Tech companies making a difference in Africa

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Africa has long been touted as the continent with the greatest potential for growth in technology and innovation.

Many African countries are building their own Silicon Valley counterparts, and tech companies around the world have opened offices and launched into markets across the continent. And in addition to growing their customer base, these companies are also committed to bringing about meaningful change in Africa.

Here’s how.

They invest in communities and empower people to become entrepreneurs

Last year, Airbnb announced a three-year commitment to South Africa to remove barriers to building a tourism entrepreneur and to help rebuild a more inclusive and resilient domestic tourism economy.

The commitment focuses on infrastructure, training and investment and builds on Airbnb’s $1 million commitment in 2017 in Africa to boost community-led tourism projects, and on l Africa Academy, which has trained over 300 hosts.

As part of this commitment, Airbnb announced its partnership with the University of Johannesburg School of Tourism and Hospitality to expand the Airbnb Academy program to at least 1,000 students over the next three years.

They help develop quality journalists and newsrooms

Over the years, Google, perhaps the biggest tech giant in the world, has done its fair share for small businesses, content creators and business owners across Africa. And just recently, the company announced that five South African winners have been selected for the Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge.

The GNI Innovation Challenge aims to help the journalism industry thrive in the digital age. Their projects are among 34 selected across 17 countries to receive a share of $3.2 million in funding.

The winners, including 21 journalists and editors from 10 African countries, were selected for their work promoting diversity, equality and inclusion in the journalism industry. The GNI Innovation Challenge is part of Google’s $300 million commitment to help journalism thrive in the digital age.

Companies cultivate talent from an early age

“At Huawei South Africa, we have a long-standing commitment to cultivating ICT talent and discovering new ways to harness technological innovation to advance sustainability,” said Vanashree Govender, Head of Media and Communications for Huawei. South Africa. “Last year, we launched our global Tech4Good competition as part of our Seeds for the Future talent development program, which exposes learners to courses on the latest technologies such as 5G, cloud, AI and IoT. The Tech4Good competition gets students thinking about how to use technology to solve social and environmental problems. Through this program, participants stimulate their creativity, hone their entrepreneurial skills and develop a sense of social responsibility. It’s a fun team effort, with coaching from Huawei experts and world-renowned social impact leaders.”

Huawei also runs a Tech4All program globally where Huawei works with partners to create real change by connecting unconnected communities, empowering underserved communities and protecting the planet. In South Africa, Huawei’s DigiSchool project, in partnership with operator rain and educational nonprofit Click Foundation, has connected more than 100 urban and rural primary schools to the internet using 5G technology.

They learn the right skills through access to digital media education

Today, there are local entrepreneurs in fields as diverse as fashion, health and decoration who have proven that with fairer access to the digital marketing ecosystem, it is possible to grow at home. regional and international scale.

For this to happen at scale, they also need the skills to market themselves online in the markets they want to reach. At the very least, these entrepreneurs should have easy access to people with these skills.

It is important to note here that these are not only fundamental digital marketing skills, but also skills related to the specifics of marketing on the world’s leading digital advertising platforms such as Twitter, Snapchat and Spotify, where people all over the world spend most of their time. online time.

With the right types of messages, these platforms are the most effective places to reach new customers in a wide range of markets.

“This is something we are passionate about, and recently Ad Dynamo by Aleph launched a free Digital Ad Expert program for young people in Nigeria and Ghana, which aims to educate, certify and connect thousands of Africans with the skills technologies needed to succeed in a rapidly digitalizing economy.

While it is entirely possible that someone with the right degree of determination and curiosity could develop these skills on their own, it is essential that more and more resources be made available to develop them at scale.” , says Elyse Estrada, Global Chief Marketing Office, Aleph Group.

This is crucial to ensure that markets such as Ghana and Nigeria are not just growth targets for international businesses, but incubators for a new generation of entrepreneurs capable of competing globally on their own.

They create access for everyone

MFS Africa, the continent’s largest omnichannel payment gateway, believes in a “borderless world” that everyone has access to. Their comprehensive digital networks connect 320 million mobile wallets, enabling cross-border payment transfer businesses, financial service providers and merchants around the world.

CEO and Founder of MFS Africa, Dare Okoudjo, believes that interoperability is crucial to enable customers of different mobile financial service providers to interact with each other. This can be done by making direct payments from one provider’s mobile money account to another provider’s mobile money account.

To do this, MFS Africa recently acquired Global Technology Partners (GTP), expanding its banking and fintech base and providing tokenization in the mobile money space by connecting to established card ecosystems like Visa and Mastercard. The ultimate goal is to give millions of mobile money users on the continent access to the global digital economy and new opportunities. For its partners, these new capabilities enable scalability, security, and new markets and consumers as technological innovation continues to penetrate and reshape societies.

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