Techpreneur RoundUp – Rwanda invests in first smartphone factory

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Rwanda invests in first smartphone factory

Rwanda-based technology company Mara Corporation together with Rwandan government officials have announced the rollout of a factory to produce smartphones in Rwanda in addition to enhancing access to digital services in the country. This comes after Mara Corporation announced October last year that is was investing $100 million in South Africa to make affordable, high tech smartphones. The plan was unveiled by the ministry’s officials last Thursday while appearing before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, Technology, Culture and Youth to explain issues related to ICT observed across the country. The plant is expected to start operations by April this year.


South Africa to introduce new tech subjects in schools

On Thursday, 07 February, the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his second State of the Nation Address. During his speech, the president announced that the government will introduce new technology subjects in schools. He disclosed the government’s intentions to introduce automation training in primary schools to
address the digital skills shortage in the country. He stated that this will start off by expanding the training of both educators and learners to respond to emerging technologies including the internet of things, robotics and artificial intelligence. The initiative will take off with schools that have been historically most disadvantaged and are
located in the poorest communities, including multi-grade, multiphase, farm and rural schools.






African startups invited to apply for Bulgaria-based blockchain accelerator

African startups have been invited to apply for the Bulgaria-based blockchain accelerator run by æternity Ventures, which offers funding of up to US$100,000 in AE tokens. æternity Ventures, the investment arm of decentralized smart contracts platform æternity, runs the Starfleet Accelerator programme each year, with Kenyan startups UTU Technologies and RideSafe among those to secure funding from last year’s edition. The Starfleet Accelerator supports seed-stage projects utilising blockchain technology, with participating startups given access to mentorship and support from leading blockchain and business experts. As part of the program, æternity Ventures will provide selected teams with funding of up to US$100,000 in AE tokens or services. Applications are open until February 17 for the programme, which commences on March 11 in Sofia. Selected startups will undergo mentoring in areas such as business models, token economics, æternity apps architecture, blockchain infrastructure and tooling, pitching to
investors, and media relations from recognized experts.


Nigeria is top funding hub for tech startups – $334.5M invested across Africa in 2018

African tech startups smashed funding records in 2018 as 210 startups secured US$334.5 millionworth of investment, with Nigeria emerging as the premier investment destination on the continent.  This is according to the annual African Tech Startups Funding Report 2018 released by startup news and research portal Disrupt Africa, which is now in its fourth year. The report, which tracks the total amount of funding raised by African tech startups each year, found 210 startups raised a total of US$334,520,500 in funding in 2018. This represented the best year since records began, and a substantial leap on 2017. The number of startups that raised grew by 32.1 per cent, and total funding jumped by an impressive 71.5 per cent. A key finding of the report was the emergence of Nigeria as Africa’s startup funding hub, after years of playing second fiddle to South Africa. With 58 startups raising a total of US$94,912,000 in investment, the country was clearly top dog; while South Africa fell behind with 40 businesses
raising US$59,971,000.


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