for for law enforcement or national security purposes? Music Credits: All Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/


Nest.vc Launches In Africa + The Week's Biggest News
Jul 12 2015 26 mins  
Everyone loves a good love story. Especially when things go according to plan: start-up founder meets venture capitalist with deep pockets, tons of real-world experience, great contacts and, of course, a tried and tested system for navigating to success. For most African tech startups who have been financed by one of Africa's leading venture capital funds, this idyllic scenario couldn't be further from reality. Exclusive to the African Tech Round-up, Hong Kong’s only private, full service startup accelerator, Nest, has told us the news of their plans to ride into Africa's startup funding scene like a knight in shining armour to "make an impact" by sweeping pretty damsels (aka promising startups) off their feet. Their first stop will be setting up offices in Nairobi, Kenya. Listen in to hear Nest's Africa Managing Partner, Aaron Fu, tell us what he and his team plan to offer investable prospects on the continent by way of finance, expertise and other key elements of startup support. Also in this week's show-- all the week's digital, tech and innovation news from across Africa: --A quick update on the official launch of Facebook Africa's office in Johannesburg, -- Details on the far-reaching consequences of the embarrassing security breach at controversial spyware company Hacking Team, -- Worrying news on internet security laws being proposed by the Kenyan government, -- The low-low on a multi-million dollar locomotive scandal in South Africa, and -- The latest on bitcoin platform BitX's foray into the Nigerian market. Music Credits: All Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Net Neutrality Conundrum + The Week's Biggest News
Jul 05 2015 17 mins  
As concerns continue to be raised over the potetial threat to internet neutrality posed by Facebook's aggressive roll-out of its Internet.org platform, South African telecoms operator, Telkom is proving that the public's growing distrust of big tech firms is not unfounded. Large tech firms seem only too happy to test limits of what is ethically acceptable in terms of violating personal privacy, while capitalising on the lack of consensus around what constitutes internet neutrality. Little fuss has so far been made over Telkom's recent employment of tactics that would generally be associated with illicit hacking syndicates, following the telecoms giant being caught adding JavaScript to web pages of its ISP clients via a "man-in-the-middle attack". In this week's discussion, Tefo Mohapi and I discuss this unsettling development. Given how we cannot seem to trust big tech interests to behave ethically by defending our right to privacy and security, is internet regulation the answer? Could Telkom's recent behaviour be used to validate the need for the adoption of a regulatory framework like that proposed by South Africa's Film and Publication Board some months back-- the potential unconstitutionality of which was debated in Episode 8: Is This The Worst Censorship Law Ever? Catch the biggest digital, tech and innovation news from across Africa: --Find out which Ugandan serial entrepreneur has being appointed to replace Dell's Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Elizabeth Gore as the Chair of the UN Foundation's Global Entrepreneurs Council, --Discover when Facebook will launch its shiny new Africa office and which big South African ad agency executive has been head-hunted to lead its come September 2015, and --Learn how South African mobile subscribers will soon be able to buy airtime and data using Bitcoin. Music Credits: All Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Video Streaming Stuttering In Africa? + The Week's Biggest News
Jun 28 2015 18 mins  
The race is still on to discover the formula for successfully distributing digital content in Africa. In a recent blogpost, Jason Njoku, the outspoken founder of iRokoTV, announced that his company would soon retire the desktop version of their platform (for African users) to concentrate on building a mobile application that he says will better service the African consumer. The article is basically an eloquent admission that iRokoTV's efforts to "win Lagos" and then conquer the rest of Africa have so far failed. In this week's African Tech Round-up, iAfrikan Executive Editor, Tefo Mohapi and I discuss the challenges that home-grown content streaming platforms like iRokoTV, Wabona, Tuluntulu and others may be facing in their attempts to profitably deliver digital entertainment content to African consumers. While YouTube's growing success in Africa is proof that consumers have an appetite for content streaming, it seems that African platforms are yet to crack the code for how to best to get in on the action. As usual, be sure to catch up on all the week's biggest tech, digital and innovation news from across Africa: --Find out more about a cutting-edge medical innovation that has led to the city of St Louis, Missouri awarding their highest honour to a Nigerian-born scientist, --Get details on how Facebook plans to roll out its Internet.org platform in South Africa in partnership with mobile network operator, Cell C, --Learn why Nigerian e-commerce platform, Konga's acquisition of mobile banking and payment provider, Zinternet is such a smart move, and --Discover what we found odd about Twitter's recent talent call for young Africans. Music Credits: All Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Game Over For Startup Seed Funds? + The Week's Biggest News
Jun 21 2015 23 mins  
Nigeria's "company that builds companies", Spark, announced last week its plans to drop some startups it invested in. This announcement comes just a week after 88mph's notice that it will be "taking a break" from investing in African startups. While it is not uncommon for investment funds to pause on-boarding when funds available for employment are temporarily exhausted, it seems odd that 88mph would go out of its way to alert the public to something that would occur in the normal course of business. Similarly, given how startup failure is not uncommon - with some investment funds said to be aiming to achieve a success rate of approximately one in ten, why would Spark ceremoniously trot these "dead businesses" out in this manner? In this week's discussion, iAfrikan Executive Editor, Tefo Mohapi and I ask whether the current approach to tech venture capitalism in Africa is flawed. Perhaps investors are beginning to realise that successfully investing in African startups is in fact a science that involves a lot more than throwing money at promising prospects. Here's to hoping the investment notices by 88mph and Spark are not precursory tremors to a major shaking in Africa's tech investment scene. Be sure to stay up to date with all the week's biggest news from across the continent: -- Find out what major global deadline both Uganda and South Africa have missed, -- Discover how a landmark court ruling has seen South African billionaire Mark Shuttleworth lose $20 million, -- Get details on how an ambitious cable car project in Kenya which promises to alleviate Nairobi's traffic congestion, and -- Learn more about a 3D-printed prosthetic hand which promises to put South Africa on the map in terms of medical innovation. Music Credits: All Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Everyone's Not So Favourite Driver + The Week's Biggest News
Jun 14 2015 33 mins  
Uber's Roman-style campaign to achieve utter and complete worldwide domination has encountered a teeny tiny setback in Kenya. Much to the surprise of many, the company is yet to enjoy the runaway success it has become accustomed to. In last week's episode of the African Tech Round-up we reported on Uber's plans to run a limited experiment to allow its Kenyan customers to pay for trips using cash and M-Pesa. This followed claims made by the company that the slow adoption of their service in Kenya was due to the fact that many Kenyans are unbanked and do not possess credit and debit cards. In this week's show, Andile Masuku and guest co-host Vouchercloud South Africa Managing Director Lyndon Munetsi discuss the challenges that Uber might be facing in rolling out its hugely successful business model in Kenya-- especially given the company's well-documented zero-quibbles approach to taking on new territories. In the meantime, it remains to be seen whether their latest attempts to woo Kenyan users will prove to be effective. Also, be sure to stay up to date with all the week's biggest news from across the African continent: -- Find out why African seed fund and accelerator 88mph is taking a break from investing in African startups, -- Get details on how tech education innovators Andela and WeThinkCode_ are poised to disrupt tech talent development on the continent, -- Learn why Ad Dynamo is giving up its reputable contextual ad network business to concentrate on servicing Twitter, -- Get the low-low on the launch of a new Kenyan laptop brand called Taifa, and -- Discover which major African capital city is set to get free movies and calls via WiFi. Music Credits: All Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Is This The Worst Internet Censorship Law Ever? + The Week's Biggest News
Jun 07 2015 27 mins  
The internet is undoubtedly the untamed "wild west" of the modern technological age. To counteract the malicious threats that lie in wait for innocent users of the web (on and offline), South Africa's Film and Publication Board (FPB) has recently taken it upon itself to "regulate content" through a set of draft regulations-- while claiming that children are at the top of their protection priority list In this week’s discussion we debate the potential unconstitutionality of this new regulatory framework. Given the undeniable risks internet users are exposed to (especially minors), we ask if it is possible to regulate content posted on the web, and if so, to do so in a manner that does not compromise the right to free speech and personal expression? In terms of the FPB's public mandate, was publishing this draft a crafty attempt by them to quietly sneak politically expedient censorship laws past the public, or was it an ill-considered attempt on their part to ensure a safer internet for all (if that's even a thing). Be sure to catch some interesting listeners' comments we received in reaction to last week's hotly debated discussion topic: Mark vs. Marek - Whose Hotel Booking Platform Reigns Supreme? We also have all the week's biggest news from across Africa: -- Hear all about Facebook Lite, which has launched in Africa and other developing global markets, -- Find out why a Ugandan judge has declared mobile money operations illegal, -- Get to grips with some sobering internet growth numbers put out by Internet Society, -- Learn what leading science and and mathematics initiative has landed a $25 million boost from the MasterCard Foundation, and -- Discover why Uber Kenya is experimenting with accepting cash and M-Pesa payments from its customers. Music Credits: All Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Mark Vs. Marek + The Week's Biggest News
May 31 2015 21 mins  
Nigeria's tech scene was abuzz last week following Mark Essien's hotel booking platform Hotel.ng securing international investment co-led by Omidyar Network and the EchoVC Pan-Africa Fund. However, for undisclosed reasons the parties involved have chosen not to make public the fine points of the deal. This week we debate whether it does Africa's tech ecosystem any good for important transactions like these to happen behind closed doors, and for details to remain secret. While we're at it, we poke a little fun at Jovago Co-founder and CEO, Marek Zmysłowski and Mark Essien’s on-going public tiff over who's hotel booking platform reigns supreme. Also, we share two expert comments we received in response to last week's discussion topic: Bitcoin and the Blockchain: Worth Embracing? on the future of bitcoin and the possible future applications of the blockchain technology. As usual, we also have all the biggest tech, digital and innovation news from across Africa: -- Discover how Nigeria's fuel and electricity shortages are affecting big tech, -- Hear how Nkosana Makate aka the Please Call Me Guy's billion dollar case against Vodacom is going, and -- Find out how a Nigerian computer science Masters student at the University of Cape Town is using tech to save endangered African languages. Music Credits: All Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Bitcoin and the Blockchain: Worth Embracing? + The Week's Biggest News
May 24 2015 20 mins  
There are three prevailing views on bitcoin and the blockchain: 1) that it's a scam, 2) it's one of the most fascinating technological developments of the decade, and 3) it's just another tech fad that's not worth trying to grasp, nevermind fussing over. View number three is probably held by the vast majority of people on the continent. This week, Tefo Mohapi and I (Andile Masuku) will try and establish whether the hype around bitcoin and the various useful applications of the blockchain (which Africa has so far tentatively embraced) is justified. Despite Wall Street's gradual warming to bitcoin, and companies like Kenya's BitPesa building clever service offerings on the back of the bitcoin blockchain, it remains to be seen whether bitcoin will go on to be widely accepted worldwide as a trusted measure of value, and whether the blockchain will be used to platform future technological innovation. We've decided to make featuring listeners' comments a permanent part of the show, and so this week we share comments made in response to last week's debate: "Open Source vs. Proprietary Software: What is Best For Africa?" As always, you can also expect all the week’s most important tech, digital and innovation news: -- Discover why there's an outcry over South Africa's recently-announced aerial drone laws, -- Get details on Automattic's acquisition of WooThemes, -- Learn more about the MTN South Africa workers' strike that saw 2,000 people down tools, and -- Find out which African country Kenya's BitPesa is expanding into. Music Credits: All Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/


Open Source vs. Proprietary Software + The Week's Biggest News
May 17 2015 28 mins  
As long as "Microsoft" remains synonymous with "Proprietary Software" the jury will be out on whether proprietary software is superior to open source software (OSS). For many ardent proponents of OSS, this debate is mostly about rooting for the 'little guy', but in this week's discussion, your hosts Tefo Mohapi and Andile Masuku, will start a conversation about the pros and cons of both regimes, and highlight some issues that they think should headline this debate. Then they will leave it up to you to decide which of the two might be best for Africa to embrace, considering how important it is for the continent to create innovative solutions to its own problems, and develop marketable technologies that compete favourably against the very best in the world. Also, for the first time since the launch of this podcast, we're excited to feature comments we've received from our listeners following the passionate conversations sparked by our previous podcast around the the question, "Are Tech and Innovation Hubs in Africa Effective?" And as always, you can expect all the week’s leading tech, digital and innovation news: --Discover what Nokia has in its stable that's causing a feeding frenzy among the likes of Audi, Mercedes Benz, Uber and Facebook, --Take a peek under the hood of one of Africa's biggest tech deals this year: Telkom’s acquisition of Business Connection, -- Observe the dynamics of Ghana's decrease in mobile data use, --Get details on the "hacktivism" attack on South African firm Sekunjalo Investment Holdings' news archives, and --Learn how a pharmacy in Harare, Zimbabwe is cleverly harnessing Whatsapp to facilitate online payments. Music Credits: All Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Are Tech Hubs in Africa Effective? + The Week's Biggest News
May 10 2015 20 mins  
Tech and innovation hubs are all the rage in Africa at the moment. With reportedly as many as 150 in existence from Cape to Cairo, these organisations are undoubtedly "da flava" in donor funding terms. However, it seems that the question of whether or not these hubs are actually effective at achieving what they set out to do is rarely asked. In his article "Startup Incubators in Africa and why they don’t work" Hotels.ng founder, Mark Essien, asserts that tech and innovation hubs have precious little to show for all the fuss that's made about their usefulness. In this week's discussion we try to determine if these hubs are truly a means of cultivating Africa's up-and-coming tech talent, and an efficient way to support the launch of the continent's next generation profitable (or at least, sustainable) game-changing startups. As usual, we also give you a run-down of the week's tech, digital and innovation highlights: --A quick update on Burundi's internet shut-down, --A brief summary of the latest insights gleaned by the Report Xenophobia initiative, --Details on how iRoko Founder Jason Njoku is offering NGN 1 million to Nigeria's best developers, --News regarding a DDoS attack on MTN's Data Center, which affected ISPs like Afrihost, --The low-low on how to get your hands on Elon Musk's latest innovation, Tesla's new Powerwall, and --A rather detailed report on South Africa's plans to drop it's ICT Charter in October 2015 in favour of generic BEE codes. Music Credits: All Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

What Is A Startup? + The Week's Biggest News
May 03 2015 19 mins  
The word "startup" is often used loosely in the world of tech, and frequently worn as a badge of honour by individuals and organisations who aspire to the glamour commonly associated with modern-day entrepreneurship. In this week’s African Tech Round-up Podcast, Tefo Mohapi and I attempt to pin down a definition for the term and determine what business ventures qualify to be classified as startups. Our discussion is inspired by an article by David Adamo Jr-- a Nigerian Computer Science PhD student at the University of North Texas, entitled "What is a startup?" You can also expect a concise run-down of the week's tech, digital and innovation highlights: --News regarding an alleged internet shut-down by the Burundian government to quell political protests, --A word on the Malawian government's bullish move to further digital payment payment services, --The low-low on the assisted acquisition of Nigeria's Jobberman and Kenya's BrighterMonday by One Africa Media, --A glance at recent research into mobile handset habits of Nigerian blue collar workers, --The latest on how US rapper and business mogul Jay Z's struggling music streaming service-- Tidal, is desperately attempting to gain traction by courting Nigerian musical talent, and --Details on which famous African city is featured in the international blockbuster film, Avengers: Age of Ultron. Music Credits: All Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Music licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/



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