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East Africa Fruits, launched in 2013, connects small fresh fruit
growers in rural Tanzania to retailers, wholesalers, local vendors, restaurants and cafés, hotels and exporters. This is does through providing efficient cold chain distribution and storage infrastructure to reduce post-harvest loss and increases availability and quality of produce in local markets.
The combined $3.1 million in Series A equity and debt capital will help the company to grow its operations which will see it serve over 10,000 farmers and 6,000 small-and-medium enterprise (SME) vendors over the next three years.
Global lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic have affected
fresh foods logistics and storage in the last months. Increased freight costs, change in consumer behaviours and poor storage infrastructure threaten the livelihood of Africa’s subsistence farmers on whom a large percentage of food supply rests.
Communications technology company Zoom has acquired Keybase, a secure messaging and file sharing platform. Zoom’s user base has ballooned in the last three months as many turn to the conferencing app to hold meetings, hold court, keep in touch, go on dates and keep communication going in quarantine. Numbers spiked from 10million daily users in December 2019 to 200million daily users in March but with
this has come privacy concerns and ‘Zoombombing’.
Keybase’s directory maps social media identities to encryption keys. Incorporating the tool into the Zoom platform will provide end-to-end encryption for Zoom users in tandem with its increasing popularity.
In April, Zoom announced a 90-day plan to fix the privacy and security issues users have complained about and this is one more step towards this goal.
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Journalism is on trial globally. From ad revenue-reliant business models to dwindling trust from the public, where we get our news and how it is delivered to us is rapidly changing. In Nigeria, traditional media houses and physical newspapers used to be the authority on happenings in and outside the country. Over the years however, new digital media companies are fast usurping this position employing speed, new formats and oftentimes, misleading clickbaits to draw increasingly tech savvy readers.
The digital media space is nonetheless, stiffly competitive and ad revenue has continued to decline. Facebook and Google still
control a large percentage of online advertising (60%) while traditional news publishers are left to scramble with the fast-growing new digital media platforms and other low-quality publishers for the rest of the pie.
In this piece, Abubakar and Olumuyiwa explore how traditional media companies are moving their newsrooms online, and how new digital media publications who are dedicated to providing authentic information to their audience are navigating business.
Kenya ed-tech mobile app M-Lugha is translating the Kenyan syllabus into indigenous languages to advance education in rural areas. The startup installs its offline app onto seven-inch tablets alongside other open source educational apps, which it then sells to schools and local authorities.
Currently active in Nairobi, and the north-eastern counties of Wajir and Garissa, founder Abdinoor Alimahdi says feedback and initial uptake has been better than expected but there are 45 more counties to reach and at least 15,000 early childhood development centres in each county.
In Uganda, the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the Ministry of Works and Transport will enforce new rules that will have commercial motorcycles (boda boda) and taxis registering with and operating under existing digital
ride hailing platforms like SafeBoda or Uber. This will take effect as soon as lockdown measures are lifted in the country.
Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago has hinted that ultimately, the goal is to drive the commercial operators not under any ride hailing services out of the city, which the KCCA Head of Public and Corporate Affairs denies, and that stakeholders have not been consulted on the matter.
Informal boda boda & taxi operators and those registered with ride hailing companies have been known to clash in the past over patronage and modes of operation. It is unclear if the ride hailing companies are open and able to absorb them all but the government’s plan seems to be to put some order into the largely unregulated public transport sector before lockdowns are lifted to curtail the pandemic when movement resumes.
In most countries,
initial 4G development had been slow due to delay in assigning spectrums to service providers. But in the last four years, things have changed and the pace of development has increased. 2G, a much older broadband, and 3G have continued to dominate the African market. After over a decade since its adoption, GSMA predicts that 3G would replace 2G as the dominant connection by 2020.
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BULLISH ON AFRICA
On May 15, 2020, TechCabal is holding a digital conference, themed Bullish on Africa, in partnership with Pariti. The event will speak to the future of Africa’s tech industry with optimism and strength and critical thinking about what it takes to get to a stronger industry from where we are today.
This digital conference will bring together experienced tech thinkers and doers from Africa and across the world including entrepreneurs and investors to speak about the opportunities they are looking at and to share their experiences about what the continent should be building and how to build strong, sustainable and profitable companies in a moment of crisis.
Confirmed speakers for the conference include Kola Aina, Founder, Ventures Platform; Andreata Muforo, Partner, TLcom TIDE Africa Fund; Benjamin Schmerler, Partner, SUNU Capital; Nisha Ligon, CEO, Ubongo; and Alain Nteff, CEO, Health Lane; among others.
If you are a startup in health or edtech willing to join our investor matchmaking session, please fill in this form. Startups in any sector expanding as a result of coronavirus can also apply. Investors interested in meeting startups can apply here.