2020 is nearly over, welcome to September. In today’s digest: Huawei is building a technology park in Angola; Kenyatta University launches app to better track and handle gender-based abuse plus South African Signapps signs contract with Britain’s NHS.
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more than US$60 million in a technology park in Angola. The park is expected to be completed in 2021. In addition to introducing cutting edge technology experiences to the Central African country, the park will also serve as a vehicle to train more than 1,500 Angolans. The Chinese company has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Angolan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the field of training talent in information and communication technologies (ICT) to this effect.
Angola’s technology industry has not quite taken off but technology startups are increasingly on the rise driven by young Angolans looking to stir away from the country’s reliance on oil and agriculture. China has been a major funder of the country’s infrastructure and socioeconomic development and as at lat year, Chinese investments in Angola had exceeded US$20 billion.
Of the country’s 30.8 million, only 8.90 million use the internet representing about 17% of the population. About 14 million are mobile telephony users.
German online food ordering and delivery platform, Delivery Hero, has acquired MENA online grocery marketplace InstaShop for US$270 million. The startup is now valued at US$360 million. InstaShop serves five countries in the region: United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt and Lebanon. Through its network of 1,500 vendors, customers can order for groceries and have it delivered on average, in 45 minutes. The startup grew 330% in Q2 2020 year-on-year and will continue to operate independently under its current leadership. Delivery Hero says it is championing a new kind of commerce referred to as quick-commerce (q commerce) where customers can receive small sized orders in timely fashion. The acquisition is one more step towards building out a global brand of quick online purchases of food, groceries, pharmaceuticals and sundry.
TECH FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE
To tackle sexual and gender-based violence in tertiary institutions, Kenyatta University’s Centre for Gender Equity and Empowerment has developed an Android app using a £1,000 (Sh143,000) grant it secured from the Association of Commonwealth Universities in 2019. On the app, victims can anonymously report incidents, provide relevant data that is securely captured and get information about where to receive medical or psychological help. The extent and prevalence of sexual abuse in higher institutions was brought to light last year following BBC Africa Eye’s investigative documentary Sex for Grades, an open secret. Prof. Grace Wamue-Ngare who is the Director at Centre for Gender Equity and Empowerment and initiator of the app project hopes that the app can become one more weapon in the centre’s arsenal in tackling gender-based abuse.
Kenyan electric motorcycle taxi startup, Ecobodaa, is looking to launch in Nairobi next month with a lease-to-own business model. Already building out charging stations in Kibera, the plan will allow riders own the electric motorcycle over time through weekly/monthly payments via M-Pesa over an 18 month period. Women will be the initial beneficiaries of the launch and CEO, Kimosop Chepkoit says they are already being shortlisted and trained ahead of the launch. Ecobodaa is part of a growing list of ride hailing companies deploying EVs in hopes that they pick up in a continent still heavily reliant on combustion-engine vehicles.
South African healthtech company, Signapps, has secured a contract that will see it provide Britain’s National Health Services (NHS) its software as a service (SaaS) communication platform for the management of clinical communication to NHS Trusts. The contract has been signed for a two year period with the possibility of an extension. Founded in 2016, Signapps communication software offers medical practitioners a secure and effective way to transmit and store patient records. The software has been particularly beneficial to frontline workers in private and public health institutions since the coronavirus pandemic allowing for secure transmission of information and reduced physical contact between medical practitioners.