In 2017 I was lucky to be a contributor to the State of Play report published by the African Technology Foundation, as part of the U.S. State Department’s Lions@africa initiative. Continue reading “The State of Play — Technology Opportunities Across Africa”
Convening African Mobile Ecosystem Stakeholders at Mobile World Congress Americas
Africa is the fastest-growing mobile market in the world. The positive impact of the mobile industry on African communities has been discussed and proven in numerous studies and international media publications. From payments and commerce, to healthcare and agriculture, mobile’s impact has been as wide as its been transformational. In 2016, researchers from MIT found that access to the mobile-money service M-Pesa increased daily per capita consumption levels of roughly 2 percent of Kenyan households (194,000), lifting them out of extreme poverty (living on less than $1.25 per day) between 2008 and 2014. Safaricom’s M-Pesa is just one example of how mobile technology has achieved rapid adoption all over Africa and become the platform of choice for the continent’s digital transformation.
The recently concluded MWC Americas provided a unique platform for global mobile stakeholders to re-evaluate the continent’s incredible market opportunities
On a global scale, the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress brings together over 100,000 people representing mobile operators, handset manufacturers, content creators, and mobile technology innovators from over 200 countries each year. GSMA is an international trade association that represents over 800 mobile operators that organizes industry programs with the aim of scaling new mobile technologies.
Driving up the 101 highway from San Jose is like watching a timelapse of the Silicon Valley hall of fame. On a sunny California day, the quick drive from San Jose to Palo Alto includes views of global innovation titans such as Microsoft, Dell EMC, Oracle, Intel and NASA. Absent from view behind the Redwood trees, but still within a bike ride distance, engineers are hard at work at Apple in Cupertino and Facebook in Menlo Park. Palo Alto is home to Stanford University’s beautiful sprawling campus, which played a critical role in the early semiconductor industry that formed near the campus and evolved into what we know as ‘Silicon Valley’ today.
Silicon Valley woke up early Monday morning to news that Facebook Marketplace is rolling out this week. The new person-to-person ecommerce platform enables its users to find, buy and sell items in their local community. It’s part of the main Facebook app, rather than a separate app, meaning hundreds of millions of users are getting this new feature in the coming days. The first phase of the roll out is limited to users in US, UK, Australia and New Zealand.