August in Africa: All the tech news you shouldn’t miss from last month

August in Africa: All the tech news you shouldn’t miss from last month

Zuckerberg paid a visit to renowned Lagos innovation space Co-Creation Hub before going to see his recent investees Andela, meeting entrepreneurs along the way and claiming to be excited by Nigeria’s nascent tech space.

He even managed to squeeze in some official Facebook business while he was there, attending a developer workshop held by the company in Lagos. His visit also coincided with news Facebook is launching Express Wi-Fi hotspots in Lagos in a bid to get more people online.

Zuckerberg also visited Nairobi, turning up at the iHub and meeting government figures.

Drones, wallets and LGBT streaming

There was some (forgive us) real, tangible news from the continent during August as well.

In Rwanda, US firm Zipline launched its drone delivery service, which will be used to transport medical supplies into rural areas. It is hoped the project will prove a success and be used for commercial purposes in the coming years.

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IBM – of supercomputer Watson fame – was also busy in Africa, opening its second research lab on the continent in Johannesburg, where it will carry out projects based on data-driven healthcare, digital urban ecosystems and astronomy.

Pan-African e-commerce giant Jumia, on the back of raising some significant funding, launched a new online payment service, while another e-commerce company, OLX, has launched an SMS service as it looks to tap into offline communities on the continent, helping farmers sell their products. Another largely offline community being brought into the online fold are refugees at Kenya’s Dadaab camp, who are being trained in app development by local innovation space iHub.

Africa now has its first LGBT streaming service in the form of South Africa-based PrideTV, while smart cities in Kenya are moving a step closer.

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The much-touted Konza Techno City on the outskirts of Nairobi finally has power, but it may yet be beaten to the title of Kenya’s first smart city after Liquid Telecom began installing a 12.4km network in the Lake Victoria city of Kisumu.

Backing Africa’s tech development

Yet more funds for African tech companies over the course of the month, making it the biggest month for investment in 2016 thus far.

South African fintech company Zoona was the biggest raiser, taking in $15 million. South African transport tech startup WhereIsMyTransport – which has expanded to the UK and launched a new commuter platform – and Egyptian taxi app Ousta also raised sizeable rounds.

Elsewhere, there was funding for Kenyan mobile voting platform mSurvey, while South African company Custos Media Technologies, which employs bitcoin bounties to cut down on digital piracy, raised follow-on funding.

Other startups to secure investment were Nigerian venue-booking platform OgaVenue and location marketing startup ProximityID.

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